CHAMPION: Anton ‘The Professor’ Zafir (right) produces a clinical performance in his muay Thai win over Jamie Kearines at Airlie Fight Night IV.
CHAMPION: Anton ‘The Professor’ Zafir (right) produces a clinical performance in his muay Thai win over Jamie Kearines at Airlie Fight Night IV.

Zafir wins two battles on night

ANTON Zafir fought two battles at Airlie Fight Night IV - the second was a muay Thai bout with Jamie Kearines, which he duly won, but the first was a mental battle before he had even stepped in the ring.

The WMA coach had just seen his friend, Ben Kelleher, sustain a horrific broken leg during his fight but was now expected to wage his own war.

"It was pretty hard to try and separate what just happened and what I was about to do," he said.

"I went back stage to chat to other guys that are close to me and they put me in the right place to do what needed to be done. I'd lie to say if I wasn't cautious about throwing leg kicks but once you get into the fight you just throw.

"It's a freak accident and you just can't go having that in the back of your head."

While happy to eventually get the win and overcome his demons, it was the overall success of the night that had Zafir and company eyeing off another event later in the year.

"I think being outdoors was better than indoors... I thought the event itself was a lot more enjoyable," he said. "Thanks to all the community that got behind us. Thanks also to all the fighters and club that participated and in particular sponsors Reefside (Auto Electrical) and Cruise Whitsundays."