Wright choices pave way for youth mentor’s comeback amid Goldfields expansion plans
Perth boxing coach Hayden Wright’s bid to expand to Kalgoorlie-Boulder in 2024 the successful programs he runs for at-risk youth in the metropolitan area’s southern suburbs will be preceded on Saturday night by his own professional comeback.
Wright, 37, fought 21 times as a heavyweight from 2015 to 2022 before hanging up the gloves to concentrate on his youth work.
However, a comeback victory on the Gold Coast in February was the catalyst to continue his boxing career this weekend at the Melbourne Pavilion against Ray Dimachki.
Wright this week said he was ramping up negotiations with key local stakeholders that he hoped would bring his youth programs to the Goldfields next year.
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It would ideally target 15 to 19-year-olds who “can be reached and mentored in positive ways through sports and (physical) activities”.
In the meantime, he lost 22kg in seven weeks while training twice a day in Perth with former world heavyweight champion Lucas Browne, who makes his own return to the ring on December 9 in Dubai.
Dimackhi has tallied seven wins, one loss and a draw in nine professional fights.
“I only found out a few days ago that he (Dimachki) also has nearly 30 wins as a kickboxer,” Wright said.
“But bugger him — I’m fit and the lightest weight I’ve been for any of my last five fights.
“I’ve really been training hard, although I did contemplate hanging up (the gloves).
“But if you want to do something, do it properly and they (Victorian boxing promoters) wanted me.
“And this (fighting at the Melbourne Pavilion) is one of the biggest stages you can get.”
Wright said he had left nothing to chance in training.
“I’ve fought a lot of guys with Muay Thai experience before and the confidence I’m getting from sparring with Lucas every day, at my age and my level, is really encouraging,” he said.
“I’m ready for it and as far as (preparations), there’s really not much more I can do.”
Wright heads Yangebup Boxing Club to provide free community boxing classes for the area’s youth, and runs similar sessions at the nearby Cockburn Youth Centre.
He was recognised in August for his youth mentoring as a finalist at the 7NEWS Local Champions Awards.
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