Orange boxer's message for drunken thugs: you're gutless

AUSTRALIAN welterweight title hopeful Sam Ah-See has a simple message for the punch-drunk men who think they’re tough for hitting innocent bystanders.

You’re not and it’s gutless.

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell yesterday revealed pubs and clubs in Sydney’s CBD will be forced to lock out new customers from 1.30am and cease alcohol trading by 3am under a state government crackdown on alcohol and drug-related violence.

Mandatory minimum sentences of eight years in jail will apply to fatal one-punch attacks involving alcohol and drugs.

And in a passionate plea to stop the violence, Ah-See has weighed in, calling for young men to realise they’re not tough for throwing what is now being dubbed the “coward punch”.

“I’m a young boy, I like to go out and have a good time, but in the last year or so I’ve noticed just how quickly violence escalates and how boys overreact,” he said, just a month out from his Australian title bout in Orange on February 21.

“There appears to be a new breed of blokes who think the bigger they are, the tougher they are. That attitude needs to stay at the gym.

“The coward punch makes me sick. It’s sad to think the boys that lost their lives were just out to have fun. I don’t understand why people start on others for no reason ... it’s gutless.”

Ah-See has applauded Australian boxing champions Danny Green and Anthony Mundine for taking a stance on the issue, and believes the more professionals who follow their lead the better.

He believes the boxing community can have a positive influence.

“I think we can,” he fired.

“I think it’s timely that I show that while I’m a professional boxer I don’t agree with violence.

“These people supporting the stance, it can only be a positive influence.

“I think people need to understand one punch kills and realise if that happens it will ruin your life too, because there’ll be ramifications.”

Ah-See plans to further highlight this message to help combat the “coward punch” at his upcoming Australian title fight against former champion Shannon King in Orange, with a venue still to be determined.

In a raft of changes in the crackdown, Mr O’Farrell also announced bottle shops would have to close their doors at 10pm.

nick.mcgrath@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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