10 August 2021

Adrian Farquhar prepares for professional boxing debut 10 months after severe injury setback

| Lachlan Roberts
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Canberra boxer Adrian Farquhar is preparing to make his professional boxing debut at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Photos: George Tsotsos.

2018 has thrown its fair share of punches at local boxer Adrian Farquhar, with a severe hip injury that left him outside the ring and put his dreams of making his professional boxing debut on hold.

Ten months after fearing his professional career was over before it even started, the 20-year-old is set to make his professional boxing debut at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 15 December in a miraculous turnaround.

After having a successful amateur boxer career with only seven losses from 46 fights across Australia, Ukraine, Ireland and England, Adrian and his father/coach Bobby Farquhar decided to pursue his boxing career in Ireland. But then the injuries struck, putting his career on hold.

“I woke up one morning and I couldn’t walk anymore because I was in too much pain,” Adrian said. “I always had pain in my hip but it wasn’t that bad, nothing that a little bit of Voltaren can’t fix. This all happened in January this year and it wasn’t until June that I was able to train again. It has been a long road but I am excited to finally get back into the ring.”

It wasn’t until this year that it was discovered that Adrian was born with a malformed hip, which had been tearing surrounding cartilage and tendons throughout his amateur career, gradually getting worse and worse. The long road to recovery was difficult for the young boxer, who was used to spending his life in the gym.

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“It was very tough mentally for a while. I was so used to being in the gym every day and then all of a sudden I wasn’t able to. I was also due to have my professional debut earlier in the year but my injury set that back,” he shared with Region Media.

“But when the last month of the year rolls around, I will make my professional debut. I wouldn’t be able to be in this fight if it wasn’t for my sponsors, and thanks to DPP Sports Management and Anto Connolly from Elite Sport Management for believing in me and helping this dream come true.”

The story of how the young, gifted athlete turned to boxing to build up his upper body strength is a well-documented one. Adrian was competing in various sprinting events before he took up boxing. Weighing a paltry 36 kilos, the small teenager soon became addicted to boxing and dropped other sports to devote more time to training.

Coming from a family of ballet dancers, Adrian’s story is often referred to as the Billy Elliot story, but flipped. His father and coach Bobby is a former ballet dancer-turned-actor, whose resume includes parts on hit British shows EastEnders and The Bill, and a small role on Home and Away.

Adrian has dabbled in modelling and acting and still takes his dad’s acting class every Monday night when he is outside the ring, a combination that might seem odd at first glance.

“It is an interesting combo, but it has helped in the long run,” he said. “Being in front of the camera is a bit of an escape for me. I train every day throughout the week so it is good to take a bit of time off and relax.”

The strict weight divisions in boxing mean taller, slimmer fighters are often more successful. Adrian looks like he was born for the sport, with his six-foot-two height and phenomenally long reach, compared to his weight. A quiet, unaggressive demeanour is another of his most valuable assets – a clean-shaven, good bloke kind of boxer, which is almost unheard of in professional boxing.

“I am not an overly cocky person and I don’t ever plan to be. It’s always important to be confident when you get into the ring but never put anyone down, unless it is with punches,” he said with a laugh.

Adrian is in the middle of a ten-week, three times a day camp, preparing for his first professional fight. His demanding schedule includes 5 km runs in the morning, hitting the gym, and spending hours in the ring working on the bags and pads with his dad. The gruelling training is helping Adrian handle his nerves as his dream of becoming a professional boxer is about to be realised.

“I am a bit daunted and nervous. It is a big stage and there is a lot of people to impress, but also a lot of people to let down but I am just looking forward to getting in there and giving it a go,” he shared. “As long as I put everything into this camp and train as hard as I can, I will know that I have left everything in the ring and there was nothing else that I could have done to be in better shape.”

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