COMEBACK: Ben Kelleher with Anton Zafir on his right, following his victory. Photo Dane Lillingstone.
COMEBACK: Ben Kelleher with Anton Zafir on his right, following his victory. Photo Dane Lillingstone.

Back from ‘dark times’ for a win

THE doctors told him after breaking his leg at last year's fight night he would never fight again.

But not only did he fight at Saturday night's fifth annual event, but he also won.

Ben Kelleher took to the ring at the Airlie Beach Fight Night as a boxer on Saturday after formerly fighting as a kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter.

He was pitched against experienced Aaron Grigolon from Body Torque gym.

The first round was close, with neither fighter taking a backwards step but Kelleher looking crisper on his feet.

It was in the second round that things started to sway towards Kelleher as he found some nice combinations and began to really find his target.

Letting his jab go and starting to dominate the fight, he put together some good scoring combinations to win in what was a unanimous decision by the judges.

Kelleher said taking to the ring in Airlie Beach offered a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of spectators who saw him carried from the ring last year.

"To come back and to show people that you can return from something like that was pretty cool for me," he said.

"I have made a successful boxing debut in Australia and I am pretty proud of it."

Kelleher said he felt the transition from kickboxing to boxing had gone well and he was now chasing a boxing world title.

"It was a good start for me to fight a guy with a bit of pro experience. I hung with him pretty well, boxing is going to suit me," he said.

Kelleher said snapping his tibula and fibula, he was initially told it might take two years before he could walk again.

"But here I am just over a year later," he said.

"I believe if you put your mind to something, it is possible to achieve anything.

"I am happy that I can show others that there are dark times... and I have come back from them. It's all good."


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