Denis wins bout to become nation’s best

Denis Cherry won the Australian Masters Title earlier this month at Caboolture. He is pictured with his grandchildren, Amilie,15, and Lachland, 8. Photo: Supplied
Denis Cherry won the Australian Masters Title earlier this month at Caboolture. He is pictured with his grandchildren, Amilie,15, and Lachland, 8. Photo: Supplied

THORNLANDS man Denis Cherry has beaten a younger man to become the nation’s best boxer for his age.

The 72-year-old won the Australian Masters Title earlier this month for competitors aged over 60 years, weighing between 64 and 69 kilograms.

Mr Cherry said he fought for less than 75 seconds before a technical knockout against his opponent was declared.

“I was overwhelmed – it surprised me,” he said.

His competitor, 70-year-old Rick Hammond from Melbourne, had beaten Mr Cherry twice before.

But defeat had only spurred the Thornlands boxer to train harder.

Mr Cherry said he had spent 15 hours every week preparing in the lead up to the bout, which was held at Caboolture RSL on June 2.

WINNER: Thornlands man Denis Cherry, 72, won the Australian Masters Title earlier this month after his bout against Melbourne man Rick Hammond. Photo: Supplied

WINNER: Thornlands man Denis Cherry, 72, won the Australian Masters Title earlier this month after his bout against Melbourne man Rick Hammond. Photo: Supplied

His fitness regime included morning gym workouts, swimming and other cardio exercises.

Boxing drills and sparring were also done daily under the guidance of champion boxer Graeme Prowse.

Mr Cherry said if he could become fitter at the age of 72, any other person could.

“There’s people my age in hospital, they have never had the feeling of anticipation and anxiety coming into a fight,” he said.

“I’ve got arthritis but I just push through. I’m the oldest registered amateur boxer in Australia.”

Mr Cherry began competitive boxing two years ago after dabbling in the sport for a decade.

He said he first put boxing gloves on as he recovered from cancer.

“I started working out on the bag and sparring and my first fight was two years ago,” he said.

Mr Cherry has also used boxing to raise money to help others.

About $30,000 was raised from ticket sales to the World Boxing Organisation’s Inter Continental Title in March, which included a charity fight between Mr Cherry and his trainer Graeme Prowse.

The money will be used to send Brisbane boy Sean Lynch to the USA for surgery to fix his legs, with more money to be raised.

Mr Cherry said a charity lunch, called Sean’s Legends Luncheon, had been organised for June 29 at East Leagues Club.

Tickets are $120 each and include a two course lunch, drinks and opportunity to meet an Australian sporting legend.

To buy tickets to the East Leagues Club event, visit here.