Aussie wrap-up for January and Feburary
Sydney super middleweight Bilal Akkawy's latest win headlined a busy few weeks of boxing action in Australia. Anthony Cocks is here with his latest round-up...
Sydney super middleweight Bilal Akkawy 17-0-1 (14) took a step up in class to score the biggest win of his career when he outpointed former WBA 'regular' champion Giovanni De Carolis 25-9-1 (13) at Club Punchbowl in Sydney on 24 February on a Neutral Corner promotion.
The power-punching 24-year-old outgunned the experienced Italian to win a wide points decision by scores of 100-89 and 99-90 twice. De Carolis was docked a point in the fourth round for excessive holding. The fight was more competitive that the official scores suggest.
Akkawy retained his WBA Oceania title with the win and is now looking for a big domestic match-up with local rival Jayde Mitchell 15-1 (8) who will face Argentinian banger Ariel Alejandro Zampedri 9-2 (7) next month in his first fight back from neck surgery late last year.
At the St Kilda Town Hall in Melbourne on 24 February WBA #6 and IBF #9 super flyweight Andrew 'The Monster' Moloney 16-0 (10) was too classy for IBF #5 and WBC #10 Rene 'Commander' Dacquel 20-7-1 (6) winning on points over 12 fast-paced rounds on a Hosking Promotions show.
Moloney showed a stiff jab and sustained body attack to control the action and win by scores of 117-111, 118-111 and 119-109 against his durable Filipino opponent. With the win Moloney retains his WBA Oceania title and claims Dacquel’s OPBF strap.
On the same card bantamweight Jason 'The Smooth One' Moloney 16-0 (13) joined his twin brother Andrew as Commonwealth champion with a third round knockout of former world title challenger Immanuel 'The Prince' Naidjala 23-5-1 (13).
After a feeling out round Moloney stepped up the pressure in the second stanza. In the third round Moloney backed the 33-year-old Namibian into a corner before he unleashed a big right hand that landed flush on the visitor’s chin. The 27-year-old Moloney unloaded on Naidjala who didn’t fire back, prompting the referee to halt the contest. The stoppage appeared a touch premature.
Moloney, who is ranked WBA #9 and IBF #12 at bantamweight and WBO #5 at super bantamweight, retains his WBA Oceania 118lbs title with the victory and claims the vacant Commonwealth title.
On the first card of the year former WBA super middleweight titleholder Anthony 'The Man' Mundine 48-8 (28) breathed life into his career with a one-punch knockout of former world title challenger Tommy Browne 35-7-2 (13) in the second round of a ten-round bout at The Star Casino in Pyrmont, Sydney on 17 January. The show was promoted by No Limit Boxing.
Browne, who twice challenged for world featherweight titles in 2005, held his own in the opening round but Mundine proved he still has some pop in his punches when he nailed the 34-year-old with a perfect left hook at the end of the second round. Browne was counted out at 2:59.
Mundine, who competed at cruiserweight and junior middleweight in his previous two fights, annexed the WBO Oriental middleweight title with the win. The 42-year-old Sydneysider is targeting a shot at the WBO middleweight crown currently in the hands of Billy Joe Saunders.
On the undercard, stylish southpaw Jai Opetaia 14-0 (11) dominated the opening two rounds against Ben Kelleher 7-1-2 (4) sending him to the canvas in the second round before a hand injury to Kelleher forced him to withdraw from the contest in the third. Opetaia, who holds the record as the youngest ever Australian Olympic boxing representative, was defending his Australian cruiserweight title in the ten-round bout.
WBO #12 lightweight Kye MacKenzie 19-1 (16) had mixed fortunes in the ring in his ten rounder against Emiliano Martin Garcia 16-2 (13). The 25-year-old 'Mr Frenzy' dominated his Argentinian opponent, sending him to the deck twice before the referee halted the contest in the fourth round. It was a superb performance from MacKenzie, marred only by a celebratory back-flip that came up short and saw him face-plant live on national TV.
Highly-regarded junior middleweight Troy O’Meley 5-0 (2) scored a split-decision win over rugged Dillon Bargero 3-4 (3). Both boxers were cut from an accidental clash of heads. Scores were 59-55, 58-56 and 55-59.
On a Top Rank card in the United States, Gold Coast super middleweight Rohan 'No Mercy' Murdock 22-1 (16) forced the retirement of Virginian Frankie Filippone 24-7-1 (8) at the end of the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round bout on the undercard of WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez's title defence against Habib Ahmed at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 3.
The 26-year-old Queenslander had Filiponne on the canvas twice in the fourth round. Murdock is being primed by Top Rank for a shot at Ramirez’s title later this year.
Also in the States former WBO junior flyweight champion Louisa 'Bang Bang Lulu' Hawton 7-1 (3) was shown no love in her fight for the vacant WBC International junior flyweight title against Mexican journeywoman Anahi Torres 17-17-1 (2) on the undercard of Superfly 2 at the Forum in Inglewood, California on 24 February. The 32-year-old from Perth forced the action for much of the fight but the judges awarded the bout to Torres by scores of 77-75 twice and 79-73 over eight two-minute rounds.
Australian bantamweight champion Robert 'Trigger' Trigg 3-1-1 (1) retained his national crown with a fourth-round TKO over Jarrett 'Juarez' Owen 6-6-3 (3) at Fortitude Stadium in Newstead, Brisbane on 24 February on a Eureka Promotions show. In a competitive fight Owen was down in the fourth before the referee saved him from further punishment.
On the same card James McDonald 10-2-1 (5) won a six-round decision over veteran Steven Marks 12-12-2 (6) at junior welterweight by scores of 58-56 and 59-55 twice.
In a super middleweight eight rounder John 'Buncrana Banger' Hutchinson 12-2-2 (4) scored a fourth-round TKO of New Zealand-based Iraqi Sivan Hermez 5-14 (4) in an eight rounder at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel in the Brisbane suburb of Kedron on February 17. Sean Reynolds was the promoter.
A card full of tune-ups was presented by JNI Promotions at the Hurstville Entertainment Centre in Sydney on 3 February. Junior welterweight prospect Liam Paro 12-0 (8) stopped Kurt Finlayson 2-9-3 in the third round of a scheduled five, while middleweight Wes Capper 19-2 (12) dispatched Terrence Montgomery 0-2 in four of a scheduled six.
In other fights Tony 'Misdemeanour' Senior 9-0 (7) rolled through Kiwi Daniel Maxwell 6-53-2 in the first round of a four-round bout at middleweight. At junior middleweight Ray Ingram 1-7-1 scored the upset over previously unbeaten Michael Hall 6-1 (4) to get his career-first win by majority decision over six.
Super featherweight Lauryn Eagle 19-4-1 (11) scored a first-round TKO in a scheduled six rounder against Jasita Yotawan 0-2 of Thailand, while Peter Georgiou 6-2-1 (3) defeated Aswin Cabuy 19-68-4 (7) when the Sydney-based Indonesian couldn’t continue after the fourth round of a scheduled six at light heavyweight.