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The Boxing Hall of Fame Dinner 29th July 2006

bob at bhof
As we made our way into the dinner night I noticed the auditorium set out in a very nice classic style that befitted the night that was to be.

All of the boxers were together outside the main dinning room. We slowly looked at each other and acknowledged that this night was ours.

All of the hard hours, all the days, all the weeks and all the gut busting years spent in the boxing gym chiseling away preparing our body and minds to be ready for battle. Only a boxer can understand how tough this is, but there are no complaints from this guy. I chose my path and I know the other gladiators feel the same. We are in control of our destiny.

This is our night to be honoured by the fans and respect will be given and taken with appreciation. Just as we all where making our way into the dining room we all had a last minute adjustment to our ties and suits. It was fantastic to see us all with smiles from ear to ear.

We made our way to our allocated tables and we introduced ourselves to the general public that were seated at our tables. All of the boxers were shared out amongst the public. I could see there was a boxer at each table. I thought this was a fantastic idea. This way the public could dine with us and ask questions.

I had the privilege to be seated with Julian Holland (The Fighting Farrier), Robbie Peden (The Bomber) and our special guests that treated us with the utmost respect all night.

Our MC for the night the legendary Paul Upham who writes for seconds out.com and who also commentates on Fox fight night. He made special mention of all of the boxers who attended and the public who gave their support.

Awards were given to many boxers for their achievement and contribution over the years. While these boxers were called onto the stage to collect their award, fight clips were shown on a huge screen so the guests could see these legends in action, then the boxer was given the opportunity to have a few words.

I really enjoyed listening to the boxers who were of the older generation. They had a unique way of speaking with respect, courtesy and a humour that only these diggers knew how to express. As they talked of their experience and journey their smiles told the story more than just the words. I wish I could repeat what they had to say but it would not have the same impact. These were their personal experiences.

A personal favorite boxer of mine was called to the stage. The fans knew of the great toughness this man showed many times, but who could forget the epic battle he had with another gladiator from Australia called Lester Ellis, The man I refer to is Barry Michael. He was welcomed to the stage with great applause. Barry made his way to the stage with cheers from the crowd. His smile was gleaming from ear to ear and rightfully so.

More boxers were introduced and appreciated by the audience, then we had a break. Dinner was served and thoroughly enjoyed by all. There were also a lot of boxing and sporting memorabilia around the room and people took the opportunity to look and or purchase these.

Next up was a feature part of the night a guest who we all had great respect and admiration. It was none other than the legendary Kostya Tzsu. He was welcomed to the stage by another legend Gus Mercurio. All gave a standing ovation to Kostya and rightfully so.

Great fight footage was shown on the big screen while we heard Kostya talk in his unique stylish way that the Australian public has been accustomed to. I never get tired of listening to Kostya talk whether it is boxing or life in general. Kostya showed great humour while talking about his career as boxing is littered with unique people; the experiences he described were interesting and very entertaining to listen to.

One thing I personally love about Kostya is this, I remember a few years ago when Kostya was being interviewed by a journalist, he was asked, "what are your strengths in the ring", the journalist I think was referring to his physical strength as in punches, Kostya's reply was "My Mind" what a sensational statement made by Kostya and how true it is with this great warrior of the boxing ring.

After a lengthy talk, enjoyed by all, Kostya left the stage to a roaring applause which brought a huge smile to Kostya's face.boxing hall of fame dinner 2006

Next, a classic rock and roll band came out on stage and began to play some music from yesteryear. Watching all who got up to dance to this great music was an excellent sight. There was no hip hop or doosh doosh music here, not that there is anything wrong with that but on this night it was all style.

All the boxers spent a lot of the later night signing autographs and getting photos taken with fans and each other. After the night ended around 1am, many people went downstairs and continued their night, I was one of them. After saying goodbye to all, I got into the car with my mate Ante and headed straight to the centre of Melbourne for a classic kebab.

I have heard that those who don’t meet someone on a night out go and have a kebab.

All in all it was a fantastic night.  I was honoured to be a guest and be part of this night. I would like to thank all who came and supported our night. Also, thank you to the boxers who were there and of course a special thank you to the organizers of the night.

Just remember Keep your chin up, ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS, to all the beautiful ladies who attended and gave great colour to our evening you all are and were A KNOCKOUT!

 

 

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boxing hall of fame dinner 2006