Darren Brown has a chat with former Rabbitoh from Outlaw Boxing, Mark ‘Koogs’ Kyle. Don’t miss the all in brawl footage from 1985 at Redfern Oval plus the bonus Koogs knockouts at the end.
WOW – It’s great to see Koogs doing well and please send him my best regards.
In the early 80s Botany Rams and Coogee Wombats young blokes absolutely hated each other and every game invariably ended up in a stink. So as we became A graders in the mid 80s that rivalry had not ceased.
It culminated one day down at Coogee Oval after the years of built-up tension would finally come to a head. Everyone in the Souths Juniors community knew that this game was going to blow, even the referees knew this game was going to blow and put their best refs on the job.
On The Wommies side was Koogs, a man who would eventually become Australia’s heavyweight boxing champion and on the Botany side was a man who would eventually become two times world heavyweight kickboxing champion Grant “The Bomber” Barker. The ground was packed that day not to see the football but to see the stink between these two champions.
Both of them came out onto the ground with both hands strapped with the inners of a boxer without there gloves. In the first scrum both of them packed in the front row opposite each other and I was the Botany hooker, so I thought let’s get this party started and put one on Heno’s chin who was the opposite hooker.
This would have to be the best all in brawl I’ve ever been involved in on a football game without actually being involved in, because we all stood back like kids in a school yard brawl in a circle and let Koogs and Bomber just go for it.
It was one of the best one on one fights I have ever seen and even said to Micky Harcombe who was reffing it to just, call time out and stand back and watch one of the greatest fights of all time.
They went hammer and tong at each other for about 5 minutes in the best stink I ever saw. Their fight ended up a a draw and I even ended up arm in arm with Heno agreeing how good it was and how privileged we were to have ringside seats.
It was a privilege to watch these two guys go hard at each other but even more of a privilege to see them go on to become champions in their own rights.
Never to be replicated.
By Ronan Byrne