Local hero Holland KO king
FIGHT time is always exciting but when the Rockhampton crowd awaits a local hero then the tension really builds.
After watching some brilliant contests among the opening nine bouts on the card for the Muay Thai Kickboxing Extravaganza at the Republik Nightclub on Saturday night, the crowd was hoping to see a victory by one of the local fighters.
With the techno beat like a living pulse, Frank "Onyz" Macdonald was introduced by the MC, to polite applause reserved for someone who is only there in a sacrificial capacity.
Allowing a few seconds for the crowd's excitement to build, the beat again pounded around the club as the MC made his call.
Down the steps came the man the crowd wanted to see win - Johnny "The Hitman" Holland.
Once his feet hit the canvas, the fighter appeared to grow in confidence and, seemingly, in stature.
Holland and Macdonald are both experienced fighters and showed a deep respect for each other as they prepared for the battle and then again during the first of the five rounds when sizing each other up in the full Muay Thai contest.
The second round was fairly even as the two got to close quarters with Holland creating a moment of excitement when a sweep of his leg sent Macdonald to the canvas.
But no damage was done and both fighters were in good condition for the start of the third.
The crowd had quietened since the start of the fight but soon found its collective voice as the pair opened up.
A straight blow to Macdonald's head saw the Cairns-based boxer hit the canvas for a mandatory count of eight with the crowd erupting in a wild frenzy.
While Macdonald got up, the crowd sensed the end was near and continued to make a deafening noise as Holland went in search of the contest-ending punch.
It did not take long and Macdonald was again sent staggering from a blow to the head, causing the referee to put an end to the proceedings.
Holland, who trains at the Yeppoon Fight Centre under Sandy Schofield, still looked fresh at the end of the fight, apart from a small graze under his right eye, and has now shown he is on his way to challenge for national titles, he once held, in the near future.