Boxing legend Fred Brophy and his wife Sandi have sold the Kilkivan Hotel-Motel and now plan to retire
Fred Brophy OAM (Photo: Wikipedia)

June 16, 2022

Fifteen years after taking over ownership of the Kilkivan Hotel, boxing legend Fred Brophy has passed the property on to a new owner.

The hotel’s sale was finalised on Tuesday (June 14) when former Glen Echo Dirt Bike and Camping Park owners John Panetta and his wife Karen took over the reins.

The business is diagonally opposite a large corner block in Bligh Street which is the site of a proposed café and retail development submitted to Gympie Regional Council in April by Glen Echo MX Pty Ltd for approval.

At present, the site is home to a single vacant shop which will reopen on July 1 as a motorcycle repair centre, Kilkivan Small Engines.

Brophy, a fourth generation showman, was born in Perth to a sideshow operator father and a trapeze artist mother, and began boxing at a young age when his father and his uncle toured with their boxing tents.

He started his own boxing tent business after moving to Queensland, and Fred Brophy’s Boxing Troupe quickly became a mainstay at many outback Queensland towns and festivals, including the Birdsville Races.

He was inducted into the Queensland Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009, and in 2010 was the subject of the SBS documentary “Outback Fight Club” which detailed what was supposed to be his last outback tour.

In 2011 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his efforts in fundraising for charity and for services to the entertainment industry.

Brophy and his wife Sandi bought the Cracow Hotel in 2000 and used it as a headquarters for their boxing business, then added the Kilkivan Hotel seven years later.

He told media the idea of buying the Kilkivan Hotel-Motel had come to him while driving from Cracow to Brisbane.

The hotel had appealed to him as a classic Queensland pub.

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