Recently we caught up on a Zoom with former Boxing Feature Writer and Reporter, Sean Castle, from Sydney, Australia for a chat.
Vic Darkic: G’day, Sean. Been a long time since we’ve seen you post anything online in the world of boxing. What you been up to.
Sean Castle: Hi Vic! Thanks for the shout out. Yeah, it’s been a while. I kind of just drifted away from writing over the last few years. Not intentional, but life just got busy and have been flat out.
Vic Darkic: What have you been up to?
Sean Castle: I’m flat out being a dad to teenage daughters and also in my job which is working in education in schools. Don’t have much time at the moment.
Vic Darkic: For many years there, we got used to catching your feature articles and ringside reporting with The Fist Magazine and Cornerman magazine. I remember the Joe Bugner feature article – just excellent.
Sean Castle: Thanks – Yes, but I started out before that with Seconds Out here in Australia and that’s where I think my stories used to get picked up from overseas.
Vic Darkic: Thinking back on some of the big fight cards you covered, which one sticks out the most?
Sean Castle: So many big fights but it has to be the IBF Middleweight world title fight between Daniel Geale and Anthony Mundine at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Geale’s team, Grange Old School boxing, engaged my services to write the entire program for the event. That meant ghost writing all of the articles for every fighter on the card and their promoters and writing them up. It was cool.
Vic Darkic: How were Grange to deal with?
Sean Castle: Fantastic. The late Bill Treacy and Garrie Francisco ran a great team and where good to me. I also wrote the program for two of Geale’s world title defences down in Tasmania. The highlight was meeting Big Kimbo Slice who was a famous You Tuber back then but could fight.
Vic Darkic: And how was the fight?
Sean Castle: Daniel Geale was clinical and won on points. Choc was in it and it looked like her might swing it his way once or twice but Geale did what he had to do. A great night with a big crowd. And who can forget Choc stirring things up at the earlier press conferences at Star City Casino just to sell the fight.
Sean Castle: I met Choc Mundine and his team while writing this program. A nicer and more humble man in person is hard to meet. Totally different to his public persona.
Vic Darkic: I remember you years back writing up the amateur fights on line. A few events run by the late Arthur Tunstall. What can you tell us about the long time boxing chieft Tunstall.
Sean Castle: I met Arthur a few times in and around amateur events. Obviously, everyone remembers the controversy from when he didn’t want Cathy Freeman flying the Aboriginal flag at the Commonwealth Games, so I knew of him before meeting him. In all honesty, I found him quite friendly and always helpful. He butted heads with many people but was nice to me.
Vic Darkic: Many people called him a racist. What did you think?
Sean Castle: I didn’t know him well enough and only spoke to him in and around amateur boxing. But I do remember talking to a number of Aboriginal boxers who really liked him and said he always was generous and very helpful to them.
Vic Darkic: You also covered the world title win for Billy Dib at the State Sports Centre. How was that?
Sean Castle: Billy was being trained at the time by Billy Hussein, the brother of the great Hussein fight brothers. I remember clearly how much support Billy had. Family all around him. He was a lovely guy to deal with and very kind with his time. He worked so hard to become world champ and to sit there ringside and be in the dressing rooms before and after the fight when he got that red IBF world title strap put around his waist was special. It was a clinical display where he had a solid plan and stuck to it.
Vic Darkic: Who is the greatest fighter you’ve seen live?
Sean Castle: For many Aussie fight fans of my age, watching the legendary Kostya Tszyu something else. Undisputed IBF, WBA and WBC Junior Welterweight Champion. Sleeping tablets in both hands. Tough, hard and durable.
What people don’t often remember is what a strong, powerful bodypuncher he was. Youtube him and have a look. Took out some really tough South Americans too!
Vic Darkic: What do you think about his son, Tim?
Sean Castle: I believe Tim will be a world champion. Very similar to his father but doesn’t have the same amateur experience where Kostya fought over 290 times as an amateur and came through Soviet School of boxing.
I went to the Tszyu gym in Rockdale to interview Kostya before he moved back to Russia. It was a few years after his last fight against Hatton, and I can tell you he still trained super hard and his punching power was something to behold. A young Tim was there that day sparing his dad and training with other young fighters including George Kambosos Jr. Igor Goluebev, Tim’s uncle, was training them. Great memories considering what these guys are achieving now. Also training there was The Scorpion, Sakio Bika, WBC world champion. He was made of granite!
Vic Darkic: Couple of quick ones to finish. All time favourite Aussie boxer:
Sean Castle: The Marrickville Mauler, Jeff Fenech. Loved him. In my opinion clearly our greatest. Toughness and determination!
Vic Darkic: Any other memorable Aussie fights or fighters?
Sean Castle: Where do I start and finish? Geale going to Germany twice to beat German world title holder and come home with the belts. Unheard of! Jeff Horn beating Manny. Who would’ve thought. But I’ll never forget the night Jeff “Hitman” Harding beat Dennis Andres in Atlantic City in 1989 to win the WBC Light Heavyweight title. A Rocky story if ever there was one.
Vic Darkic: Sean Castle, thanks for the catch up and hopefully we’ll see you back and writing again soon.
Sean Castle: Loved the chat. Hopefully soon!