SA Pro Boxer gives back to QLD Boxing Industry
by Cheryl Goodenough
One of South Africas boxing champions has made Queensland his home and is giving back to the boxing industry. Holder of the record for the most number of punches landed by one fighter in a championship fight, 555 punches during a fight against Ivan Robinson in 1996, Philip Holiday moved to Australia in 2003.
After winning the South African title three times, Philip turned pro in 1991, when he was 21 years old. He won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title in 1995 when he beat Miguel Julio. He defended the title six times before losing to Shane Mosley in 1997.
Six years later Philip moved to Australia and after three fights decided to call it quits. He took a break, doing various jobs to keep himself busy and make a living. But about a year ago Philip decided it was time to give back to boxing.
Feeling that his achievements put him in a position where he could give a lot back, Philip opened a boxing gym in Victoria Point where he hopes that other fighters will be able to gain from his experience and knowledge.
He says that Australia does not have a great boxing history. They have had a couple of fighters, but nothing fantastic. Suggesting that boxing gyms should work together, Philip says that this would help to train fighters to the level needed to represent Australia in the rest of the world.
In addition to training amateur and professional boxers, Philip holds fitness classes using the boxing equipment and he is currently working on bringing boxing equipment into Australia.
Being a boxer takes hard work, says Philip, and having achieved the ultimate in the sport, he knows what fighters need to put in to get to the top. Its like that with anything though. If you want to be good at anything it takes dedication and hard work. His advice to youngsters wanting to get into boxing: If you are going to do something (and that goes for anything, not just boxing) do it to the best of your ability. Whats worse than failing? Not trying at all. Apart from the hard work, Philip attributes his success to God. I am a Christian and I believe that God allowed me to achieve what I have done.
Philip had visited Australia prior to settling in this country. When he fought in Melbourne he found the people friendly and relaxed and decided that it would be a great place to bring up children. Arriving in Australia with his wife, Bree, who is a school teacher, Philip says that the move was really an opportunity for them to enjoy a new culture and environment and they regarded it as an adventure. Now settled in Australia with their two children, Kayla aged 11 and Joshua, who is 10, Philip has since been joined by four of his six siblings and his parents.
In the future he hopes to expand his business and open franchises of his name brand around the country. Boxing is what I enjoy and what I know. I have learned lessons along the way and there have been a lot of sacrifices, but I have also earned good money. Now it is really about quality time with my family. I need to be able to put food on the table and provide for my family, but I also want to do things with my kids.