Boxing Geraldton mayor Van Styn prepared for Fists of Fury

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Shane Van Styn.
Camera IconShane Van Styn. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian, Reuben Carder

When City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn steps into the ring on Saturday night, little will be known about his boxing opponent.

But the Fists of Fury 2: Maximum Impact event’s promoter hopes the 13-fight card, featuring nine boxing matches, two Muay Thai bouts and two mixed martial arts fights, will put the city on the global fight map.

In true martial arts style there will be pride on the line and some epic journeys undertaken to settle the beef, with fighters from across WA and other countries heading into town to face a strong local contingent.

Mr Van Styn said he had no idea of the qualities of Tomoana Wijohn — the man he’ll be facing and his third scheduled opponent after two previous fighters withdrew — and hadn’t even heard of him before two days ago.

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“That’s a good question,” he said.

“Coach has dropped that on me only last night.”

Promoter Paul Barrett, Mr Van Styn’s coach, says one thing is for sure — he expects the heavyweight charity feature to be spectacular.

Shane Van Styn mixes it with boxing coach and promoter Paul Barrett.
Camera IconShane Van Styn mixes it with boxing coach and promoter Paul Barrett. Credit: Picture:, Peter Sweeney, The Geraldton Guardian

He said he believed the MMA and women’s Muay Thai fights would also be Geraldton’s first, and said the team from Pacific MMA team in Kalgoorlie, the gym Mr Wijohn fights out of, will be in town to settle some scores.

With international live streams of the event available and fighters from Ireland and the Philippines in action, Barrett said he expected the event to blow up on international pay per view.

“They’re big giants and they’re going to run to the centre of the ring and try to knock the other out,” Barrett said.

“He (Wijohn) comes from a big boxing family.

“You’ll notice on the night the surname will be quite common among the competitors.

“They have an axe to grind with us.

“We’re all very good friends, but we went down there and came away with a knockout, and we’ve invited them up here and they’re coming up by the busload.

They’re not coming up here to lose, they want some good-natured revenge.

“Shane’s head is on the line with that.”

He said Mr Wijohn’s coach is his father-in-law, and those strong family connections meant he wouldn’t be going in under-prepared.

He said the match-up between Gabby Kelly and Kelly Crocos would also be “brilliant” and he expected both women to be making waves on the boxing scene in future.

Local rugby figure Feao “Eric” Ofa, who had to withdraw from the fight against Mr Van Styn at the last minute on medical advice following a knee injury in training, said he was sure the night would go off.

“I look forward to seeing it,” he said.

“I’ll be there with a couple of other boys as well.

“I’m expecting it’s going to be a big night.

I’m gutted I can’t do the fight but I’m pretty sure the new guy will deliver the goods.

Mr Van Styn’s first opponent, Troy “Death Row” Humberston, also dropped out.

Proceeds from the bout will go to disability organisation, Access to Leisure and Sport, or ATLAS.

ATLAS received $11,338 from the first Fists of Fury, which ran in 2018.

The event will run at Active-west Stadium in Geraldton from 5.30pm.

Pay-per-view streams are available through the Fists of Fury 2 page on Facebook.

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