It often feels like an impossible task to balance life at the best of times, whether you’re working on the lifestyle roster, fly-in fly-out, four-panel or residential. Add into the mix being a professional athlete and it’s a whole other kind of balancing act.
Albert Nolan started boxing when he was 14 years old and turned professional in 2018.
“I always wanted to do it because my family has always been passionate about it. My dad and my uncles used to box when they were younger which made me want to do it even more,” said Albert.
“I boxed as an amateur and won a couple of NSW and Australian titles so it was a natural progression into the professional ranks for me.
“The more fights I had as an amateur I started to think more about the professional fights and then eventually took a chance and got a go at it.”
Albert’s debut professional fight was in June 2018. He took on Daniel Carr at the Town Hall in Gunnedah. Albert won by unanimous decision and was then forced to take a break from professional bouts thanks to the Covid pandemic.
His next professional fight was Lee Fook in April 2021 which Albert won by a split decision before taking on Chris Oliver twice and then taking on Daniel Carr again which ended in a draw for the super featherweight Australian title.
Albert said he was disappointed that he didn’t win that fight being a draw, but it was also a lesson because he walked away with a loss when he could’ve bested his opponent.
“We went for the full ten rounds, ending in a draw. Boxing commentator Barry Michael mentioned it was the fight of the year contender which I am very proud of, but a win would’ve been great.”
His most recent professional fight was in Melbourne against Pom Thanawut Phetkum in April. Albert won by split decision.
Albert trains at the Black and Blue Gym in Gunnedah.
“I’m trained by Spike Syphers, who organises our training and fight schedule. We all get along and Spike is a positive influence on the gym members. It’s a great place to train and learn more from seasoned boxers like Wade Ryan.”
When he isn’t training, Albert spends the rest of his time at Whitehaven’s Narrabri mine. He completed his two-year traineeship with Bolt Up Mining, gaining a CER-III in underground mining and started a full time permanent job as an underground operator at Narrabri in early 2022.
Balancing a full-time job and a full-time professional career is a challenge.
“Let’s just say it’s annoying but we make it work,” laughed Albert.
It helps that Albert has someone in the same situation as him to look up to. Professional boxer Wade Ryan is also a miner and has balanced work and professional sport to get to his 21 fight wins including eight knockouts.
“Wade is a big influence and gives me guidance on how to manage the load. He’s been in boxing a long time and is also a teammate at Narrabri Underground. He has first-hand knowledge of what it takes to balance these commitments.”
What’s next for Albert? A whole lot more boxing.
“Just going to keep taking whatever comes my way, but hopefully I will start to take on some bigger names and bigger fights.
“I’m not sure who I would like to take on, just people with more experience and that will make them exciting fights for me.”
Other than finding some bigger names to fight, Albert said boxing keeps him busy outside of work and helps him stay in shape and keep fit.
And if staying in shape and fit leads to becoming a professional athlete, that’s worth the balancing act!