Murbah Mauler ready to let rip

Mick McAndrew strives to place a straight left between Elliott Balk’s gloves during a spar at Balk’s South Tweed Heads gym on Wednesday. McAndrew headlines Stuart Stone’s fight card at Condong tonight. Photo: John Gass TWE030712boxing1
Mick McAndrew strives to place a straight left between Elliott Balk’s gloves during a spar at Balk’s South Tweed Heads gym on Wednesday. McAndrew headlines Stuart Stone’s fight card at Condong tonight. Photo: John Gass TWE030712boxing1 John Gass Tweboxing

MICK McAndrew's body ripples with muscles but he's no body-builder.

In fact, the Murwillumbah boxer, who fights under the fearsome nickname of the "Murbah Mauler", with good cause, prides himself on disassembling bodies, not building them.

The 30-year-old has a ripping old time in the ring, ripping lefts and rights into the body to weaken an opponent.

McAndrew, who headlines the State of Origin amateur boxing card tonight at the "House of Stoush", Condong Bowling Club, is a firm believer in a quote taught him by his trainer and the man who promotes tonight's program, Stuart Stone.

"Stuart has always stressed to me 'kill the body and the head falls'.

"I know he's no William Shakespeare but Stu's words of wisdom are pearls to me as a boxer," McAndrew said.

"Down the years he has instilled in me that victory in a boxing ring comes from working on an opponent's body, weakening him, bringing down his hands and leaving open clear shots to the head as he grows tired.

"Sure you can whack in a head-shot early in a fight and get lucky and knock an opponent out but that doesn't happen too often.

"It worked for me in my first career and it is doing so now," he said.

That "first career" was prior to 2005, when McAndrew, while also under Stone's tutelage, stepped into the ring on 10 occasions and had his hand raised in victory in eight of the bouts.

He dislocated a shoulder soon after and despite treatment couldn't overcome the problem in the short term so decided to hang up the gloves.

But Father Time healed the injury and that knowledge, plus the fact that his weight had ballooned, lured him back into the boxing training.

"I put on a lot of pudding and badly needed to exercise and what better exercise then getting along to Stuart's boxing gym," McAndrew said.

"The weight started peeling off and I really enjoying the training and mixing with fighters again, so when Stuart put on a (boxing) card late last year, we talked it over and we decided that I was fit enough to have a fight."

McAndrew had two warm-up bouts, in which most ringsiders thought he was a bit stiff in not getting close decisions, but as he prepared for his third bout back he and his trainer knew that the timing of his punches had returned and he was 'match fit'.

The Murbah Mauler lived up to his nickname in a Stone promotion at Condong on May 19, when he won another close points decision over Kempsey's Jayden Dempsey to claim the North Coast light middleweight belt.

The fight was a thriller from first bell to last, with both fighters standing toe-to-toe to stand and deliver every punch in the book.

However, it was McAndrew's body punching, especially his right rip, which carried the day, as Dempsey weakened in the fourth round under the barrage of body blows.

Tonight's main event against Caloundra's James "Cool Hand" Chapman promises to be another bout worthy of a coin shower when the referee calls "halt".

Chapman, who has been beaten just once in nine starts, has a reputation as a heavy puncher with a mean streak.

Stone has done a terrific job in organising what will once again be a well-matched program of bouts.

"There'll be at least 12 fights but if things work out there could be another two or three on the program," Stone said.

"I'm hopeful of giving debuts to four of five of the young blokes who train with me at Murwillumbah Boxing Club.

"They're as keen as mustard to get into the ring and see how they can perform.

"I'll more than likely glove them up and give them a couple of one-and-a-half-minute rounds just to give them some experience."

The cost for tonight's boxing is $12. Doors open at 6pm and the first gong sounds at 7pm.

Topics:  boxing, house of stoush, mick mcandrew



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