From overweight to top middleweight contender

NEW MAN: Ipswich boxer Zac Bennett (left) has been busy preparing for his upcoming Queensland Light Middleweight title fight under the guidance of Corporate Box Ipswich owner and trainer Kurtis Pegoraro (right).
NEW MAN: Ipswich boxer Zac Bennett (left) has been busy preparing for his upcoming Queensland Light Middleweight title fight under the guidance of Corporate Box Ipswich owner and trainer Kurtis Pegoraro (right). Ben Wilmott

NOT too long ago a 120kg Zac Bennett might have felt out of place showing off his moves at Brisbane's The MET nightclub.

But after an incredible transformation, a much slimmer Bennett will line-up against Adrian Rodriguez next Saturday night to fight for the Queensland Light Middleweight boxing title.

One of the first members to join the Corporate Box Ipswich gym, Bennett said it was a desire to shed the kilos which got him into the ring.

"I helped lay the mats out when they first opened here,” Bennett said. "I was about 122 kilograms and just did it for weight loss to begin with. I had about five or six mixed martial arts fights and then decided to come over to boxing.”

Now with half a dozen boxing bouts to his name, Bennett has been enjoying his time in the ring.

With a new-found energy discovered through hours of hard training, trying to keep up with a young family at home has never been easier.

"Happy wife and happy kids,” Bennett grinned. "Just being able to get around easier and do a lot with the kids doesn't hold me back anymore.

"I guess I started like everyone else thinking I wouldn't mind trying to compete and then I just got the bug. I don't really care win, lose or draw as long as it's a good fight. I'm just happy being there and giving it a go.”

Now firmly focused on a career in boxing, the 77kg Silkstone resident said it was past demons which spurred him on.

"I struggled a bit at school with bullying and I was always in fights but wasn't doing very well in them,” he laughed. "I used to train with Adrian in MMA and when he started he was a bigger guy wanting to get fit too.”

Under the guidance of gym owner and trainer Kurtis Pegoraro, Bennett felt confident in his new skills despite the challenge of changing disciplines.

"Honestly MMA was a walk in the park compared to boxing,” he said. "It's a hard sport to adjust to because you really have to be good at punching and not getting punched.

"In MMA you can be a happy medium of everything and kind of get away with not being the best at one thing. But in boxing if you aren't doing well with your hands you're in a fair bit of trouble.”

Doors open at 5pm for the Worlds Collide 4 event on Saturday, October 1.

Topics:  corporate box ipswich, kurtis pegoraro, middleweight title, zac bennett

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