Q&A: One on One with Herman Ene Purcell

IT has just been over a week since Channel Nine’s ‘Footy Show Fight Night’ which had a spread of some of the most celebrated Rugby League and Union players lacing up the gloves and showcasing what they have in the ring.

One of those men was Kangaroo and Origin great, Paul Gallen who fought his way to a decision win over MMA practitioner Randall Rayment.

In an Aus-Boxing exclusive, we speak to the man who Gallen fought on debut, powerful Queenslander heavyweight, Herman Ene Purcell, who welcomed Gallen to the professional ranks with a thunderous left hook that sat the Cronulla great on his backside.

Purcell speaks about his loss to Gallen, his evolving career as a top Australian heavyweight, and what it means to be part of a great training team.

Dan Smart: Welcome to Aus-Boxing, Herman. You’ve made a very solid start to your professional career, for the readers that don’t know a lot about you, can you tell the fans what style of fighter you are?

Herman Ene Purcell: I am still very much in the development stage of career Dan. Like most Samoan fighters, I have and short stocky type frame so I guess we are just focusing on working with the tools I have naturally.

I am naturally aggressive in the ring and have natural strength so like I said, just working on my style to match the natural physical attributes I have been blessed with.

DS: You had quite a memorable debut fighting Rugby League star, Paul Gallen. You knocked him down with a solid left hook only to be stopped by him later on. What have you learnt from that fight?

HP: That was an awesome experience, I’d only been in the boxing industry for five months at the time and getting an opportunity like that early in my career was unbelievable. From a kid that moved to Australia with nothing to being in the ring with one of Rugby League’s best in front of a massive crowd, was just unreal.

It was a good learning curve, I believe I’m a better fighter than I was when I fought him, but I am always aiming to get better by learning, listening to good people in the game and putting in the hard work. I would love a rematch to even up the scores.

DS: You train out of Smithy’s Gym in Toowoomba. How has this helped your career given there is such a high quality stable of fighters?

HP:  It has helped a lot. My team mates are awesome and we never hesitate to help each other out. We are always pushing each other which is fantastic. To have guys of the calibre of Les Sherrington, Kris George, Brayd Smith, Jack Asis, Will Young the list goes on, certainly helps you as a fighter.

Brendon Smith, is an incredible trainer and I’m blessed to have him guide me in my career. He works hard to do what’s best for his fighters. 

DS: You are of Samoan descent. How has the success of fighters such as David Tua and Alex Leapai inspired you?

HP: David Tua has been my idol since I was a young kid, he is my favourite fighter of all time. The way he knocked opponents out in the manner he did was incredible, his left hook was murderous.

Alex and David have very similar styles, relying on pressure, body work and punching power due to often giving away height and reach to opponents. I hope one day in my career I get as far as Tua & Leapai have. They both have done our country proud.

DS: Can you tell our readers three things that we might not know about the “Hermanitor?”

HP: Firstly, I am actually doing my apprenticeship as a barber which I am really enjoying. For those that don’t know, I also work as a crowd controller on the weekends and make sure everyone’s having a safe night and I’m a family man that’ll do anything for my family. My number one goal is to make my parents proud.  

Words: Dan Smart/Follow Dan on Twitter
Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *