Aussie wrap-up for April
Anthony Cocks rounds up April's action from Down Under, including a win for former world title holder Sam Soliman...
Former IBF middleweight champion Sam 'King' Soliman 45-14 (19) had an easy go of it against Hungarian journeyman Balazs Horvath 29-22 (6), stopping him in the third round of a scheduled ten at the Melbourne Pavilion in Melbourne, Victoria on 22 April.
Horvath was down in the first and second rounds before referee Ignatius Missailidis stepped in to stop the contest after the third knockdown of the bout.
Soliman won his world title on points from longtime 160-pound titleholder Felix Sturm in Germany in 2014, only to lose it in his first defence to former undisputed world middleweight champion Jermain Taylor of the USA later that year. The popular 43-year-old Soliman has indicated this will be his last year as a prizefighter.
Also on the Brian Amatruda promoted card Jayde Mitchell 13-1 (7) from Rye on the Mornington Peninsula logged a stay-busy win over Roland Oroszlan 8-4 of Hungary with a second round TKO. Oroszlan was down in both rounds before the towel came in from his corner.
Mitchell currently holds the interim WBA Oceania super middleweight title. The full champion is Sydney’s hard-hitting Bilal Akkawy 14-0-1 (12) who is currently ranked number 13 by the WBA.
Fighting for the first time since his first professional loss, super middleweight Jake Carr 12-1 (4) of Newport, Victoria went the eight-round distance with New South Welshman Steven Ma 7-10-1 (2). Ma was down in the first but Carr couldn’t put him away for good. Carr is a former national champion.
Middleweight Dwight 'The Fighting Cowboy' Ritchie 15-1 (2) from Shepparton in regional Victoria only needed two rounds to get rid of Peter Orlik 22-21-1 (3) of Hungary. Referee Bryce Birtwistle saved the visitor from further punishment at 2:59 of the round after the second knockdown.
On a Peter Maniatis promotion on 21 April Bentleigh’s Terry Tzouramanis 17-3-3 (3) slugged out a ten-round unanimous points win over Dandenong’s Brent Dames 5-3 at super lightweight. The fight was a rematch of their June clash that also saw Tzouramanis victorious on points but not before finding himself on the canvas in the first.
Welterweight Tim 'The Hunter' Hunt 21-4-1 (8) was also on the card. The Williamstown, Victoria fighter needed only 2:04 of the first round to dispatch Aekkawee Kaewmanee 16-9 (6) of Thailand.
Over in the West at Eaton Recreation Centre in Bunbury, Western Australia on 8 April IBF number 15 featherweight Nathaniel May 17-1 (9) was extended the 12-round distance for the first time in his professional career by Filipino Randy Braga 20-3-1 (5) to win the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title by unanimous decision. Fighting in front of his home crowd the talented May won by scores of 120-109, 119-109 and 115-113.
Also on the Peter Stokes promotion lightweight 'Brilliant' Brandon Ogilvie 18-2-1 (9) of Perth got back in the winner’s column with a virtual shutout of Junjesie Ibgos 11-2 (9) of the Philippines. Ogilvie, who was coming off a 12-round points loss to WBA number 10 George Kambosos Jr last December, won the vacant IBF Australasian title by scores of 100-89 and 99-91 twice.
On the same night across the continent at Doltone House in Sylvania Waters, Sydney, NSW, hard-hitting 140-pounder Darragh Foley 11-2 (8) staked his claim for Knockout of the Year with a come-from-behind sixth round stoppage of Filipino Sonny Katiandagho 11-2 (6). The 5’8” visitor, who goes by the nickname the 'Pinoy Hearns', was ahead on two cards 50-46 and 49-46 and even on the third when the Sydney southpaw switched stances to orthodox and slammed home a right cross that had Katiandagho down and out in the dying seconds of the sixth round. It was the second defence of Foley’s WBA Oceania title. Foley, who was born in Kent, UK, but now resides in Sydney, is the WBA’s number 15 super lightweight.
Headlining the John Ioannou promotion, Jack 'The Ripper' Brubaker 13-1-1 (7) made the third defence of his OPBF welterweight title against Mark 'The Slam Man' Sales 22-41-4 (8) from the Philippines, winning by TKO. The 25-year-old from Cronulla put Sales away at 1:54 of the second round.
Undefeated cruiserweight Jai Opetaia 10-0 (7) made short work of Kyle Brumby 5-13-3 (1) stopping him in the second round of an eight-round fight contested at heavyweight. Opetaia won the light heavyweight title at the 2011 Junior World Boxing Championships and became the youngest-ever Australian Olympic boxer when he qualified for the 2012 Games at the age of just 16. The 21-year-old southpaw will get his first real test when he faces 42-fight veteran and former Commonwealth title challenger Daniel 'The Doberman' Ammann 32-9-1 (7) in July.
Also on the card Tim Tszyu moved to 3-0 (2) with a third-round TKO of Ben Nelson 2-3. The 22-year-old Rockdale middleweight is the eldest son of former undisputed super lightweight world champion Kostya Tszyu.
On 7 April at the Gunnedah Town Hall in Gunnedah, NSW, Robert 'Deadly' Medley 32-3 (21) won by TKO5 of a scheduled six against Joe Rea 11-33-5 (4). The 35-year-old from Oakdale was leading 40-35 on all cards at the time of the stoppage.
It was Medley’s second fight back after a nearly six year hiatus from the sport. Medley, who has held regional titles at 147 and 154 pounds, went the distance with Anthony Mundine in 2010 in a 12-round bout contested at middleweight.
Two-time world featherweight title challenger Tommy 'The Titan' Browne 33-6-2 (12) from Campbelltown in Sydney’s west defeated Brisbane-based Thai Arnon Yuchareon 1-18-2 (1) over four rounds at junior middleweight.
The 5’11” Browne retired from the ring after losing to former world title challenger Leonardo Zappavigna at 140-pounds in 2008 before returning almost exactly five years later at middleweight. The 34-year-old will be back in the ring in Singapore in later May in a 10-rounder against fellow veteran Alexander Bajawa 41-3-4 (14) of Indonesia.
World ranked super featherweight Billel 'Baby Face' Dib 21-2 (10) was unsuccessful in his ten-round bout against Yuandale 'Money Shot' Evans 19-1 (14) from Cleveland, Ohio at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma, USA on 21 April.
With the vacant WBA-NABA up for grabs, the 27-year-old Sydneysider outboxed the hard-hitting southpaw for portions of the fight, but it was not enough to secure the win as Evans ran away with the victory by seven rounds to three on all three judges’ scorecards. Dib, who is the cousin of former IBF featherweight champion Billy Dib, is the WBA number 13 and WBO number 7 130-pounder.