left out of pocket after Combat Sports Authority blocks Australia's oldest professional
NSW Combat Sports Authority (CSA) has cancelled a $200-per-ticket fight between
Sydney's boxing priest, 57 year-old Father Dave Smith, and Jason Mac Gura just
one hour before they were due to enter the ring.
Dave is one of the oldest professional boxers in the world. He and his opponent
were left $20,000 out of pocket when the fight was blocked with no explanation
last Friday 22 March.
earnings from the fight were to fund his youth mission, Fighting Fathers Ministries,
which reaches out to at-risk young people in Sydney by teaching them to box.
fight was a fundraiser for my work with the Muslim community, which is especially
important at the moment after the events in Christchurch," Father Dave said.
CSA had known about this fight for weeks. It was both unfair and insensitive to
block it at such short notice when dozens of people had paid more than $200 a
ticket to support me and the work of Fighting Fathers Ministries, even though
they are not boxing fans. It meant my opponent didn't even have enough money to
cover his rent for the week."
Dave believes he is being discriminated against because of his age. He is in excellent
health and complied with all of the CSA's procedures. He was expected to wear
out his opponent within a few rounds last Friday night.
suspect the CSA has violated their own procedures in stopping me because they're
worried about possible legal ramifications if I get hurt. The basic problem with
the CSA is it's a board made up of professional bureaucrats, most of whom have
probably never attended a boxing match."
is time for the CSA to stop side-lining older athletes," Father Dave said.
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