New gym owners up for the fight

August 5, 2022 BY

Going the distance: Lucas Allen and Dariean Menchini, two of the four owners of Bendigo Fight Centre, have recently taken over the former Hit Factory Boxing gym. Photo: JONATHON MAGRATH

WHAT started in a backyard has grown into Bendigo’s newest fight gym.

The Bendigo Fight Centre recently took over the Hit Factory Boxing gym in Golden Square, and the new owners are ready to make their mark.

Head coach and fighter Lucas Allen said he and his friends had been running BFC in a shed with a home-made ring, before building a mixed martial arts cage.

When the City of Greater Bendigo told Allen he couldn’t have the cage in the backyard, he and his three co-owners Dariean Menchini, Kaleb Heffernan and Hamish Catto went gym shopping.

As luck would have it, the owner of the Hit Factory Boxing gym was just about to put the site up for sale.

“The same day we were looking for a gym and we couldn’t believe the biggest fight gym in Bendigo was up for sale,” Allen said. “It was destined, it certainly felt it and it has felt it since being here.”

For $80,000, the new owners took over the space and equipment, including two boxing rings, punching bags and various weights and cardio equipment.

They also inherited Hit Factory’s members and range of classes, including the popular youth boxing sessions, but also offer Muay Thai and grappling training.

Allen relocated to Melbourne to learn kickboxing when he was 17, and when he moved back to Bendigo to be closer to family, he realised fight facilities were lacking.

“When I was just training, all I wanted was a gym that was 24/7 and had as many classes as possible,” he said.

“There are gyms in Melbourne that do that and that’s what I was used to. Now we can give that to people and it’s starting to pop off.”

Allen said sessions aimed at younger people are a big focus for BFC, as fight gyms can provide a positive outlet.

“If you happen to be a bit of a bully, you can only be a bully for so long when you’re in a fight gym,” he said. “Bullies tend to not be a bully after a while when training, they get humbled.

“For younger kids to come into a gym, a humble, warm environment but still a disciplined, hard, training environment… we’re convinced the more they are here the less likely they are going to start causing trouble.”