HAYDEN WRIGHT has big fists and an even bigger heart.
The Yangebup heavyweight is deep in training for his metropolitan title bout against Jason “Bam Bam” Kennedy in March, and most days can be found pounding the treadmill and working the speed bag in a sweaty Balcatta gym.
But away from the spit bucket and cut men, “H-Bomb” is a caring soul, training to be a nurse. For the past five years he’s been a social worker for Activ foundation disability services.
Wright uses boxing to help clients like Matt Caple build their confidence and social skills.
The pair have come to share a close bond and Caple is now a “boxing roadie”, an integral member of Wright’s backroom team.
“Matt will often set up the ring, come to training as my support or just to hang out with the boys at the gym,” Wright says.
“Angelo my trainer, has asked Matt if he would like to accept the championship belt on my behalf if I win my fight.
“This is a great honour and well deserved to recognition the great commitment Matt has put into supporting my training and preparation for the fight.”
Wright is undefeated with a 100 per cent KO record and is ranked fourth in WA and 26th in Australia.
He is coached by Matthew Dimitrovski and models his style on boxing legend Larry Holmes, renowned for solid defence and a lightning-fast left jab.
“I train with Dragon Fire Boxing Gym and the trainers I work with are Anglo Hyder and Tony Toji,” Wright says.
“Angelo and Tony are well known in boxing circles though out Australia and internationally as the team behind Danny Green’s rise to greatness.
“Angelo and Tony have guided Danny’s boxing in both his Australian and his international boxing pursuits.”
H-Bomb often sees Green at the gym and picks the veteran’s brains for tips and sage advice.
Wright, 30, first stepped into the ring aged 10, after seeing Rocky.
His grandfather used to box at a decent level in the army, but there is no other history of pugilism in the family.
“Early on I said to myself, one day it will be me who is the champion,” Wright says. “And that is what has driven me to pursue boxing.”
Following his metropolitan title bout at Perth Metro City on March 4, Wright is hoping to contest the state title later this year.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK