Ben Edwards – Glory 24

I thought you’d given kickboxing away and gone to boxing?

I did – and I was going to have a break from everything! I was just burnt out from eleven years of constantly having a fight coming up. We got an offer from Glory – which we respectfully declined – and they countered with a generous pay increase and a two fight contract (outside of tournament) for that money and, with the US dollar falling my pay is increasing by the day… so we just said, ‘Give us a date and we will be there’.

How did you feel about your last boxing fight with Peter Graham? How did you pull up afterwards?

I was disappointed in myself. I’m not taking anything away from Pete, he’s a consummate professional and a real fighter. I’ve got nothing but respect for the guy but I had a lot of personal issues I wasn’t handling very well going into the fight. I didn’t miss a training session but I wasn’t living clean at all.

I had some family problems and relationship problems amounts other things and I’m glad that fight happened because once you hit rock bottom there’s only one way to go. I put on thirteen kilos between fights, to give you some kind of idea of my mental state [at that time].

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Did that have anything to do with going back to kickboxing?

No. I’m a prize-fighter and it was just an opportunity too good to pass up.

How did your place in the upcoming 4-man come about?

Glory offered it to us out of the blue. Last I heard they weren’t interested in me but I know they have lost a lot of fighters for various reasons so that has worked in my favour. It’s given me a second unexpected chance (which I won’t mess up like the first one). I feel this tournament is much more even [in terms of matchmaking] than fighting a killer like Errol [Zimmerman].

Is it good to be back fighting for Glory? Is this a one-off, or are they discussing a contract?

Glory has been great to fight for I’ve had nothing but good experiences with them. We have at least two fights with them. Hopefully it will lead to more. I love kickboxing and the associated travel.

Do you think the time spent boxing will improve your kickboxing game?

Yeah, for sure. I’ve had two ten-round fights a few months apart and my endurance was really good, even when I was heavily overweight, so three rounds is going to be a sprint for me. Hopefully.

What’s the plan for boxing now?

I’m not sure. I’m just concentrating on the two kickboxing fights coming up and we’ll see. I tell you what though, I will be fighting MMA again. I was doing wrestling and jiu jitsu in my down time and loved it.

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The white socks are an essential part of the ensemble…

How about kickboxing? Will you keep a foot in both camps?

I always keep my options open.

What do you know about your opponents?

All I know is about my guy, apart from having a stupid Mohawk, is [that] he has a high work rate and is a volume striker, which is perfect for me. There will be plenty of openings to land one of my ghetto whoppers!

What has your preparation consisted of? More time with the McKinnons in Sydney?

I’m five weeks in now, the first month was re-learning all the kickboxing footwork and defence – which is so different to boxing – and getting my shins conditioned again. It took a month, but they’re back to where they were: nice and numb.

Stu and his partner Liz have been kind enough to let me stay at their place, so I try and get up there once a week, which has been great. I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time with them. I’ve also been working with my old trainers, Jamie McCuaig and Josh Tonna, which has been great. I’m picking up things from everyone.

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The sock returns.

Are you working full-time again?

No. I’ll be paying my manager back some loaned money afterwards… unless I win the whole thing! I recently got my security license back and will be back on the door. I’m also half way through my certificate three in fitness online so I’ll be using that down the track, also.

How about sponsorship? Any movement in that camp?

Nope. I lost all my sponsors after the last fight. I don’t blame them, though; what good am I to health company when I show up in terrible shape? I’m grateful for all the support they gave me in the previous years and I hope we can work together again in the future.
You’re striking out in the direction of an acting career! What’s happening with that? How did you get started? What roles have you had?

I’ve always been a movie buff and I just love getting lost in a story whether on the screen or in a book. I trained a guy who has done a few short films and has written some books – Che Baker – and I let him know if anything came up, I [was] keen.

Two years later, I got the phone call to play a role; the bad guy’s – Billy Zane’s – bodyguard in a post-apocalyptic world. [Billy] was a great bloke and I really enjoyed the experience. We filmed the day after I won the Aussie title, so that weekend was all kinds of awesome.

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That movie is called Blue World Order. I start filming the next one tomorrow which is called Tech Noir. [The title is] a reference to the night-club in the original Terminator movie when I’ll be playing – wait for it – a bodyguard to the bad guy! This time, my title is ‘goon’, as opposed to ‘henchman’, though.

All the best on , mate. We will be watching you.

I appreciate your interest, mate. No one gives a fuck when you lose.

Ben-Edwards-2

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