FIGHT CLUB: Coach Dean Cribb (centre) with some  of the fighters from the Grafton Amateur Boxing Club getting ready for  the upcoming CRJC  Fight Night in December.
FIGHT CLUB: Coach Dean Cribb (centre) with some of the fighters from the Grafton Amateur Boxing Club getting ready for the upcoming CRJC Fight Night in December. Adam Hourigan

Boxing hooks the Clarence as Jones fires for first fight

BOXING: He gives up experience. He gives up height. He gives up weight.

But for everything Waterview Heights' Brodie Jones gives up in his debut bout tonight he makes up for with heart.

The 19-year-old amateur fighter has been training under Dean Cribb at the Grafton Amateur Boxing Club at the Grafton Showground for the past five months in what has been a resurgence of the sport in the Clarence Valley.

Now Jones steps up to the biggest moment of his amateur boxing career so far with a debut bout on the Kingscliff Boxing Stables' Professional Fight Night at the Cudgen Leagues Club.

Cribb has been drilling techniques into his student and teaching his own tactic of "controlled aggression” to ensure Jones can maintain composure and fitness across the three-round fight.

Brodie Jones gets in some tough training on the bag in preparing for his first boxing match in Cudgen on Saturday night.
Brodie Jones gets in some tough training on the bag in preparing for his first boxing match in Cudgen on Saturday night. Adam Hourigan

Cribb said one of the biggest issues for young fighters in their debut bouts was the "fight or flight instinct” and the "fear of getting punched”.

"Stepping in to the ring for Brodie, up against a guy who has had about 60 muay thai fights in his life, to get in the ring against that experience is a big step,” Cribb said.

"I gave Brodie the option to back out of the fight, I told him we can give it away but he won't do it because his heart is just too big for it.

"Brodie has progressed gradually and over the last couple of weeks he has just exploded. He has really only just released his hands in the last couple of days.”

Cribb said while Jones' bullet-like fists would come into play during the three-round bout, it was his work on the defensive side that would pull the fight in his favour and ultimately win it.

"I have confidence that he has the power in both of his hands that the fight will not last the full time,” Cribb said.

It was not smooth sailing for Jones heading into the fight as his opponent was originally booked as having limited experience in the ring. That was until they found evidence of five kickboxing fights and a veteran career in the martial art of muay thai.

The experienced Grafton trainer felt like the fight promoters attempted to pull the wool over his eyes and as a result has given his fighter one objective in the bout.

"The plan is this bloke is going to be destroyed as far as I am concerned, because it is just not right what they have done,” Cribb said.

Jones is just one of 12 active fighters out of the Grafton Amateur Boxing Club in what has been a minor renaissance for boxing in the Clarence.

Cribb will be looking to continue the resurgence when he hosts the first fight night in the Clarence Valley in more than five years at the Clarence River Jockey Club on December 17.

The fight night is expected to host about 30 individual bouts from the afternoon into the night and will be highlighted by a Battle of the River feature fight between South Grafton Rebels' hooker Rhys Walters and Grafton Ghosts' utility Josh Nagle.

"I want to bring boxing back to Grafton, simple as that,” Cribb said.

"I said when I became the lead trainer here I would bring the sport back to Grafton and that is what I am achieving with this.”

The fight night will also be the swansong night for South Grafton boxer Eddie De Bono as he returns to the ring for his final bout.

"Getting the football players on the card will hopefully bring more of the community out,” he said. "I will be organising a perpetual shield as well that the boys from the two footy clubs can come back and fight for each year.”

Cribb said preparations were already in place for a series of fight nights next year with the coach expecting to host about five.



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