April 1st, 2023In the ring at Wombat Fight Club
AS A a paramedic, Baydon Beddoe says he picks up the injured by ambulance. As a boxer, he says, he knocks ‘em down.
Now he’s up for a state title that could lead to a national championship. And all this after surviving bowel cancer.
A father of girls aged five and eight, 46-year-old Baydon, of Miners Rest, is training at his father Denis’s boxing club in Wombat Dam Road, Daylesford, for the State Masters Championship today Saturday,
April 1. And if 76-year-old Denis passes a fitness test he will also box in an exhibition.
Baydon will be fighting for a trophy he’s never won, a championship
belt, and coincidentally it’s against a boxer who beat Baydon 23 years ago in Baydon’s first professional bout.
That was seven years after Baydon started training, representing Victoria in the Nipper class in 2000, later competing in Olympic trials on the Gold Coast and twice in the Australian Masters event before Covid hit.
In that time, he’s moved through weights such as welter in 2000, light-heavy 19 years later and is now an 86-kilo cruiserweight. “You get heavier as you get older,” he says.
Cancer hit him in 2014-15 but looking at the fighter in the ring sparring with his father that’s hard to believe. “This year’s a bit of redemption,” says Baydon.
He’s been training daily since January, running half an hour in the morning and then spending up to 90 minutes on a punching bag, working on his footwork, getting ready for the four two-minute rounds.
Baydon thumps a speedball, rhythmically hitting it with one hand, then both. Then he picks up a big stuffed strike shield used for injury- free sparring.
Nearby is the Wombat Fight Club’s motto for sparring: “Only hit as hard as you want to be hit.” “Men fight in the ring, dogs fight in the street,” says another big sign.
Baydon has more one-liners: “Some think defence is the thing that goes around the yard.” “One boxer thought he’d won a title, but the only one he has is for his house.”
And a parting zinger: “There are three sorts of fighters, orthodox, southpaw and piss-poor.” Being only one of these, I make a retreat.
Words: Kevin Childs | Images: Kyle Barnes