Brad Hore’s quest for Commonwealth redemption
He’s won 175 fights, 11 state titles, seven Australian titles and two golden gloves, but it is the fight Brad Hore didn’t win that has inspired his return to the ring in search of Commonwealth gold.
It’s been seven years since Hore competed as an amateur, 11 since his last Commonwealth Games, and he only realised three weeks ago that he was eligible to make a return to the sport.
It means he has had just a few weeks to prepare for the Queensland state titles at Eagles Sport Complex this weekend, the first step in qualifying for GC2018.
But the 34-year-old is driven by a desire to atone for his performance in 2006, where he was knocked out of the prelims by the eventual gold medallist.
"I should have won a medal in Melbourne in 2006 which was my last Commonwealth Games," Hore told GC2018.com.
"I probably didn’t fight the best and now I have a chance to redeem myself. I would regret it if I didn’t do it.
"There were two favourites for the medals, myself and an English fighter named Don Broadhurst and we ran into each other in the prelims and he beat me and then went on to win the Gold medal.
"I was leading that fight as well, I should have gone a lot further than I did."
Hore is a two-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games athlete who retired from the amateur ranks in 2010 and turned professional in 2012, fighting seven times before retiring from boxing altogether in 2015.
The State Championships this weekend represent his biggest challenge and also his biggest opportunity in his quest to return to the Games.
If he can overcome the short preparation and rediscover his timing, he’ll be a good chance of claiming the state title, putting him one step closer to an unlikely return.
"I believe this weekend will be my biggest hurdle, because of the short preparation. If get through this, I’ll get five or six weeks to prepare for the finals.
"I know I’ll be a big threat in November if I make it and then a real shot at the Commonwealth Games.
"The unfinished business is bringing home a medal for my family, my people and my country and that would mean the world to me.
"There are hungry young competitors that I’ll be facing and I’m trying to steal their spot, so it won’t be easy.”
"Everything is starting to feel good again, I’ve obviously changed a few things with my training, I’m a lot older now. The main thing is trying to get that timing back.
"I always feel confident. I think it is an advantage I’ve got over the kids trialling, I’ve been through this before, I know what it takes."
A proud indigenous man and dual Olympian and Commonwealth Games athlete, Hore has spent the last five years working as a Deadly Choices tobacco officer, going into schools and running programs on healthy lifestyles.
He has also started his own non for profit organisation ‘Keep your hands to yourself’ which is fast gaining traction, with athletes jumping on board to show their support against violence in the community.
The North Queensland Cowboys jumped on board and donned his footy socks during a game in the NRL season, a powerful message from such a high profile organisation.
"I just had a simple message that I wrote on my hands; keep your hands to yourself, and it just took off on social media," he said.
"I have had a lot of support from athletes and identities, our goal is to go in to a school and run a campaign about teaching kids it is not right to put your hands on anyone.
"I’m a proud indigenous man and hopefully I can be a role model for them and to watch the improvements in them is so rewarding and great to see.
"If I can inspire anyone, that means I’m really doing my job. If I can inspire a kid to follow their dreams, there are so many kids that have such natural talent, we just have to guide them on their way and let them know they can do it."
It’s no idle talk, Hore has lived it.
He started boxing when he was 10 years old and lost every one of his first 10 fights. He’s hoping to add a few more wins before he hangs up the gloves for good.
"I started when I was 10 years old and I lost my first 10 fights," he said.
"But my very first amateur coach said I would make the Commonwealth Games. He said I would make the 2002 Games, but I beat him, because I actually made the Sydney Olympic team which was huge."
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