By day, Josh Whitaker prepares horses for a prominent stable at Warwick Farm.
By night, he has been busy preparing himself for a challenge he never thought possible.
The 25-year-old will compete in his first boxing bout on Friday night at Club Marconi.
Six months ago he weighed 115 kilograms. Diets had come and gone and he was looking for a way to lose some weight.
“I always wanted to lose weight and I tried those silly fad diets that didn’t work and I have always been a fan of boxing so a friend showed me Final Round Gym and I started boxing and I really enjoyed it,” he said.
“After a while I asked about having a fight, so here I am. I am fighting someone from the same gym and I am really looking forward to it.”
As a horse foreman, the former New Zealander makes sure the 120-horses in the stable are looked after and exercising.
As a boxer, his priority has been training hard in preparation for the exhibition fight. It has meant his day begins at 4am and ends with two hours in the gym five days a week.
Already he has lost 15 kilograms and set himself a target to lose 10 more to fight in the division under super heavyweight.
“Fingers crossed it all goes well,” he said of the fight.
“Boxing is something I want to continue with and have more amateur fights.”
I always wanted to lose weight and I tried those silly fad diets that didn’t work and I have always been a fan of boxing so a friend showed me Final Round Gym and I started boxing and I really enjoyed it.Josh Whitaker
Originally only planning to come Australia for six months, Whitaker started working with Gai Waterhouse when he arrived.
His highlight to date is seeing Fat Al holding a determined finish by Ambidexter to score by a head in the group 1 Epsom Handicap in 2012.
“It was my first group 1 horse I strapped and it was crazy to go through the emotions throughout the whole preparation and see it win on a big race day,” he said.
“A lot of effort goes in to a horse so it is rewarding to see it perform. When a horse wins, it’s the best feeling alive.”
It’s a feeling he is hoping replicate in the ring on Friday night.
- Boxing at its Best, Club Marconi, Friday February 16. The 15-bout card will begin at 7pm.