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A Melbourne Story - Boxing Documentary

Two Boxers. Two Mates. One Hell of a World Title Fight. When Lester Ellis and Barry Michael clashed for a world title decades ago, it was a night for boxing fans to remember. Against a backdrop of organized crime, and crumbling friendships, A Melbourne Story is an account of the only fight between two Australians for a world championship in boxing.

The 1985 junior lightweight fight between Barry Michael and Lester Ellis was very much a Melbourne story, featuring a broad spectrum of Melbourne's underworld _ the Carlton 'mob' on Lester's side through his manager Cos Sita, and the Dockers on Barry's, through trainer Leo Berry.

Michael, 30, had already had a long and arduous career. Ellis was only 20 and was a crowd favourite. Michael had been Ellis's boyhood hero. He idolised the older boxer, sparred with him and lapped up the techniques and quirks that would take him to the top of his profession.

When Michael decided to challenge Ellis, Ellis accepted immediately, despite advice to the contrary. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose. But Michael knew which emotional buttons to push with the younger, hot-headed boxer, and goaded him into a fight for the title. It started one of the most acrimonious build-ups to a fight in Australia's history, fuelled by underworld jostling, betrayal and intense personal rivalry.

The fight went to 15 rounds and was one of the most dramatic and violent seen in Australia.

When the dust settled, Michael was the crowned winner. The victory amazed boxing experts around the world.

For Michael, who was expected to lose, the fight was a crowning achievement in a career that had been a struggle every step of the way. For the working class boy Ellis, the loss was a disaster from which he never really recovered.

Twenty years later, Ellis and Michael have resumed their friendship, but continue to reflect on the night that changed their lives forever.

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$7.95 USD