Rocky Rumble 18 sure to pack a punch
MUAY THAI: Event organiser Ruben Fraser-Parle promises the action will be fast and furious at what he says will be one of the biggest fight nights the region has seen in years.
Rocky Rumble 18 will swing into action at 6pm on Saturday, August 18, at Callaghan Park.
The 14-fight card will include two title fights involving Rockhampton's Torin O'Brien and Luke Ruddick and a prestige boxing bout featuring local legend Ben Bowes.
Fraser-Parle said it would be a family-friendly event, with a jumping castle and face painting for the children and food vendors making for a mini carnival atmosphere.
A highlight of the night will be the presentation of the Alan Kennedy Memorial Trophy to the fighter of the night.
Kennedy was the former sports editor of The Morning Bulletin who lost his battle with cancer in 2012.
"Alan was a great supporter of our events in the past and we are so sad for his passing,” Fraser-Parle said.
"He was a great man and we really want to honour him with this trophy, which will be a feature of every show that I run.”
Fraser-Parle has long been been involved with muay thai as a fighter, judge, coach and event promoter.
"I used to run shows up here at the stadium but haven't run one for about six years so this is going to be bigger and better than anything we've done before,” he said.
"This event will be pretty much Rocky versus Queensland. There will be a Rocky fighter in just about every bout taking on guys from across the state.”
Fraser-Parle said modified muay thai involved the use of fists, knees and shins, whereas full muay thai, which O'Brien and Ruddick would fight on the night, allowed for the use of elbows as well.
O'Brien, who runs the Snake Pit Muay Thai and trains several of the fighters who will compete at the Rocky Rumble, loves the no-holds-barred action.
He said nothing compared to the excitement and adrenalin of launching into the full contact sport.
"There's not much that can top it. Skydiving's not as good as fighting,” he said.
O'Brien started his kickboxing career as an 11-year-old in New Zealand.
He fought numerous tournaments as a junior before taking some time away from the sport.
He returned five years ago and has been fighting actively in Queensland for the past three years.
He prides himself on his fitness, strength and conditioning and durability and instils that in all of the fighters he trains.
"There's a lot of hard work that people don't see - they just see the fight that goes for about 10 or 15 minutes,” he said.
"It can be eight, nine, 10 sessions a week.
"There's a lot of pain, a lot of sweat, sore legs and arms and a lot of bruising.
"There's so much that goes into it and I think that's what's so addictive about it.
"When the fight is over it's somewhat of a weird relief that all that hard work you've done has come together for you.”