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World title shot

Thursday, 1st February, 2018

Darrell North in training at the ESTR gym. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan Darrell North in training at the ESTR gym. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

Broken Hill boxer Darrell North is gearing up for the biggest fight of his boxing career when he challenges for the Masters Boxing World Title in Queensland next week.

North has previously won the South Australian, New South Wales and Queensland titles and will look to add the World title to his growing belt collection when he faces Kiwi Nemmy Hia in Caloundra on February 10.

He said preparation for the fight was going to plan even though Broken Hill wasn’t the best place to train for a fight.

“Training is going pretty good,” North said.

“I’m doing a lot of swimming, lots of cardio as well as a lot of bag work. There isn’t a lot of sparring going on in town so I have to compensate with other things.

“There is no sparring in this town which is unfortunate and if there is then I haven’t been told about it.”

North was originally meant to fight Australian title holder Mark Kleynjan but an injury to Kleynjan opened up the opportunity to fight for the world title belt.

“The world title fight actually came about because Mark Kleynjan, who’s the Australian title holder, has been avoiding me for about 18 months,” North said.

“But then this promoter up in Queensland said that Mark wants to challenge for a world title... and so Mark and I were all ready for it.

“Unfortunately about a fortnight ago an injury happened to Mark and so they’ve replaced him in the fight.”

Kleynjan’s replacement Hia recently defended his world title two months ago by way of a third-round stoppage.

North admits that he doesn’t know a lot about his new opponent but is sure about one thing.

“I haven’t met a Kiwi that can’t fight!” he said.

“On the same night that Nemmy defended the world title, his wife won the women’s title so they can definitely fight but other than that I don’t know a lot about him and that could be a good thing.”

Earlier in his life, North competed as an amateur and pro boxer with over 30 pro fights and said he’s faced New Zealanders before and things didn’t go too well.

“I won my first six pro fights and my seventh was against a New Zealander who knocked me out and I’m still looking for the punch,” North joked.

“I then had another few fights before I fought another Kiwi and he broke my jaw!

“It’s a funny sort of pattern.”

Having taken up boxing again a few years ago after learning of the masters’ circuit, this will be North’s biggest fight of his amateur, pro or masters’ career.

“I’ve had a lot of pro fights and fought for titles in the pros but this is my biggest fight,” North admitted.

“I’ve got full support of my wife and family which is a blessing and I just can’t wait.

“After the fight I’ll be back to reality again with all the bumps and bruises.”

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