Article: Bay of Plenty Times - 12th Dec 1991 (lead up to event)
Photo: Simmonds and Johnston hard out up Mount Maunganui yesterday
No gain for kickboxer without pain
Clinton Simmonds moved to Mount Maunganui so he could punish his body on the narrow tracks that snake up the rugged mountain. In recent months, Simmons has pushed himself up and down the mountain twice every morning before breakfast to kick off his daily training schedule in preparation for a transtasman kickboxing clash this weekend.
The young boxer will hopefully use Saturday nights South Pacific title fight as a springboard tomove the world ranking ladder. Simmonds aptly describes his training diet as “hard out”. It includes an hour’s swimming in the afternoon and two hours fighting and sparring at the Tauranga gym at night. The mountain, he said, strengthens the thighs, which will bear the brunt of numerous kicks in the full contact bout at the Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre.
At 20, Simmonds has been fighting for six years and last year knocked out the Australian champion in his division in the seventh round. Lacking suitable opponents in the division, Simmonds gives away four kilograms to this year’s opponent, Tony Cockburn, but still expects a victory. “I should knock this fella out.”
His coach Pat Bishop said this weekend’s event at the Queen Elizabeth youth centre was the premier event on the kickboxing calendar.
Bishop hopes Simmonds whom he rates as a top prospect, can reverse the recent trend of Aussie wins over New Zealand on Saturday night.
Also on the programme are four New Zealand title bouts featuring Tauranga fighters. In the heavyweight division, Tauranga’s David Johnston fights Auckland’s Billy Scanlan. Scanlan is almost seven kilograms heavier than Johnston who is unfazed.
“You’re always going in to win; you’re not in it to lose.”
In the welterweight division Jason Wiggins , of Tauranga fights John Conway, of Auckland.
In the fleaweight division, 13 year old Justin Potter, of Tauranga, fights Craig Lester of New Plymouth. The fleaweight division covers fighters under 50 kilograms.
The four Tauranga fighters are hoping to perform well to cement a place in the New Zealand team to Sydney next year.
Bishop said it had been difficult this year finding the $20,000 sponsorship to put on the event; probably because of the difficult economic climate. Bishop said he had produced eight New Zealand champions and had enjoyed the support from the community for the sport.