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Former truckie in spotlight at Horn v Tszyu showdown in Townsville

Retired owner-operator and veteran boxing trainer Dennis Clancy will be on the world stage when one of his fighters has a bout on the undercard of the much anticipated showdown between Jeff Horn and Tim Tszyu.

The gala night of boxing will be broadcast nationally and internationally on cable television from Townsville’s giant Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday, August 26.

An estimated 16,000 people are expected to be at the Stadium and many will be locals cheering on Clancy’s boxer Patrick Clarke from Palm Island.

The 26-year-old Clarke who had 70 amateur bouts will have his first professional contest and will fight Horn’s brother Ben in  welterweight division.

Clancy appeared in Big Rigs in late 2018 when he was an owner-operator driving a 2005 Mitsubishi Freighter around Townsville where he was a common sight

His company was DJ Clancy Couriers and after many years he retired from life on the road in 2019.

“I pick up and deliver disposables mainly around Townsville and it is a good truck which I purchased second hand. Before that it used on the main run between Townsville and Charters Towers,” he told Big Rigs at the time.

During the week in the lead up to the bout Patrick will train on Palm Island under the guidance of veteran conditioner Ray Dennis with assistance from former champion amateur boxer Telstan Sibley.

On weekends Clarke is making the trip from Palm Island by ferry to train at the Hawks Club Bamford Lane gym under Dennis Clancy.

This night of boxing will be one of Australia’s biggest sporting events in a year when Covid-19 has created havoc.

Jeff Horn is famous around the globe coming to fame when beating one of the world’s greatest ever fighters – Filipino Manny Pacquiao’s – in front of more 50,000 people at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Jeff  Horn also had an impressive win since over Anthony Mundine whilst his opponent if a son of former champion Kosta Tsyzu.

Dennis Clancy was also a quality rugby league forward who was a member of the Mount Isa team which took out the prestigious Foley Shield competition.

Now aged 65, Clancy moved to Townsville in 1989 and has been impressed by Clarke’s commitment to training.

“Patrick has been sharp and possesses great reflexes, a good set of eyes and has the ability to become one of the country’s best fighters,” Clancy said.

“This is a good thing for Palm Island and a message for the youth that they can achieve positive things,” he added.

Clarke’s idols are Anthony “The Man” Mundine and American boxer Roy Jones.

Clarke told Big Rigs in early August from Palm Island after signing the fight contract on the mainland that this opportunity will certainly be something positive for the community.

“There will be people watching from around the world and this will be good for me and the Palm Island people. Since the announcement was made that I will be fighting it has gone viral on social media,” he said.

Quietly spoken Patrick is a genuine family man and along with his partner Caroline Williams they have two sons – Ernest aged two, and Patrick jnr, aged four.

“I am hopeful this will show the youth here that they can achieve what they put their minds to. Also the beauty of Palm Island with our beaches, clear waters and other things will be showcased,” he said.

Previously the biggest crowd Clarke fought before was about 300 at one of his 70 amateur tournaments.

Palm Island Mayor Mislam Sam said the community would benefit greatly from the exposure.

“Palm Island has a long history of producing good boxers and this will also show youngsters that dedication and hard training has enabled Patrick to achieve this,” Cr Sam said.

Now aged 65, Clancy played rugby league for Burdekin (between 1974 and 78) and Mount Isa (1980/81) in the defunct North Queensland Foley Shield competition.

Dennis was also a quality boxer who moved to Townsville and started as a trainer for the Hawks Boxing Club in 1998.

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