At 68 years of age there is no slowing down in sight for Fred Brophy and his travelling boxing tent with both returning to the Lighthouse Hotel this weekend.
Fred calls Burnett Heads home having settled in the region to raise a family with his wife Sandi more than 30 years ago.
A fourth-generation showman, he's spent his life on the road, travelling Australia year after year with the Fred Brophy Boxing Tent.
But he said there's something special that attracted him to the Bundaberg Region.
“I’ve been on the road all my life and put in the hard yards,” Fred said.
“I was born during the Perth Show and so I travelled with the shows from day one.
“It was when Sandi and I got together that we thought we had better settle down and raise a family. We raised our three kids, Josephine, Emerald and Fred Junior here, and they went to school at Burnett Heads, and then Shalom.”
Out of the ring Fred said his love for the relaxed lifestyle of fishing, ensured he would settle on the coast.
“I’ve been all around Australia, and I can say for sure Burnett Heads has the best climate, the friendliest people and great fishing,” he said.
“My friends, and my doctor, Brad Murphy, are all here.
“So, I always return to our home here, and I have never looked back.”
After a year off due to COVID-19 regulations Fred said he was eager to stand tall spruiking his show, high on a platform in front of the tent at the Lighthouse Hotel on Friday and Saturday night.
The boom of Fred’s drum will stir the crowd’s anticipation for a boxing showdown as he returns to his hometown with the Fred Brophy Boxing Tent for the eighth time.
“Every show is different, so even if you have been to previous shows, you’ll never know what you’ll see this time” Fred said.
Fred runs the world's last travelling boxing troupe and the two-day event at the Lighthouse Hotel is always highly attended.
“This tent is the last of them. And I want to keep it going as long as I can – once it’s gone, it’s gone. But I have no plans to retire at all.
“If I can still climb up on the podium board with my bell and drum then the show will go on.”
Lighthouse Hotel manager Gavin Hales said Fred was known as a true showman who put on a display of not only muscle, but an electric atmosphere of entertainment that would have the town talking for years to come.
“Come down and have a feed, and when you hear the beating drum head towards the tent to see all the fighters on a platform,” Gavin said.
“It’s a chance for people from the community to take on one of Fred’s fighters.
“All in fun and quite a show – as some community members turn up and beat his fighters!”
Fred Brophy's Boxing Troupe is on for two huge nights at the Lighthouse Hotel, Burnett Heads. For more information click here.