Aussie wrap-up for August

Anthony Cocks
08/09/2018 5:06am

The retirement of ‘Diamond’ Dave Toussaint and world-title fights for TJ Doheny and Luke Jackson headlined August's boxing news 'Down Under'. Anthony Cocks is back with his regular definitive round-up...

Undefeated Australian middleweight champion ‘Diamond’ Dave Toussaint 13-0 (8) has been forced into early retirement on medical advice.

The Canberra southpaw looked to have a bright future in the sport with quality wins over Junior Talipeau, Shane Mosley Jr and Gunnar Jackson in recent fights.

“After months of trying to figure out what’s wrong, every test I’ve done has come back clear and this morning I went to see another doctor who said I more than likely have some sort of neurological degeneration not caused by boxing but having boxed has probably bought the symptoms up and made them worse,” the 26-year-old former electrician posted on social media on 4 August.

“Things seem to be improving not doing any contact work and he has recommended I retire from boxing and look at another career path instead. I’m going to take his advice and retire from the sport.

“It’s a bit of a shame to be having to call it quits when I’m 13-0 and Australian Champion but my boxing career won’t last my whole life and I have to put my health first so it’s just not worth the risk continuing."

Toussaint outpointed Shane Mosley Jr 10-2 (7) over eight rounds on the undercard of Jeff Horn’s upset win over Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in July last year. His final fight was a ten-round points win over teak-tough Kiwi Gunnar Jackson 27-11-4 (12) at the Hellenic club in Woden, Canberra last May.

“I’ve been boxing for 18 years now and had over 80 fights in that time,” continued Toussaint. “I always said I wanted to get as far as I could in boxing and if this is as far as I can go then so be it, I’m proud of my career and what I’ve achieved. I’m still young and have my whole life ahead of me so look forward to what comes next.”

Meanwhile, August's in-ring action was headlined by Australian-based Irishman TJ ‘The Power’ Doheny 20-0 (14), who secured the IBF super bantamweight title with a minor upset over reigning champ Ryosuke Iwasa 25-3 (16) at the famed Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan on 16 August.

The 31-year-old southpaw - who was born and bred in Portlaoise, Ireland but has boxed his entire pro career out of his homebase of Bondi in Sydney, Australia - delivered a poised and polished performance against the Japanese lefty to win by unanimous decision 116-112, 117-112 and 115-113.

Despite his vaunted power Doheny was content to box along with Iwasa, who was making the second defence of the world title he won from compatriot Yukinori Oguni 19-2-1 (7) last September.

All three of Iwasa’s losses have come to fellow southpaws, with England’s Lee Haskins 35-4 (14) and Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka 27-2-2 (19) defeating him by TKO6 and TKO10 respectively.

Doheny was less than impressed with his American promoter Murphys Boxing, posting a sharply-worded reply to their congratulations on his win.

“Thanks for the tweet. But if I look back there wasn’t even as much as a tweet or an announcement to wish me luck before the fight,” Doheny posted on Twitter.

“Now all of [a] sudden I’m a Murphys Boxing first world champion. I wonder what kind of tweet we would have got if I didn’t win title...”

The newly-minted world champion has since signed a management agreement with the fast-growing MTK Global company.

Hobart featherweight Luke ‘Action’ Jackson 16-1 (7) came up short against interim WBO 126-pound champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 26-1 (15) at Belfast’s Windsor Park on August 18, succumbing in nine rounds when his corner threw in the towel.

It was a brave performance by the tough 33-year-old Tasmanian, but the of the two-division titleholder prevailed in front of the proud Ulsterman’s home crowd of 25,000 fans.

The 31-year-old Northern Irishman broke Jackson down round by round, dropping him with a body shot in the eighth before finishing him off in the following round.

Posting on social media, Jackson detailed his injuries after the fight.

"Two perforated eardrums – left ear in round 3, right ear in round 6 and then the body shot in round 8. I wanted to finish the fight but I respect my coach and my team's decision. I'll live to fight another day."

Jackson, who represented Australia at the London Olympics, paid tribute to Frampton who he said was hardest puncher he had ever faced.

"The body shot was bad, real bad,” said Jackson. “That just sucked the life out of me. It's the hardest I've ever been hit."

Former IBF featherweight champion Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib 43-5 (24) lost his bid to become a two-weight world champion when Philadelphia’s Tevin ‘American Dream’ Farmer 26-4-1 (5) outboxed him over 12-rounds for the vacant IBF super featherweight championship at Australian Technology Park in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Eveleigh on August 3.

The 28-year-old American southpaw was simply too quick, too slick and his timing too accurate for the Aussie veteran to mount any sort of sustainable attack.

