Sawyers Valley boxer (72) ready for ring debut at Alice Springs Masters Games

Sawyers Valley boxer Bob “Uncle” Humphreys (72)
Sawyers Valley boxer Bob “Uncle” Humphreys (72)

SAWYERS Valley boxer Bob “Uncle” Humphreys (72) is about to prove that age is no barrier when he steps into the ring tonight for his first fight.

Humphreys will represent WA in the 75kg division at the Alice Springs Master Games against formidable Northern Territory boxer Tony Patel (77).

The former English speedway star and panel beater is also the assistant coach at Pondys Gym in Koongamia.

Humphrey said he had been training day and night ahead of his first big bout.

“My opponent Tony is a boxing coach at the Alice Springs Youth and Community Centre, he was in the SAS and Air Force, has a resting heart rate of 50 beats per minute and also studies yoga,” he said.

“What makes Tony’s efforts to fight against me more remarkable is that he has been diagnosed with cancer and going through chemotherapy, but you would never pick it.

“He is a formidable match but when the bell rings it will be on for young and old.”

Humphrey’s coach Alan Pond said the men had a combined age of 149.

“Uncle Bob’s one of the nicest blokes I’ve ever met,” he said.

“He introduces new people to the gym, volunteers his time to teach the kids and bends over backwards to help people out.

“But when you put a set of gloves on him and punch him in the nose, you suddenly realise he’s got some fire in his belly and you’d best keep your hands up, or get the hell out the way.

“This will be something very special to see.

“These two men at this age, still in great shape, both physically and mentally, prepared to test themselves in the ring is going to be something very special to see.

“It will prove to all if you believe you will achieve and that age is no barrier.”

Humphreys and Patel will match up outdoors under the stars at the Alice Springs Community Youth Centre.

The Alice Springs Master Games is celebrating its 30th year and has a reputation as being the “Friendly Games”.

It will be held between October 13 and 20 and caters for competitors over the age of 35 in 36 different sports.

This is the first time boxing has been included in the Masters Games and will see boxers from across the country battle it out in the ring.