FIGHT NIGHT: (Back) Coach Anton Zafir, Trev Ritchie, Chris Smith, Jeremy Graham, and coach Dan Zealand, (front) Keiran Austin, Blair Frew and Guy Chojnacki from Whitsunday Martial Arts.
FIGHT NIGHT: (Back) Coach Anton Zafir, Trev Ritchie, Chris Smith, Jeremy Graham, and coach Dan Zealand, (front) Keiran Austin, Blair Frew and Guy Chojnacki from Whitsunday Martial Arts. Claudia Alp

Fighters get set for Rumble at the Reef

BOXERS and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters are getting ready to rumble at the Reef this month with momentum building locally and interstate.

The ultimate Airlie Beach fight night will take place on November 24, featuring 11 local fighters as well as competitors from Townsville, Brisbane and interstate.

Co-ordinated by Whitsunday Martial Arts coaches and co-owners, Dan Zealand and Anton Zafir, the event will be held in the Reef Gateway Hotel courtyard, allowing spectators to get up close and personal.

"It gives a lot of locals the chance to get out there and have a go and not have to travel. A lot of our fighters have to travel to participate in competitions,” Mr Zealand said.

"This year will be more intimate. The crowd will be up close with the action.”

The fight night will be comprised of thirteen bouts, eleven of those featuring local fighters.

Fighters in both boxing and MMA bouts will go for three rounds, however boxing rounds will be three minutes each as opposed to MMA rounds of five minutes each.

Mr Zealand said some of the local fighters will be stepping into the ring for the first time following a 10-week fight program.

"These guys come in not knowing a thing about fighting or MMA, and they jump way out of their comfort zone,” he said.

Among the boxers will be Cannonvale fighter Rikki-Lee Marrett, who will have her maiden, amateur boxing fight during Rumble at the Reef.

Mr Zealand said he would love to see the community rally around the local fighters.

"It would be great to have a big crowed cheering on the eleven guys and girls who are trying to put everything they've worked for the last three months into 9 minutes or less of competition,” he said.

"Speaking from experience, it definitely lifts you when you've got the whole crowd cheering you on.”

Tickets are on sale now.

To book, call Whitsunday Martial Arts on 1300 766 082 or email admin@wrgh.com.au.

READY TO RUMBLE:

- WHEN: Saturday, November 24, doors open from 5pm

- WHERE: Reef Gateway Hotel, Shute Harbour Road

- WHO: All ages

- TICKETS: $30 general admission standing, $40 grandstand (limited), $60 ringside (limited)


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