Shaping up: Primed for tomorrow night’s Cudgen Leagues Club boxing card are pugilists Craig Field, Ricky Irwin, Tommy Strain and Casey Irwin.
Shaping up: Primed for tomorrow night’s Cudgen Leagues Club boxing card are pugilists Craig Field, Ricky Irwin, Tommy Strain and Casey Irwin. Crystal Spencer

Rocky seeks revenge against champ

LAST time Tommy “Gun” Strain and Ricky “Rocky” Irwin went toe to toe it could only be described as a war.

The pair went the distance, round for round, blow for blow at Condong Bowls Club in March, with North Coast champion Strain awarded the split decision.

Hence expectation is mounting ahead of tomorrow night’s light welterweight (64kg) rematch at Cudgen Leagues Club.

“It should be a great exhibition between two well-matched fighters,” Irwin said.

“A top quality, fast and ferocious contest.

“We’ve fought many of the same guys and recorded similar results so it should be another great bout.”

In front of a vocal home crowd, Irwin (10 wins, 15 losses), who earned his nickname from the Queensland Boxing hierarchy for fighting whoever, whenever and always giving them a torrid contest, will no doubt be at his finest.

The 21-year-old Australian title challenger has been in there with the best and on his day is more than capable of squaring the ledger against his younger opponent.

However, 18-year-old Strain (14-9) is enjoying a tremendous run of form.

Victorious in four of his last five bouts, the “Gun”, who completed his build-up with a 14-round sparring session last Saturday, is looking to unload on his more rangy opponent.

“I’m looking forward to getting in the ring with Ricky again and hopefully getting another ‘w’ (win),” Strain said.

“We’re well-matched and confident of putting on a good show in front of the local crowd.”

In an equally exciting bout, Lismore’s Australian title silver medallist Billy “The Kid” Robinson is against Ballina’s Warren Cootes at 75kg.

The rangy Cootes has wins over current Tweed professionals Trevor Jacky and Casey Hannan and has been more active than hard-punching southpaw Robinson, making for another classy encounter.

Also on the 12-fight card is a women’s contest featuring 2008 Golden Gloves runner-up Kasey Irwin (Ricky’s sister) and Gracey Bancroft, and an exhibition between local rugby league firebrands Craig Field and Daniel Woods.

“Half of Kingscliff is coming,” said local trainer and event organiser Bobby Irwin.

“Ticket sales have been amazing and I’m expecting a sell-out (350 people).”

Other Tweed boxers appearing include Stingrays’ Richard Burns, Cudgen’s Adam Palmer and Aaron Cootes and Murwillumbah’s Darcey LeJuge and Ian Konrads.

Tickets cost just $15 per adult and $5 per child and are available pre-sale at Cudgen Leagues Club and at the door, with priority seating given to pre-sale.



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