Having only been in Melbourne for only a matter of months, England’s Joe Boobyer is set to take part in one of the biggest fights of his career when he jumps into the ring on Saturday night to take on Australian heavyweight veteran Steve McKinnon in the main event of Powerplay 35.
With 54 fights to his name, Boobyer joins the Australian heavyweight ranks as one of the more experienced fighters, but that experience will surely be tested on Saturday night as he goes up against one of the biggest names in Australian combat sports in McKinnon.
Despite only having been in the country for a short period of time, Boobyer, who has based himself out of the ever-growing Absolute MMA in Collingwood, speaks very highly of the Australian muay thai scene and the level of talent throughout the sport.
“The scene is very much alive and well here, and the level of talent is real. There’s talent across all divisions and has been for years, but the current crop of guys I’ve trained with both here and abroad have some real skill” Boobyer told Fight News Australia.
When asked what brought him to Australia and Melbourne in place of other destinations, Boobyer is honest in his motivations, even if they slightly resemble that of a Hollywood romantic comedy.
“I met a woman! I came here with her and managed to find a great gym and team at Simon Carson’s Absolute MMA, where master trainer Jianyun Tao has taken me in”.
Boobyer is quick to recognise the challenge he faces on Saturday night at the Melbourne Pavillion and knows what he will need to be wary of if he is to get the win over the powerful McKinnon.
“For me, it’s about fighting smart and not getting dragged into a brawl. He’s a heavy hitter and you can’t afford to switch off with a guy like that in front of you”.
While having been involved in professional fighting since the age of 19, Boobyer comes into the bout knowing the level of experience he is up against, having followed McKinnons’s career closely over the years.
“It’s kind of surreal. The first I saw of Steve was his training at Tiger Muaythai in Thailand in 2011. I later found out he had won his first state title when I was only four years old! So he was doing this long before I first laced up the gloves”.
Despite quite often being the smaller fighter in a lot of his fights at heavyweight, Boobyer doesn’t see this as a disadvantage, having had most of his success around the 95kg weight limit. This could very well prove to work to his advantage on Saturday night as he believes his approach to his weight leaves him the fresher fighter in his matchups.
“I like to fight at whatever class is closest to my natural weight, if you’re performing well in the gym, then why would you deplete yourself so much immediately before a competition”?
Looking beyond this fight, Boobyer is hoping to continue his unique fighting journey and make the most of it while he can. Casting aside the option of a nine to five lifestyle, Boobyer relishes how far muay thai and fighting has taken him in just a short period of time.
“Honestly it just happened by accident! I took myself on a training holiday to Thailand in 2011 and landed a sponsorship deal, spending the following years training, fighting and coaching in a whole load of countries”.
Having joined Absolute MMA as an integral member of their fight team, Boobyer has also taken on board coaching duties at the gym and looks forward to the challenge of helping others push past their limits.
“I’d like to help as many people as possible achieve their goals through fighting and training as I can. After all, as far as we know we’re only here once. Give your passion some real attention and see where you wind up, you’ll be surprised”!
The 35th edition of Powerplay takes place on Saturday night from the home of fight sports in Victoria, the Melbourne Pavillion. The show will also be streamed live via FiteTV.