Dudley boxes on
By ADAM HICKS email@example.com WHEN the boxers are bloodied and battered and the final bell sounds, Dudley Weir is there. During his 20 years as president with Boxing Far North Coast Inc, Weir has been ringside at nearly every Amateur Boxing Association tournament.
"I'm in the game for the game, not for honour and glory," he said.
"I get my kick out of sitting at ringside and when they come out and get beat, and I say, 'Is that the best you could do?' and they say, 'I gave it my hardest', then I say, 'Mate, you've done a bloody good job'."
Weir first became involved in Boxing Far North Coast Inc 49 years ago after losing a leg from a bicycle accident and subsequent medical bungle.
"I wasn't able to do it (fight) myself and when I got the opportunity I took on the boxing paperwork to give my brain a work-out otherwise I was just sitting on my bum doing nothing," he said.
"I travel from Tweed to Taree and from Grafton to Guyra to Armidale to Glenn Innes.
"We've got 18 tournaments a year so I'm not home too many weekends.
"At the start I weigh-in all the boys and then I match them and do all the paperwork then I sit ringside and fill in medical books and time-keep."
Boxing Far North Coast Inc publicity officer Ken McPherson said Weir's dedication was the backbone of the group.
"He has held the association together through some very tough times. These included the breakaway of a great number of Queensland clubs from the Queensland Amateur Boxing Association to join the Global Boxing movement," McPherson said.
"Another setback was the raising of the minimum age for amateur boxers to 14 to compete in NSW.
"This followed on from the earlier depletion of the boxing association ranks by the formation of the Amateur Boxing League which resulted in the loss of many entire clubs.
"Mr Weir has not enjoyed very good health throughout this time. Nevertheless, he has been there through thick and thin."
Weir said it was a team effort.
"It's not only me, there's a few of us," he said.
"We've had our ebb times and we've had our high times as well."
Weir said one of the biggest disappointments about the sport was the age limits on NSW boxers.
"Bureaucracy has gone mad as far as boxing is concerned," he said.
"We've got boys with 25 fights going against Queenslanders with 125 fights.
"We're losing boxers because boys can't fight in NSW until they're 14 so they go to other States where they can box.
"And when they go to Australian titles they're not recognised as NSW boxers."
Another concern is the attitude of some trainers.
"The only thing I'd say about boxing is there's not the camaraderie in it amongst the trainers as there was 10 years ago," he said.
"There's a new breed of trainer coming in; a lot younger and (they) haven't got the experience. Some of them are there to put boys in fights whether they're going to get a flogging or going to win.
"They don't mix with everybody and anybody, not like it used to be where they'd go down and have a yarn with the boxers who would do their darndest to win, then everybody would be mates afterward.
"Nowadays if they don't get the judges nod, they challenge the decision. There's a mentality of win at all costs."
Mr Weir was re-elected unopposed as president of boxing Far North Coast at the AGM held recently at the Grafton City Services Club. , Boxing Awards:
Luke Hannah of Grafton was awarded Best Senior Boxer. Daniel Sims of Casino was voted Most Improved Senior. Grafton Boxer Warren Cootes took out the awards fro Best Junior and Most Improved Junior.
Best sub-junior was awarded to Ky McKenzie of Tamworth. Timacoy Williams of Ballina picked up the Most Improved sub-junior title.
The Trevan Cup, awarded to the club with the largest number of wins for the year was won by Dorrigo Boxing Club. The previous year it was held by Tamworth PCYC.
Prior to that the trophy was held by Maloney's Glove Club of Lismore for 10 years out of 15.
During the time leading up to ascendancy of Arthur Maloney and his Glove Club, the trophy was held by the Casino and District Club, becoming the Casino RSM Youth Club, for a record of 14 years mostly under the leader ship of trainer Ray Perry.