05/03/2024

Blake Minto's pressure filled fight style is just one facet of the man known as 'The Machine' - Photo: Leighton Wallis (@leibot on Instagram)

After his 17th pro bout, Blake Minto announced himself on Australia's boxing stage. We spoke with 'The Machine' to find out what drives him.

A certain kind of magic filled the air when the fight of the year contender between Jacob Ng and Blake Minto concluded on March 27. Those viewing live at the Eatons Hill Hotel and watching on pay per view at home were left with a moment they could not possibly forget.

As the two warriors charged at each other throwing combination upon combination of heavy punches, the intrigue grew to a point to where one could not help but be captivated by the spectacle. When the final bell rang out, statements had been made.

Both fighters displayed an incredible amount of courage and determination, not giving an inch in their hope to sway the judges their way.

Ng had shown the class that his World Lightweight ranking symbolises, while Minto announced himself on the national stage through gallantry in the face of defeat.

The latter of these is a strange feat to think about, given that the fighter known as ‘The Machine’ was fighting in his 17th professional bout and has held State, Regional and the WBF World Super Lightweight titles.

While the WBF is not the most recognisable sanctioning body within the sport of boxing, the title of ‘World Champion’ is not one that should be taken lightly.

Keeping a low profile has not been by design for the 29-year-old from Toronto, New South Wales. Although it does reflect his character, one marked by actions not words.

“It’s just sort of come that way,” Minto told The Inner Sanctum.

“We just get the fights and we fight ‘em. Me and my team, we’ve never been ones to go out there and shout around and ‘hoo-eee-yah’ and stuff like that.

“We let our fights do the talking which is sort of coming through now, especially with that last fight with Jacob Ng – such a high profile fighter in Australia.”

Jacob Ng and Blake Minto combined for one of the fights of the year so far in 2021

Such a display of humility only tells part of the story of ‘The Machine’, an apt nickname for a fighter with a relentless style.

With every punch Minto receives, the urge to fire back harder thrives. The want to become better than his opponents takes over.

“Me personally, I’m extremely competitive,” he said.

“So when a bloke’s hitting me two or three times, in my head I’m like ‘I’ve got to get him back four or five or six’.

“In a fight like that – which was extremely competitive it was back and forth the whole way – it was a learning curve for me. In a way, it gave me a lot to take home and do some homework on myself.”

MORE COMBAT SPORTS STORIES:

Boxers dodge uncertainties to throw their hats in the ring for Tokyo

Garth Wood The Contender who found Solace in Teaching

Crute falls in biggest UFC fight to date

It is this competitive spirit that led to a quick return to the ring, which was scheduled for the May 29. An undisclosed event postponement means that he will have to wait a little longer to ply his trade, however.

“I’m devo’d [sic], I wish I was on it,” Minto said.

“I just want to stay active. I had 16 months out of the ring before that fight [with Ng] and you’re only as good as your last fight.

“So I want to keep going and not have too much time off. Just keep training and fighting. I want to have a big year, basically.”

Instead, Minto will have to settle for fighting outside of the ring, standing up as a leader for young fighters in his home gym, Steel City Boxing.

He is cognisant of the value his seniority has among young people around him.

“I think it’s extremely important,” he said.

“My last coach I was with since I started, for about the last 10 years, he is an ex-professional fighter named Ben Crampton. He helped me in a way where I guess other coaches couldn’t because he was a professional fighter.

“I was looking up to him all the time and what he would do. He always guided me.

“I think when you have that guy in the gym that the kids can come up and ask questions to and you can give them that advice and support that they need – like if they have a bad day in the gym, you’ve just got to say ‘keep turning up because everyone has bad days’.

“If I didn’t have that support – the people there surrounding me – and I’d had a bad day, I probably wouldn’t have come back.”

Moreover, Minto has an awareness of how transformative the sport of boxing can be. After all, he himself has travelled along the wrong path. It has been through fighting that he has found redemption.

“You can just get caught,” he said.

“Like me, I was caught up in the wrong crowds, just getting in trouble and boxing was the outlet where I was taken away.

“On weekends I was no longer going to parties, I was training or I was going to watch the boxing shows.

“So it’s a good outlet for young kids and for teenagers.

“It teaches discipline and respect. That’s what it taught me the most, a lot of discipline.”

Then of course there are the young people in his life that matter to him the most – his children. Their fight is as much his as it is theirs.

“I’m not Indigenous, but my kids are… so I want them to be involved in their culture a lot,” Minto told with incredible candour.

“Then growing up with the Indigenous community [in Toronto] I saw a lot of things that weren’t right.

“When I’d go to the shops with them, they’d be pointed out for something that they didn’t do only because of their skin colour.

“It’s a big thing for me to stand up and do what’s right.”

All of this being said, when the right opportunity presents itself, he will be ready.

‘The Machine’ is a well-oiled one and is ready to fight in the only way he knows best – marching forward towards the next challenge, none of which are too big or small.

“I’m looking for fights at the moment,” he said.

“I’m staying active, training all the time just waiting for that next fight to come through.

“Hopefully around 2022, I’d like to get an Australian title. There’s plenty in that top five.

“That’s what I’m looking at.”

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author

Leave a Reply