Friends ready to cross fists at Ipswich Civic Centre
TWO friends will come face-to-face this Friday night for the fourth instalment of the Corporate Combat exhibition fight night.
Nicknamed 'The Sultan', Infinity Martial Arts head coach Shannan Landy will meet fellow mixed martial artist Huynh Nguyen for a straight boxing fight at the Ipswich Civic Centre.
Hosted by fellow local gym Corporate Box Ipswich, the experience fighter said he was looking forward to locking horns with an opponent who was all too familiar.
"We are friends on Facebook,” he laughed. "He's a really nice guy that I've known for a few years around the mixed martial arts circuit.
"There's a lot of smack talk that goes on in the professional fights but I don't get caught up in that. It's just business in the ring and then it's handshakes afterwards and probably a beer together.”
Six years working as an instructor in Ipswich before moving to their new base at Booval last year, Infinity Martial Arts has kept Landy in top shape despite his lack of experience in the ring.
"I'm predominantly a grappler,” Landy said. "My background is as a professional MMA fighter but I like to step out of my comfort zone and test myself.
"Boxing isn't really my staple but I just enjoy competing. I've been doing boxing for a years with the mixed martial arts but this will be my second actual fight since starting this year.”
Still learning the ropes, Landy said the Corporate Combat events provided the perfect chance to try his hand at the new sport.
"I'd never fought in Ipswich before so it's pretty cool to be able to jump into this,” he said. "I just enjoy having a home crowd there to back me up.
"I'm really enjoying it and I hope to continue next year.”
With his first child on the way in January, Landy will be taking a break from his new boxing exploits. Supported in his training by his partner Sarah, he said it was time to return the favour.
"She is really helpful with all my meal prep,” he said. "The primary focus at the moment is the fight and then after that it's all guns blazing waiting for the baby to come.
"Hopefully when he's old enough I can get back into training and continue soon.”
Preparing for his own return to the ring after claiming the Queensland Middleweight title last month, Corporate Box Ipswich owner Kurtis Pegoraro has been impressed by the success of the exhibition fights.
Hosting the first Corporate Combat event at the start of the year, Pegoraro said he hoped to build on the growing concept next year.
"It was always our goal and we'd done them before in Brisbane,” he said. "We were fairly confident but we weren't sure about of the demographic in Ipswich.
"I think if we didn't have the gym we have now we would struggle but it's gone well. We've got some ideas to make it bigger and get it out to more people outside Ipswich.”
The exhibition fights welcome competitors from a variety of gyms, but Pegoraro said they had proven a success in motivating his own members.
Given a chance to test themselves in the ring, the gym owner said he was yet to have a member regret putting their hand up and take on the challenge.
"It's sort of like a generic gym's 12-week challenge or something,” he said. "It's an extreme version but you get three months notice, and it gives people something to put their name down for and aim for.
"I've never had anyone that has done it and regretted it. They always come out positive and surprised at just how much they could do.”
Tickets are on sale through the Ipswich Civic Centre website or by contacting the Corporate Combat Facebook page.
Fights start from 7pm on Friday.
Jonathan Aiulu v Andy Robertson 5x2 69kg
Shannon Landy v Huynh Nguyen (FC) 63kg
Asher Wolff v Sam Sparks (Chermside boxing) 73kg
Rod Hooper v Owen Cox (Fight Center) thai 75kg
Jan Vonshank vs Alex Sorting (cbr) 65kg
Kimmi Masters v Kurt Darrough (Kingscliff) 75kg
Tba v Maxwell Armstrong (FC) 66kg
Joel Saran v Matt Ferguson (CBR) 95kg
Jevon v Hayden D'vrece (Chermside) 77kg
Jerry Walasunga v Burman Tassale (Logan Boxing)
Connor v John Robinson (Kingscliff) 71kg 17years*
Nathan Vander Hocking v Tom Cochran (thai) 90kgs
Ryan Smith v Lyrun Tuuai 85kg
Mitchel Farmer v Chris Lawrence 69kg