Troy Waters, regarded by many critics as one of the greatest Australian boxers not to win a world title, says he’s been humbled by the number of people in his corner as he fights the toughest scrap of his life.
Waters, who fought the likes of ‘Terrible’ Terry Norris, Gianfranco Rosi, Felix Trinidad, Simon Brown and In Chul Baek in the 1980s and early ‘90s, is battling the insidious disease Acute Myeloid Leukaemia with the same courage that made him a feared fighter.
While his family and friends are in awe of the way the father of two has accepted a lousy hand, others, such as former NSW heavyweight champion Matthew Reid, are doing what they can to help make the one-time pin up boy of world boxing’s lot a little easier.
Apart from organising a fundraising dinner at Sahara by the Park in Burwood (Sydney) on February 6th, Reid is also raising money to help the Waters family by running the 75km from ANZ Stadium to Gosford’s Central Coast Stadium on the weekend of February 18-19th.
“I ran from Melbourne to Sydney in 2015 and when I heard about Troy I wanted to do whatever I could to help to take his mind off any [obvious financial] worries he and his young family would be going through,” said Reid.
“I’ll start the run from ANZ Stadium when the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC play their local derby and finish the following day at the Central Coast Stadium when the Mariners are playing."
“There could be as many as 60,000 spectators at ANZ Stadium and up to 15,000 at Gosford. If everyone just threw in 50 cents it would go a long way to helping a family who need a bit of a hand.”
Reid, who said the discipline needed in boxing helped galvanise him to undertake such a gruelling challenge, admitted being born a “stubborn bastard” would help him fulfil his goal.
“Something else I learnt from boxing is if you’re strong you should be able to help those who need a hand,” he said. “I’ve been friends with Troy for 20-years . . . I sparred him and his two brothers Guy and Dean . .. and we’re good mates. When a mate needs a hand you do whatever you can to help.”
Waters, who was inducted in the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009, said Reid was going beyond the call of duty.
“I can’t believe Matt is doing all of this, it’s a tremendous effort by a bloke with a massive heart,” said Waters. “When I see his updates on Facebook . . . that he’s run over 20km in the heat as part of his preparation . . . I feel humbled.”
Apart from calling upon his friendship with Waters to push him along the highway, Reid said he’ll also be motivated by the feats of one of his idols – the great Terry Fox, who ran 143 days and over 5,000km across Canada in 1980 to raise money for cancer after having a leg amputated.
“I’ve seen the list of the top 100 athletes of the 20th century and none of them come close to Terry Fox,” he said. “When I tell people he ran 5,373km in 143 days they’re impressed, but when they hear he did it on one leg they are amazed!"
“During my run from Melbourne to Sydney I told school children about him and I told them he is the greatest inspiration we could have."
“Later this year I’m going to meet his brother Darrell in Vancouver and I’ll do the Terry Fox tour. I’ll also compete in the Terry Fox Run, a 10km event people either walk, run or ride that has raised over $730 million to fight cancer – it’s a great legacy of a life that was well lived.”
And if Reid fulfils his goals he’ll be able to tell Fox how he put himself on the line to help a mate who needed a hand.
If you want to help Matt Reid’s quest to give Troy Waters a hand or to attend the dinner at Sahara by the Park in Burwood on February 6th please call 0403 067 629.
Donate at Matt's GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/runfortroy
Follow Matt on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RunForTroy/
- Daniel Lane, exclusively for Sportsta.