FOR most in the Whitsundays, last October's fight night was a first taste of competitive boxing.
It was a first for the crowd and the many boxers who took part, among them Danny Zealand.
Zealand got a taste for it in front of the big crowd that night and he's been training like a Trojan under the tutelage of Paul Barrett ever since.
Barrett describes him as the squeaky clean golden child of Whitsunday boxing but expects him to show plenty of mongrel when he comes up against a far more experienced opponent in his second ever fight on May 22. That's when he'll face Jimmy Nicholson from Sydney's Elite Fight Gym in what Barrett expects to be a fearsome contest.
Nicholson defeated another Whitsunday fighter, Chris Hodgson, on points in Fight Night 1 and weighing in at four kilograms heavier than Zealand, he stands as a tough proposition.
When Zealand was asked whether he would fight the bigger, more experienced Sydney boxer however, he had no hesitation in agreeing to the fight.
“[Nicholson's trainer] Tama [Te Huna] said he had seen Danny's exhibition bout last fight night and thought it was just the challenge [his charge] needed after blasting through his last five opponents with ease between October and May,” Barrett said.
Barrett said he was hesitant to agree to the fight but after Zealand showed enthusiasm for the challenge he decided to give it a green light.
“He has trained to an insane standard,” Barrett said of Zealand.
“He runs from the PCYC to Shute harbour and back again and even trained on Christmas Day.
“He just doesn't stop and I doubt he'll stop for James Nicholson.”
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