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Reeves’ hot form continues

It took Max Reeves longer to put his gloves on than it did to add another round-one knockout to his career sheet, flooring his opponent Robin Hazelman in 1.20 minutes at Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre in Wildfigther Round 10 on Saturday, October 15.

The Wildfighter arena turned dark as ring announcer Perry Cale stood at the centre of the fighting stage, introducing the fighter the guests had all been waiting for; “representing Stratford Victoria, this man is undefeated, ranked number 12 in Australia”.


Ticket holders faced the fighter’s entrance in anticipation, bellowing so loud the floor of the ring rumbled underneath one’s feet, and the ropes quivered as if they were jumping up and down with the eager crowd.

“Max hasn’t got his gloves on yet,” Cale whispered to the ring attendant, then to the referee and lastly, to Hazelman’s coach.

The crowd stood patiently, eyes glued for the fighter’s entrance.

With a nod from a member of Max’s team, it was all systems go.

Cale returned to centre stage, “give it up one more time, from Stratford Victoria, Mad Max Reeves”.

A second surge of deafening cheers filled the Wildfighter arena as the blond-haired, blue-eyed boxer appeared from the shadows, his hooded black silk robe with red trim hiding his face and hugging his broad shoulders.

Reeves made his way past the crowd to the ring, exclamations oscillating like a wave as he passed each section of guests.

Paul Carrol, Reeves coach and founder of RU Fit Gym, climbed the stairs to the ring, separating the middle ropes, stepping on the lower with one foot and wrenching the higher upward with his hands.

Slipping his hood off his head, Reeves ducked through the gap in the ropes as colourful lights flashed above, illuminating the ring in a kaleidoscope of colours.

Reeves bounced around gracefully in the ring, returning to his corner before removing his robe and revealing a lean, toned torso as the Round One sign was walked around the ring.

“Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the semi-main event of the evening; six-by-three-minute rounds, super middleweight division”, Cale announced, “when the action begins, the referee in charge is Mr Chris Anderson Senior”.

“To my left, fighting out of the red corner, representing the Uptown Funk Boxing Gym, official weight 75.05 kilograms, standing 5’8 inches tall; he has a professional record of 13 fights, five wins, one draw and four by way of knockout; representing Fiji, fighting out of Shabu Shabu, please welcome the Lionheart Robin Hazelman.

“The opponent to my right, fighting out of the blue corner, trained by Paul ‘Turk’ Carrol from Eastside Boxing Gym; official weight 76.1 kilograms, standing 185-centimetres tall. This man is undefeated, six fights, five wins, one draw, four by way of knockout, ranked number 12 in Australia; representing Stratford Victoria, this is Mad Max Reeves.”

The arena was once again inundated with ear-splitting cheers as Reeves raised his gloves to the sky, before making his way to the centre of the ring for final instructions.

Reeves and Hazelman touched gloves, retiring to their respective corners, jumping lightly on their toes in anticipation the opening bell.

Fighters met in the middle, gloves held in front of their faces as they danced around the ring.

Thirty seconds in, Reeves lands a solid, left-right shot to his opponent’s head.

Reeves backs up onto the ropes; Hazelman swings wide, but the Stratford boxer blocks his shot before gracefully manoeuvring off the ropes, simultaneously landing two solid shots to Hazelman’s head and body.

Fighters continued their dance around the ring; an unscathed Reeves appeared relaxed as he controlled the fight, anticipating every one of his opponent’s shots.

One minute and 20 seconds into Round One, Mad Max Reeves lays a headshot with his right hand, rocketing in a vicious body shot with his left, sending Hazelman to the floor; it’s a knockout.

It was a carbon copy of Reeves’ previous fight against Leo Grant in Wildfighter Round 8, back in July.

Spectators turned wild, cheering vociferously; some stood on chairs, arms raised, pointing at Reeves as if to say ‘king’.

Others jumped up and down in excitement, embracing their neighbours, sloshing beer across shoulders, with the bubbly brown liquid collecting in sticky puddles on the laminated wooden ground.

“It came a bit unexpected,” Reeves said afterwards.

“I saw an opportunity, and I took it”, he said, “it was a lucky shot”.

The undefeated super middleweight boxer said he might be in for one last fight before the end of 2022; “we are just waiting to hear back from a different promotion in November”, Reeves said.

“If that doesn’t come, we will just rest up and have a big year next year.”

Reeves and Hazelman disappeared into the change rooms, and it was time for the main event of Wildfighter Round 10; Cale took his place at the centre of the ring.

“From a sold-out Wildfighter arena in Bairnsdale, ladies and gentlemen, are you ready?”

Cale paused, “Bairnsdale, are you ready?”

Cheers resounded across the Wildfighter arena as if to answer, ‘heck yes, we are ready’, and the buzzing energy within the four walls of the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre was so intense it stood hairs on arms.

“Without any further ado, it’s fight time,” Cale announced.

“Introducing first to my left, fighting out of the red corner, official weight 76.4 kilograms, standing 5 feet 7 and ¾ inches tall, 21 fights, 13 wins, two draws and six by way of knock out; fighting out of Nadi Fiji, Siliveni Nawai.

“To my right, fighting out of the blue corner, trained by Paul’ Turk’ Carrol from Eastside Boxing Gym, official weight 76.1 kilograms, standing 185 centimetres tall; this man is undefeated, six fights, six wins, two by way of knockout, ranked number two in Australia and the current Australasian Champion, representing Bairnsdale, please welcome Bomber Blake Wells.”

Fighters met at the heart of the ring; Mr Chris Anderson Senior reiterated the rules, and opponents touched gloves before returning to their corners to wait for the Round One bell.

The bell sounded, and the fight began; Wells and Nawai danced like flames rising from a fire, hot and fierce and dangerous but with a beautiful, hypnotic grace.

Wells controlled the fight from Round One, manipulating his opponent as if he were a puppet on a string.

Round One was uneventful in comparison to Rounds Two, Three and Four, as Wells laid ferocious shots onto his opponent, knocking him off his feet time and time again.

But Nawai was like one of those blow-up noodle men you see out the front of car dealerships; Wells would knock him down, and Nawai would pop right back up.

Twenty-eight seconds into Round Four, Wells belts Nawai with a right hook straight to the head, sending the Fijian to the floor, his body grazing the ropes on the way down.

Mr Chris Anderson Senior waved his hands, signalling the fight’s end, “it’s all over”, Cale said.

The crowd hailed the undefeated champion as Bomber Blake Wells raised his gloves in the air claiming his seventh professional win with a fourth-round stoppage in Wildfighter Round 10 at the Bairnsdale Aquatic and Recreation Centre on Saturday, October 15.

Sale brothers Jhon Cortejos and Peter Pirona put forward reputable fights against their opponents, Izak Handley and Viliami Liavaa, but fell short of a win.

Handley and Liavaa took home wins by way of unanimous decision.

Youngster Codie Hodges opened Wildfighter X in his second exhibition fight against debutant Max Glover-Hill; Hodges debuted his amateur fighting career in July, fighting Alex Manssour in Wildfighter Round 8.

“I definitely felt the nerves on the night, but [it was] unlike last time in Sale,” Hodges said.

“Last time, I felt like I was very rushed, especially with my ring entrance, but in Bairnsdale, I made sure I calmed myself down and took my time with my walkout, listening to the song and hearing the crowd cheer me on, so I was focused on the fight.

“By the end of the fight, I was proud of my performance, and I had lots of good feedback from my corner and people in the crowd,” he said.

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