All three judges awarded the fight to Farmer by scores of 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109.

Dib was down from a counter left hook in the ninth round but convinced his trainer, International Boxing Hall of Famer Jeff Fenech, not to throw in the towel.

“When he knocked me down in the ninth round, I was just buzzing,” Dib told the Daily Telegraph. “My trainer Jeff Fenech was going to throw the towel in but I said ‘Don’t you dare’. I knew I was behind on points but I wanted to leave it all out there.”

The 33-year-old Dib announced his immediate retirement after the loss.

“I can officially say that the curtain has closed on my career. I wanted to show youngsters that you can follow your dreams and I hope I’ve done that,” said Dib.

“Now it’s time for me to focus on the next chapter of my life.”

On the undercard 37-year-old Indonesian southpaw Stevie ‘Wonder’ Ferdinandus 27-16-1 (14) performed an excellent impression of Sonny Liston circa 1965 in his fight against junior middleweight sharpshooter Tim Tszyu 10-0 (8).

Clearly ignoring the fact that Tszyu’s right hand not only missed his chin but flew over his shoulder, Ferdinandus quickly found a soft spot on the canvas to lie down midway through the opening round.

“That is monumentally disappointing from Stevie Ferdinandus, who has stayed down when it appeared he could have quite easily got up.” said broadcast commentator Ben Damon. “And no-one wins from that situation.”

The 23-year-old son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu appeared as disappointed as anyone with the result.

Tszyu 2.0 is back in action at Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo, Victoria on Saturday, 8 September when he takes on Marcos Jesus Cornejo 19-3 (18) of Argentina over ten rounds on the undercard of the WBA super-flyweight world title eliminator between Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 17-0 (10) and former world champion Luis ‘El Nica’ Concepcion 37-6 (26) of Panama.

Also on the Dib-Farmer undercard undefeated Fenech protégé Brock Jarvis 15-0 (14) had another early night when he stopped Yotchanchai Yakeo 26-12 (21) at 1:37 of the opening frame.

The 20-year-old Jarvis, who has scored eight first-round stoppages and has only been past the third round once, generally competes as a bantamweight but is targeting a world title in the super-flyweight division.

Manly knockout artist Mateo Tapia 8-0 (5) had a field day against Isaac Buckley 5-1-1 (1) in a scheduled eight-round super-middleweight bout, dropping him with the first right hand he threw in the fight before knocking him out in the third.

The 20-year-old Tapia, who was born to Mexican and Peruvian parents and lived south of the American border for the first four years of his life, knocked Buckley down with a counter right hand just 15 seconds into the opening round.

The carnage continued for another two rounds before a left-right combination ended the contest 42 seconds into the third frame.

The Tony Del Vecchio-trained Tapia, who claimed the NSW state title with the win, has now defeated two unbeaten boxers in a row.

WBA number six and WBO number 15 ranked junior welterweight Darragh Foley 15-2-1 (8) had to settle for a three-round technical draw against Chris Jenkins 19-3-2 (8) at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Scotland on 24 August.

Jenkins was cut from a head clash in the second round with the ringside physician ruling the injury too severe to continue at the end of the third frame.

Foley, a 29-year-old southpaw, was born in England to Irish parents but now resides in Sydney, Australia. The Jenkins fight was his first professional contest outside of Australia.

Super featherweight Billel ‘Babyface’ Dib 22-3 (10) regained his world ranking by avenging his May majority decision loss to Tanzania’s Bruno Vifuaviwili 21-2-1 (5) with a ten-round unanimous decision at Seagulls Rugby League Club in Tweed Heads on 11 August.

Dib, who believes he deserved the nod in their first fight, regains the WBA Oceania 130lbs title and is now ranked number 12 by the Panamanian-based sanctioning body.

Also on the card WBA number 15 ranked light heavyweight Reagan Dessaix 15-1 (10) outpointed Michael Van Nimwegen 10-6 (4) in a cruiserweight contest over six.

Quintin Carey 4-4 (1) broke a two-fight losing streak to claim the vacant Australian 175lbs title with a split decision victory over Benjamin Dimitrioski 3-4 (2).

In an excellent contest at junior middleweight Dwight ‘The Fighting Cowboy’ Ritchie 18-1 (2) edged out Joel ‘CamaKO’ Camilleri 15-5-1 (7) in a fight that looked like it could’ve gone either way for the vacant IBF Australasian title at the Melbourne Pavilion on 3 August.

Camilleri started the faster of the two, banking early rounds with his in-and-out attack and lateral movement. Ritchie came of strong in the second half of the fight, making good use of his left stick to control the distance.

When the dust settled all three judges awarded the fight to Ritchie by scores of 97-94 and 96-94 twice.

