When Father Dave Smith of Holy Trinity Church in Dulwich Hill saw the youth centre’s budget was a few thousand dollars short, he decided to break a Guinness world record and raise $10, 000. “I can preach and I can punch, and nobody is looking to pay me anything for my sermons,” he joked, writes The Dairy’s religion and pugilism correspondent, Ester Han. Oh Palm Sunday he fought 66 people, from celebrity amateurs to world champions, in 120 rounds to break the world record for the most continuous rounds of boxing. “He could have killed me,” said satirist John Safran, who at one point hit Father Dave on the nose. “I knew if I hurt him, he was going to get me back. I was actually scared.” Father Dave sparred with boxing champions Lovemore N’dou and Anthony Mundine, television personality Andrew Denton, and former champion wrestler and friend, Kon Pappy. “We founded the youth centre in 1992 to keep kids off the street by teaching them martial arts,” Pappy said.
This stumped Safran. “Dave’s thing is to get violent youths off the streets, teach them how to fight harder,” he said. “I don’t get the theory. I bring it up with him all the time.”