Locked in the ring with 'The Machine'
THE only regret Ipswich MMA fighter turned boxer, Demsey McKean has is not making the switch sooner.
After just over a year competing, McKean last month won the Queensland heavyweight title.
His second win over opponent Anthony Fowler at the Mansfield Tavern earned McKean the title and his fifth straight win in the ring.
The former MMA fighter, nicknamed 'The Machine', said the transition into boxing had been a quick one.
"I took my first (boxing) fight on a days notice," he said.
"I had been doing MMA for a number of years when this fight came about.
"Since then I have fallen in love with boxing."
With a towering six- foot-six frame, McKean said his height had proved a welcome advantage against his opponents.
"Because of my height I was having problems with injuries to my back and joints at training," he said.
"In MMA with my height and reach, a lot of guys would take me to the mat.
"Now I can just unleash around the ring and use my height to advantage."
The 25-year-old said his future as a fighter was part of his decision to take up the sport.
"I had to think of the longevity (of my career) and how long I can stay in it," he said.
"You don't see boxers hit their peak in mid 30's so feel like I have plenty of years in me.
"I've become quite addicted to it. The money is better and I don't get the injuries. I do miss the kicking and elbowing, but I seem to be enjoying it and doing well so far."
The North Ipswich resident is confident he can match it with the 'big boys' of the heavyweight class.
"I'm not the biggest at 109kg," he said.
"My advantage is not getting hit much. My reach and height makes it hard to hit me as long as my footwork is good.
"My speed technique and footwork helps in my style of fighting.
"From watching my videos, the feedback from some big promoters is that they are pretty rapt."
McKean has been training at the Corporate Box Gym in Ipswich where he and sparring partner Herman Purcell are preparing for their next fights.
"Herman recently fought Paul Gallen and is now preparing for a fight in New Zealand," he said.
"He's got good style and a lot of power.
"I've got a couple of training partners and my manager Kurtis has been a big supporter of mine since I turned to boxing."
The recent title fight was McKean's second career knock-out win which he credited to a focused approach to training.
"After every fight I feel more confident and that I am improving," he said.
"The prep and training was great, I felt sharp as ever and had a lot of confidence going into the fight.
"Things are going to change (in a fight) but it is always good to go in with a plan as long as you keep cool headed."
With an eight-man boxing tournament in Melbourne next Friday, McKean said he would be ramping up the training.
"I'll need to change up the training a bit as this will be three fights in one night," he said. "To prepare I'll do a lot of fast-paced bag work, sprints on the treadmill and a lot of hard, fast sparring."
The tournament will be a last-man-standing event with $15,000 in prize money up for grabs.
McKean said he would be bringing a healthy contingent of Ipswich supporters with him to Melbourne for the fight.
"I'll have around 17 friends and family there with me," he said. "I am usually pretty good with the fans, I always get a good crowd along and I feel comfortable fighting in front of a crowd.
"It's a good chance to be able to travel and promote boxing in Ipswich."
His manager and owner of the Corporate Box Gym in Ipswich, Kurtis Pegoraro said McKean has a big future in boxing.
"I believe Demsey will be the Australian heavyweight champion," he said.
"I think it is only a matter of time."