After the fight the popular Camilleri revealed he is planning on moving down a weight class to campaign as a welterweight from here on forward.

Junior welterweight Shadey Souied 9-9-1 (5) stopped veteran Steven Marks 12-13-2 (6) in the first round on an eight-round contest. Marks was on the deck early and beat the count, but the follow-up barrage from Souied forced the referee to intervene and call a halt to the bout.

Undefeated super bantamweight Mark Schielbs 9-0 (6) stopped debutant Nikholm Hongthong 0-1 in the opening frame of a scheduled six-rounder.

WBA number 14 junior middleweight Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa 25-2 (14) stopped Colombian Jose Agustin Feria 23-7-1 (15) in the third round in defence of his WBA Oceania title at the Croatian Club in Footscray, Melbourne on 31 August.

The 26-year-old Zerafa dropped Feria with a beautifully-timed counter right hand. The fight was scheduled for ten

In a cruiserweight contest Blake ‘Il Capo’ Caparello 28-3-1 (12) stopped New Zealand’s Lance ‘Buster’ Bryant 12-4 (5) in the third round of a scheduled eight.

WBC number 11 and WBO number 12 ranked light heavyweight Caparello was coming off an impressive first-round stoppage of former world title challenger Trent Broadhurst 20-3 (12) in June.

Bryant came into the bout was riding an eight fight win streak including an impressive second-round KO of Australia’s Aaron Russell last year.

In a super-middleweight contest Emmanuel Carlos 8-1 (6) kept Thailand’s Waiwit Nareeruk 0-3 winless with a fourth-round TKO in a six rounder.

Carlos was coming off his first career loss, an eight-round points decision against Dwight Ritchie in April.

Australia has a new junior welterweight champion with Steve Spark 6-1 (6) claiming he vacant title with a TKO4 over Sydney-based Irishman Gearoid Clancy 9-6 (2) at Rumours International in Toowoomba, Queensland on 4 August.

The 21-year-old Spark had Clancy down in the opening frame and continued to control the fight until the ringside physician recommended the fight be stopped at the end of the fourth due to a cut sustained from a punch in the final round of the contest.

Former world heavyweight title challenger Alex Leapai 32-7-4 (26) got his revenge on Roger Izonreiti 12-7-1 (11) with a first-round knockout in a fight scheduled for five round.

The 38-year-old Leapai had to settle for a technical draw after three rounds against Izonreiti last December when an accidental clash of heads caused a fight-ending cut to prematurely end the contest.

Two-time world title challenger Tommy ‘The Titan’ Browne 39-7-2 (16) stopped Ghanaian Ebenezer Lantei Lamptey 29-4 (22) in the third round of a scheduled 12 in a junior middleweight contest at the K Ranch Arena in Mt Hunter, New South Wales on 19 August.

The 35-year-old Browne has had two fights in America since being knocked out in two by WBA super middleweight champion Anthony Mundine at The Star casino in Sydney in February.

Junior welterweight Kayne ‘Superman’ Clarke 6-0 (3) dominated Francisco Da Silva 3-1 en route to a fourth-round stoppage in a six-round bout at the Springvale Town Hall in Melbourne, Victoria on 31 August.

Clarke had Da Silva on the deck in second and third rounds before the towel came in at 2:04 of the fourth. Both boxers were docked a point during the course of the fight.

Super featherweight Ben Dencio 7-1 (4) defended the NSW state 130lbs title with an eight-round unanimous decision over Brendan Saunders 5-5-2 (2) at the Hellenic Club in Woden, Canberra, ACT on 18 August.

Denico won by scores of 78-73, 77-75 and 79-73.

In a six-rounder fought just above the middleweight limit Beau Hartas 4-1 (2) outpointed Mark Gadaleta 3-5-2 (2) with scores of 60-55 and 59-56 twice.

Bantamweight April Adams 11-1-1 (4) needed just two rounds to stop Thailand’s Rungnapha Kaewkrachang 13-15-1 (1) in a scheduled five-round bout at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria on 4 August.

Kaewkrachang has lost to former two-time world champion Susie ‘Q’ Ramadan, Cherneka Johnson and Sylvia Scharper on previous trips to Australia.

Middleweight Tayla Harris moved to 3-0 with a six-round points win over Margarite Butcher 0-2.

At cruiserweight Benjamin Kelleher 10-1-2 (4) won a four rounder against Brad Traynor 3-9-2 (1) by scores of 40-36 and 39-37 twice.

The 31-year-old Queenslander will now defend his national cruiserweight crown against southpaw power-puncher Kyle ‘Big Bad Wolf’ Webb 6-0-2 (6) at the same venue on 17 November.