Cut throat straight razors and 16oz boxing gloves don't mix, but for Michael Sinclair, they work in tandem to teach him focus and how to keep calm under high pressure, especially in the boxing ring.
The Elite Cuts Barber Shop and Shaving Emporium owner and Cut Throat Boxing coach and Masters cruiserweight competitor, reached forth, his hands resting on the white rope surrounding the boxing ring in the corner of his studio in Millingandi.
Double end bags for rhythm, timing and accuracy; heavy bags for powerful punching sequences; speed bags for hand-eye coordination, punching pace and agility; and strength and conditioning equipment are used to develop Far South Coast athletes and residents.
Posters of greats hung in frames on the wall - Ali, Tyson, Tszyu, a reminder to each competitor who enters the ring to keep contending, exchanging blows, and dripping with sweat until the bell rings.
"You've got Muhammad Ali looking at you [on the wall], and you go, 'It's not too bad, not that hard, I can do it,' and there's no cheating when you have a clock that size up there," Sinclair said, the interval timer locked in to replicate the settings of his next boxing bout.
At 8pm on Friday, November 3, within Lonestar Tavern on the Gold Coast, 32-year-old Sinclair, standing at 185cm and weighing 87.5kg, will take to the red corner of the ring, gloves at the ready, and eyes locked on his competitor in blue, Queensland's Timothy Uasi Fononga.
Dylan Fletcher from Eden, who has trained alongside Sinclair, will also be competing in the Masters Boxing Australia (MBA) tournament for the title of 'Golden Gloves'.
"[There will be] three two-minute rounds and it's over two days, it's a knockout tournament. Basically, [if] you win the first day, you move onto the finals, if you don't win, you're out," Sinclair said.
With four people per weight division, the winner receives a belt.
"[I've] surprisingly not [won many belts], I've had a bit of a hiatus from competing, myself, getting this [business] up and going, [and] I last competed in 2019, and this was kind of born out of that."
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Sinclair began fighting more than a decade ago, and said he still remembered his first fight, how it was nerve-wracking due to the fear of the unknown, but positive since he won.
"As I moved down the coast, there was no Muay Thai that was around, so if I wanted to keep competing in combat sports, boxing was my option, so that's how I got into boxing," Sinclair said with a laugh.
"I think I actually started training with Darrell [Interstate Challenger Title Belt winner from Bega], when I moved down here, and got into training through that."
Cut Throat Boxing caters from beginners, those who want to gain new skills and participate in a sport to keep active, up to people who want to compete.
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