Have title as a pugilist, Mulivai will travel for action

VERSATILE: Dane Mulivai prepares to fight for the Australian K1 middleweight title.
VERSATILE: Dane Mulivai prepares to fight for the Australian K1 middleweight title. Claudia Baxter

MIXED martial arts, jiu jitsu, muay thai or kickboxing.

You name it, one-time Commonwealth Games boxer Dane Mulivai will have a crack.

Mulivai fights for the Australian middleweight K1 title in Sydney on Friday.

K1 is a kick-boxing organisation and it is Mulivai's recent record in MMA and muay thai that earned him the crack at a national title so early in his career.

He won his first MMA bout to become the number one challenger in Australia.

A fortnight ago at a Muay Thai fight in Logan, he knocked out the South Pacific champion, proving switching disciplines is no problem.

As such Mulivai heads to Sydney confident, despite never having fought in K1 before.

"Especially after my last muay thai fight," he said.

"I only threw two punches.

"I had to demonstrate I was able to use my legs."

His opponent that night, Nick "Nitro" Barnes, will attest to how well he managed.

Barnes didn't make it to the second round, floored by a right kick from Mulivai.

Mulivai nearly didn't make it this far either, so disillusioned was he following the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

He couldn't get suitable boxing fights for love nor money and was tempted to give the fight game away.

With wife and kids to look after, it seemed the sensible option.

But Mulivai's wife Susanna wouldn't rest knowing he had not fulfilled his potential.

"It's been hard," the Redbank Plains forklift driver said.

"My wife is the one who pushes me all the time to get out there and do my thing.

"The hours I have to spend away from home are hard but she's kept at me.

"Now I've got this chance, I'm going to bring the belt home for my kids to play with."

While a kickboxing national title is something to treasure, Mulivai hopes it can lead to something more.

"Hopefully it opens up a few doors for me," he said.

"There's a few people travelling from Melbourne and other states to watch."



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