McKean forced to think inside the box
MANY have tried to resurrect regular boxing nights in Ipswich but none have succeeded.
But none have had a venue to call on like the Ipswich Civic Centre.
And with 75 percent of tickets sold, the Corporate Combat fight night on Friday, November 13, could become a regular occurrence.
With 18 fights planned and a distinct Ipswich versus Brisbane feel about the card, organisers hope to set a successful precedent.
Topping the bill is Ipswich product Demsey McKean, who will battle the Alex Leapai-trained Danny Rio.
Former jiujitsu state champ and Mixed Martial Arts fighter McKean has turned his attention purely to boxing for the past 12 months and has a state title in his sights next year.
"I want to put on a good show for Ipswich and get a Queensland title fight lined up next year," the former WestMAC student said.
This will be McKean's fourth fight since turning professional.
He has won them all and believes he is only getting better as he focuses exclusively on boxing.
McKean is one of an increasing number of fighters who switch between disciplines depending largely on where the opportunities lie.
"Definitely you get better if you just focus on one discipline," the towering heavyweight said.
"But I've got the love for all forms, so I don't think I'll focus on any one just yet.
"Boxing is good because there's not as many injuries and the money is good."
Helping get McKean up to speed has been sparring sessions with former Aussie heavyweight champ Hunter Sam.
"When I made my professional boxing debut I was training one day a week for boxing.
"Now it's six days a week. My technique has improved 10-fold.
"Sparring with Hunter has been a good confidence boost as well. I'm fast for a heavyweight and technical.
"I'm not a big power puncher.
"Hunter said he didn't know why I don't continue on boxing and aim for an Australian title and make my way in the game."
It was circumstance rather than choice however, which led the 25-year-old away from MMA.
"I lost my driver's licence at the end of last year," he said.
"So I couldn't drive to training at Springwood.
"I had to rely on boxing and Muay Thai. Some kickboxing fights fell through and I found boxing opponents easier to find."
It will be Rio's first professional fight, but McKean won't take him lightly.
He knows if any of former world heavyweight title contender Leapai's influence has rubbed off, Rio will be powerful, resilient and will possess a knock out punch.
So McKean will use his reach to try and out point his opponent.
"I know he's well trained," McKean said.
"You can't underestimate anyone."
- Age: 25 Height: 197cm Weight: 105kg
- Pro-record: 3 fights, three wins, 0 knockouts
- Lives: Churchill
- Occupation: Forklift driver