'I’ve seen a lot of violence in my life': How a tough childhood shaped rising star’s boxing career

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The WBO No.3 lightweight fights Francis Chua on the Jeff Horn-Anthony Mundine undercard on November 30.

On Friday, 26-year-old Kye Mackenzie could become the WBO Number One ranked lightweight fighter, if he beats Francis Chua in Horn vs Mundine undercard bout.

But Mackenzie says a chain of often difficult life events shaped him into the up and coming boxer he is today.

Kye 'Frenzy' Mackenzie defeats Philippino Jonel Alibio in September 2017.
Kye 'Frenzy' Mackenzie defeats Philippino Jonel Alibio in September 2017.
Facebook/KyeFrenzyMackenzie

He said growing up in the NSW country town Gunnedah was a formative experience, particularly in a household where his mother was a victim of domestic violence.

"It still lives with me today and I didn't even realise," he told SBS News. "It's like I carry I chip on my shoulder so soon as something bad happens I jump to conclusions."

But that time is also the reason he has the drive to succeed, rising up through the ranks of the WBO's lightweight division.

Kye Mackenzie is aiming for a world title fight in 2019.
Kye Mackenzie is aiming for a world title fight in 2019.
Facebook/KyeFrenzyMackenzie

"I've seen a lot of violence in my life. It's probably why I'm so good at boxing because I've got a lot of anger in me."

Lacking role models of his own in his younger years, he says he wants to help young people who have endured a tough upbringing.

The young boxer regularly visits a juvenile justice centre in Sydney.

"It's opening my eyes to go okay, I can help these young people. And it helps me focus and makes me see what I'm doing is the right thing to do."

With a grueling training regime, finding the time to spend with his two-year-old son has been a challenge.

"It's hard, it's really hard 'cause I miss my son," he said, getting choked up with emotion.

Nicknamed Mr Frenzy, Mackenzie has won 17 of his 20 professional fights via knockout.

Kye Mackenzie training for his match against Francis Chua.
Kye Mackenzie training for his match against Francis Chua.
SBS

He hopes the bout against Francis Chua on Friday also results in knockout win. 

Mackenzie's mentor, Jimmy Jacobs, says he believes the 26-year-old has what it takes to be a world title holder.  

"I think this kid could win a world title tomorrow," he said. "You know there's no worries and there's no doubt that he can win a world title."

Mackenzie says he has big dreams. 

"I aim to win multiple world titles and then go down in the history books as one of the best boxers ever from Australia."

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