Ibrahim and Qamil Balla are brothers and professional boxers, born and bred in Werribee in Melbourne’s western suburbs. The family migrated to Australia from Albania, settling in the western suburbs over 30 years ago. Both are now full time professional athletes competing in boxing and have a very strong connection with the west.
“Growing up in Werribee was fun. We lived on our family farm and went to primary school in Werribee before moving to the Maribyrnong College Specialist Sports School and eventually onto the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.”
The brother’s journey in boxing started when they were very young. They were introduced to boxing by their father and uncle. The family operated a boxing gym on their farm in Werribee, training local boxers from the western suburbs and giving many young people a place to go.
Qamil was on the Commonwealth Games team in India in 2010 and Ibrahim on the London Olympic team in 2012.
“Our dream even at a young age was to be world champions and as amateur boxers we achieved success, winning multiple State and National titles, and we proudly represented Australia in international competition.”
The brothers often go to Anderson Street for re-fuelling after training at one of their favourite haunts like HealThy Self Co or Wee Jeanie.
“Over the years we have noticed many changes in the western suburbs. Places like Yarraville and Seddon have developed into great havens to eat and socialise and the multicultural elements bring a variety of food choices making the west such an attractive place to live and visit.”
On March 11 the brothers are back in action for ‘West Side Rumble’ at Grand Star receptions in Altona North. Ibrahim will be main event defending his WBA Oceania Featherweight title against undefeated Thai Norasing Kokietgym and Qamil takes on Adam Diu Abdulhamid of the Philippines.
For tickets: Nasuf Balla 0423 399 010 or The Gym Yarraville 9689-7700.
You can follow the brothers on social media via Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @ballaboysboxing