Friday, November 2, 2012
A boxer from The Colony has won two gold medals and two silvers in three different sports at the World Firefighters’ Games in Australia.
Lympstone Amateur Boxing Club’s Matt Mason, 36, of North Street, flew 10,500 miles with club founder Neil Parsons, intent on winning boxing gold at the second games in succession.
But when he got to Sydney he wanted to relax and decided to give other sports a go - and came away from the 10-day 70-sport festival with gold in the deep sea fishing and silver in the coarse fishing.
And, after joining old friends from Humberside and a group of South Africans, he added a silver in the dragon boat racing.
To win gold in the boxing Matt, boxing as a light middleweight, beat hard-as-nails Sebastian Drayton, from New Caledonia, on points.
Drayton came out fast, throwing big punches, but he moved and counter-punched his way back in to the bout.
He took over in the second round, forcing the tiring Drayton on to the back foot and to hold on for dear life by the third and final round.
The victory adds to Matt’s boxing medal collection from previous games; he won gold at light heavyweight in South Korea, silver at light middleweight in Canada and silver in Liverpool at middleweight.
Shane Bennett, who used to box for Lympstone ABC, won gold at 64kg, when he took a very tight decision against Nam Hyun Kim, of South Korea .
Matt said: “I just went into the fishing to relax before the boxing, so I was pleased when I got two medals out of it.
“The dragon boat racing was also last minute.
“I really enjoyed that.”
He added: “The boxing was tough; Sebastian was a well-schooled fighter and an experienced Thai boxer.
“I would like to keep boxing; I’m allowed to box until I’m 40.
“There is a masters tour so I have another four years left and Rob (Matt’s trainer) has already got some bouts lined up for me over the next few weeks.”