Local hotelier Marcus Wright from the Wickham Park Hotel has stepped into the ring to support up-and-coming Raymond Terrace amateur boxer Benson Manton achieve his sporting dreams.
They may have met under unusual circumstances, but despite 22-year-old Raymond Terrace boxer Benson Manton having never stepped foot into the Wickham Park Hotel, from the moment their paths crossed, hotelier Marcus Wright was determined to do whatever he could to help the young athlete come one step closer to his dreams of becoming a professional boxer.
"I met Benson through his mum, a nurse who is currently helping care for my own mother," Marcus said.
"She was telling me how proud she was of her son and how determined he was to achieve his dream of becoming a professional boxer, despite not having a lot of money or the same opportunities that other competitors may have.
"I asked what I could do to help and now the Wickham Park Hotel is a sponsor of Benson and today we were proud to present him with his first pair of brand new boxing boots all the way from America that he can wear in his Australian Amateur Boxing Title fight next week."
"I asked what I could do to help and now the Wickham Park Hotel is a sponsor of Benson and today we were proud to present him with his first pair of brand new boxing boots all the way from America that he can wear in his Australian Amateur Boxing Title fight in Sydney next week..."
While Benson lacks for nothing when it comes to heart and commitment, finances have proved a challenge for him in his journey to making it in the sport.
"I've been boxing for three years now and had 13 amateur fights with only four losses," Benson said.
"To make it as a professional boxer would change my life forever. I've grown up financially struggling and I've always dreamed of buying my mum a house, then my brother and sister too one day. I'm not chasing a $1 million fight, I just want to make my way, work hard and maybe become a champion some day.
"Having people like Marcus in my corner means the world to me and gives me the confidence of knowing there are people out there who really believe in me.
"From my heart, it really means so much."
Benson is the great grandson of indigenous local boxer Dave Sands and will fight in 18-years and above Welter Weight division of next week's Australian Amateur Boxing Titles in Sydney next week.