Out of everything that made Warlocks Whyalla's Iron Gloves event a success, what stuck out to Head Coach Justin Fennell was the respect shown between fighters before, during, and after their bouts.
"All the gyms showed each other the utmost respect in that ring," Fennell said. "It was all hugs and handshakes, there was no bad blood about the decisions, there was excellent sportsmanship on show. Even from the crowd, there wasn't any booing, they got behind the fighters no matter the result."
Iron Gloves - Whyalla's first boxing promotion - was held at the Whyalla Leisure Centre on Saturday and showcased some of the best boxing talent from around the country. Seven local fighters competed, including boxing prodigy Jesse Jones. Four of those emerged victorious, but all of them had fights to remember. Fennell was full of praise for his competitors, which included Louis Polkinghorne, Ben Friedrich and Shaun Dennis, who fought hard but didn't get the win, and Dennis Cumerlato, Corey Gibbons, Billy Jasper and Jesse Jones who won their bouts.
"The team we have is right up there. We fought some really strong gyms," he said. "All seven of my guys fought with heart and passion."
Jesse had a stand-out performance, defeating Junior National Champion Bleron Toska and in the process picking up the Best Junior Boxer and Best Junior Bout awards on the night. "I felt like I wanted to show Whyalla what I've been working on that they haven't seen, give them an opportunity to see it first hand," he said. Asked how the fight went in his eyes, Jesse felt like he was on top each round, maintaining the advantage throughout the bout. "The whole fight I felt really relaxed, I just had to pick my shots and be smart," he said.
In the adult weight class, 48-year-old master boxer Dennis Cumerlato picked up Best Adult Bout for his victory over 44-year-old Damien Barrett from Golden Grove Boxing Club. "The crowd was just going mental for that - Dennis was really chuffed about getting bout of the night," Fennell said.
Port Pirie boxers Codie Keefe, Kimberley Burnell and Leon Biddle all won their fights in another positive result for the region. Not only did Iron Gloves help put Whyalla on the map in terms of boxing, but it also had a number of benefits for the economy.
"They all came down on the Friday so we had two days of them shopping and sightseeing. That's the economic spin-off you get when you have an event like this," Mr Fennell said.
"People traveled here just to watch the show as well."