Isaac Buckley’s Rise in the Ring
As a teen, Isaac Buckley was one of many talented kids chasing surfing success on Australia’s cutthroat Junior Series. The nuggetty Dee Why bred goofy was fast, sharp and powerful, but among the Mitch Coleborns, Julian Wilsons and Matty Wilkos of his peer group, his path to surfing stardom was never going to be easy. Then a serious car accident at twenty, followed by a dislocated knee once he returned to the water, all but wiped-out his competitive career.
Now, nearly ten years on, he’s enjoying an athletic resurgence of sorts, and already it’s brought him a good deal of success.
"I took up boxing five years ago," says Buckley, who remains undefeated in nine fights, including his most recent two as a pro. "It definitely translates between the two sports. Your balance, your core strength, your stamina. You don’t realise the stamina you have when you’re a surfer. You’re constantly paddling. I feel like I can pretty much out-round anyone."
What the father of one has also brought with him from the waves is a serious fan base of fellow surfers, a lot of whom will be on hand at the North Sydney Leagues Club this Friday night to watch the big-swinging super middleweight compete in his third professional fight.
"The Northern Beaches community is so special in that regard," says Buckley, who now lives in Narrabeen and has a healthy network of support from there as well as his native Dee Why.
With the hard yards done in the lead-up to this latest bout, Buckley’s feeling confident about a win and setting his sights on the NSW title from there.
"That’s the next step," he says. "And then my ultimate goal in the future is to get an Oceanic belt, which is the Pacific region. I love the purity of it. I feel like it’s the closest you get to equal competition."