Retirement no barrier for eye of the Spider

PUMPED: Spider (left) trains for the Masters Boxing Championship. Alongside him is Justin Barton, the state kickboxing champion. Photo: Toby Vue.

PUMPED: Spider (left) trains for the Masters Boxing Championship. Alongside him is Justin Barton, the state kickboxing champion. Photo: Toby Vue.

After 16 years in retirement, former professional boxer Spider is set for his first fight at Blacktown PCYC on Friday, February 17.

Spider, 43, will fight Paul Covi, the current Australian 81kg Australia Masters champion, at the NSW Masters Boxing championship—a selection event to represent Australia at international boxing events, including the International Boxing Association World Championships, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.

Never retired from training

Spider has been training himself at Robbo’s Gym in the lead up to the fight. “I’ve trained all my life, I’ve never stopped training. I’ve always maintained some conditioning and I still come in here [Robbo’s Gym],” he said.

Asked about the impetus for coming out of retirement, he said the motivation was reignited.

“I only stopped because I trashed my hands, but they started feeling better so I thought I’d give it a go. And because it’s the Masters, I thought I’d probably have a half-decent chance at it. The ultimate goal is to get to the Australian Masters Titles in 2018.”

Spider has been training twice a day. At 4am, he does cardio, strength and conditioning; then at 5pm, it’s one hour of boxing.

One fight not enough

For Spider, one fight in eight days is not enough. Besides the Masters fight, he will also line up against the Ringside 75kg World Champion on Saturday, February 25 in Deewhy, Sydney.  He will then take three weeks off before another bout in Cowra.

“So I’ll try to stay as active as possible,” he said.

Finally, in April, he is set to travel north of the border for a fight at the Queensland Masters Titles.

Style based on ‘a legend’

Spider describes his boxing style, while inspired by former professional boxer Prince Naseem in the UK, is one that is uniquely his and developed naturally over time.

“It’s very elusive and defensive. I’m an in-your-face walk-up fighter. If you’re not throwing anything, I’ll just keep coming at you. But if you’re coming at me, I’ll duck and weave. It’s kind of like British professional boxer Prince Naseem. Obviously never to his level, he is a legend,” he said. Spider believes his style will overcome that of Paul Covi’s.

The NSW Masters Boxing championship fight featuring Spider will start at 6.00pm. Spider thanks Antony Jukic at Alliance Building Group and Peter Angelos at ACN Electrical for their assistance with his boxing goals.

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