SPEAKING OUT: Commonwealth Games star Dane Mulivai says stricter penalties should be enforced for those who throw a coward’s punch.
SPEAKING OUT: Commonwealth Games star Dane Mulivai says stricter penalties should be enforced for those who throw a coward’s punch. Rob Williams

"A coward's punch" should cop harsher penalties, says boxer

COMMONWEALTH Games boxer Dane Mulivai has called for tougher penalties for people who maim others with "a coward's punch".

Mr Mulivai, who lives in Redbank Plains, objects to the phrase "king hit" because he says someone who punches another person who is not looking is engaging in disgusting behaviour that should not be given a title associated with royalty and prestige.

Mr Mulivai is well qualified to speak on this matter.

He contested the Commonwealth Games in boxing in 2010 and last year won the Australian K1 kickboxing title and the Combat 8 World Welterweight title.

He is a trained athlete who competes against other trained athletes, in a contact sport that is regulated, and where competitors look their opponents in the eye. But there have been numerous reported incidents of innocent bystanders being punched in the head while they are not looking.

Often the victims fall and hit their heads on concrete. Some of the victims have ended up in comas and have died. Devastated families left in sorrow.

Mr Mulivai's nickname is King Dane, so that is another reason why the term "king hit" upsets him.

"I do not understand why the news (media) continually say it is a king hit," Mr Mulivai said.

"Maybe that is what is driving the kids to gain that title. It is one million per cent a coward's punch. To punch someone who is not looking at you is not something that a man would do. It is disgusting.

"I come from a sport where we are trained to punch other fighters who are trained as well. But they are looking at you.

"These people who are being punched are average people.

"They are not trained for this sort of stuff.

"But even myself, as a trained fighter, if I was punched from the side or back I could die."

Mr Mulivai said it is time severe minimum penalties were introduced.

"If you were able to bring capital punishment back...this falls under that," he said.

"If one man takes another man's life when they are not aware, then maybe they deserve the same punishment.

"There definitely should be harsher punishments. You can't sentence a man to 18 months jail when they have taken another man's life away.

"That is just a slap on the wrist and an insult to the family."

Mr Mulivai has the backing of Prime Minister Tony Abbott who said on 2GB radio that unprovoked attacks were "utterly cowardly".

"It's brutal, it's gratuitous, it's utterly unprovoked and it should be dealt with, with appropriate severity by our system," he said.

"The police, the courts, the judges ought to absolutely throw the book at people who perpetrate this kind of gratuitous, unprovoked violence."

Mr Mulivai said it was "the families that suffer because they live with what happens for the rest of their lives."

"These people that do these disgusting acts should think of the mums and dads that suffer and think about what it would be like if their brother or sister was hit, before they punch someone.

"I feel for the parents. I am a father of three kids.

"My oldest son is 13, but now he is going to be deprived of his freedom because I can't let him out when there is the risk of some stupid fool out there on the street trying to get a title under his belt."