Guts and glory
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE'S Leonie Macks takes another major step in her fast-tracked development when she steps into the ring at the 'No Guts, No Glory' Muay Thai Fight Night at Gladstone PCYC tomorrow night.
Macks, 26, is better known as a star performer for the Port City Power women's basketball team, but will contest just the second fight in her fledgling kickboxing career in front of a home crowd.
Although still learning her craft nine months after taking up the sport, her Gladstone Martial Arts Academy instructor Rob McIntyre is thrilled with her progress.
"She's one of the most gifted female athletes I've ever met ? certainly the most gifted I've ever trained,'' McIntyre said yesterday. "A lot of girls have the heart to give it a go but not many have the fighter's instinct like she has.
"She has the combination of ability and aggression ... she has a very good work ethic.''
Macks said she did not envisage stepping up to compete when she first visited the academy, merely looking to enhance her fitness regime, before being encouraged by McIntyre to step up to competition after he noticed her potential.
Macks, who said Muay Thai provided an improved fitness base which also helped her performances on the basketball court.
"It's the hardest sport I've ever done ? and I've done a lot of sports,'' she said.
She also admits not everyone approves of her fighting but she believes the positives outweigh any potential negatives.
"I've got a couple of friends who don't enjoy me doing it but I have the encouragement of everyone in the club,'' Macks said.
Tomorrow night's fight night features 11 bouts, culminating with a Queensland title contest between Yeppoon's John Holland, who owns a world junior title, and Duane Sheppard of Brisbane.
Four Gladstone fighters will be in action on a card which features all categories from 30kg boys to 100kg heavyweights. A display of martial arts weapons will also feature on the night.
Front row seats are still available by phoning Rob McIntyre on 0439 739 619.
General admission seats are available at the door which opens at 6pm with fights starting at 7pm.