'My life has been a mad travelling show, meeting some of the strangest and greatest people who've ever lived. I've had my fair share of trouble and I'm lucky to be here. But I've always been a showman and I've done my best to preserve a precious part of an old Australia that's fast disappearing.'
Son of a sideshow operator and trapeze artist, fourth-generation showman Fred Brophy grew up on the road, travelling the length and breadth of Australia. He did time in jail as a wild teenager before establishing his own successful boxing tent. It has become a star attraction in the Outback and is now the only one of its kind in the world.
Fred tells stories of living on the smell of an oily rag, rescuing battlers, and becoming embroiled in some of the most bizarre adventures imaginable. This is one helluva life, full of hardship, hilarity and unexpected turns, including Fred being inducted into the Queensland Boxing Hall of Fame and receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia.
'Now ladies and gentlemen, let's go inside. The show's about to begin . . .'
Fred Brophy is an Australian icon. He's a fourth generation showman who still operates his boxing tent - the last of its kind in the world. He makes an annual appearance at Birdsville Races where the tent is a major drawcard. He was admitted into the QLD Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010, and was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2011 for services to charity and to the entertainment industry in keeping old-style tent boxing alive. Fred is now sixty and lives in his pub at Kilkivan, Queensland, with his partner, Sandi. He also has a pub in Cracow. A major two-part documentary about his boxing tent, Outback Fight Club, shows regularly on Qantas flights domestically and all over the world and every time he travels overseas, he invariably meets locals who've heard of him.