Aussie wrap-up for July
July's Aussie wrap-up is headlined by Jeff Horn's extraordinary victory against the legendary Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp stadium...
The experts said it wouldn’t happen, the fans said it couldn’t happen and Teddy Atlas denied it did happen, but on 2 July Jeff ‘The Hornet’ Horn 17-0-1 (11) sprang the upset of the year when he out-muscled and out-hustled former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38) to claim the WBO welterweight title from the popular Filipino over 12 closely contested rounds.
Fighting in front of his home crowd at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, Horn started fast, crowding Pacquiao on in the inside and bulling him to the ropes. The 29-year-old former schoolteacher feinted his way inside, attacked the body with venom and landed some solid lead right hands and sneaky uppercuts that snapped Pacquiao’s head back.
It wasn’t what Pacquiao was expecting and it took him until the middle rounds to adjust.
The rough and tumble nature of the bout resulted in some unintentional head-clashes when the southpaw and orthodox fighters came together, causing a cut over Horn’s right eye in the second and a split to Pacquiao’s scalp in the sixth.
The second half of the fight was much closer as Pacquiao began to find his range and counter effectively. The champion has a strong eighth round and continued with it in the ninth, unloading on Horn with some powerful punches that wobbled the Australian, who threw very little in return. Referee Mark Nelson warned Horn between rounds that if he didn’t show him something in the tenth he would be stopping the fight.
Horn recovered well and boxed his way back into the fight in the following round.
The championship rounds saw both boxers emptying their tanks. Horn continued to march forward while Pacquiao countered, but it was Horn who appeared to finish the stronger of the two.
When the cards were read Horn was announced the winner by unanimous decision by scores of 117-111 and 115-113 twice.
The undercard of the Duco Events and Top Rank co-promotion featured some well-matched and entertaining clashes.
In the other world title fight Filipino Jerwin Ancajas 27-1-1 (18) successfully defended his IBF super flyweight title with a seventh round TKO of overmatched Japanese Teiru Kinoshita 25-2-1 (8) in the main support bout.
Ancajas broke Kinoshita down, cut him up and eventually stopped him with a right rip to the body in this battle of the southpaws. Kinoshita’s right eye was cut early on and became a target for the rest of the fight, the swelling closing it almost completely by the time of the stoppage.
Irish Olympian Michael Conlan 3-0 (3) was too classy for Australian Jarrett ‘Juarez’ Owen 5-5-3 (2) in a six rounder at featherweight.
The 26-year-old form Belfast spent much of the fight switch-hitting, although most of his success came from his more natural orthodox stance. A left to the liver in the third round opened up the opportunity for Conlan to tee off on his opponent’s unprotected head and he went for it. Owen’s corner threw in the towel at 1:56.
Talented Canberra middleweight David Toussaint 11-0 (8) opened up the telecast with a career-best win over Shane Mosley Jr 10-2 (7) defeating the American by split decision over eight.
The undefeated 26-year-old southpaw suffered a cut over his left eye but it didn’t have any effect on the fight with Toussaint winning by scores of 77-76 twice and trailing on the third card 75-77.
Toussaint’s superior firepower was evident early as he raked Mosley’s body with hooks and rips and landed accurate left crosses to the head.
Mosley launched a late comeback but by then the fight has already slipped away.
In another upset, Australian Olympian Damien ‘Super’ Hooper 13-1 (8) surprised Las Vegas-based Russian Umar Salamov 19-1 (14) to claim the WBO international and IBF international light heavyweight titles by ten round unanimous decision. All three judges scored the bout 96-94. Hooper’s win over the WBO number eight impressed Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who indicated he would like to see the 25-year-old Aboriginal fight in the United States later this year.
Fighting at bantamweight 19-year-old Jeff Fenech-protégé Brock Jarvis 10-0 (9) made short work of Indonesian journeyman Rasmanudin 20-20-3 (10) dropping him three times in the opening round of a bout optimistically scheduled for six for a first round KO.
Australian Brent Dames 6-3 from Dandenong, Victoria scored a six round points win over Filipino Jonel Dapidran 8-2 (4) in a junior welterweight clash. Dapidran, a cousin of Manny Pacquiao on his mother’s side, was outscored 58-56 twice and 59-55.
The 26-year-old Dames was coming off a close ten-round decision loss to Terry Tzouramanis in April. For the 19-year-old Dapidran, it was his first fight outside of his native Philippines.
WBA number six cruiserweight Mark ‘Bam Bam’ Flanagan 22-5 (15) put up a valiant effort in defeat against WBA ‘super’ champion Denis Lebedev 30-2 (22) going 12 rounds with the rugged Russian but ultimately coming up short at the DIVS in Ekaterinburg, Russia on Sunday 9 July.
The 27-year-old Townsville-born slugger was down in the ninth-round courtesy of a straight left to the body from Lebedev’s southpaw stance. The ringside judges scored the bout 119-108 twice and 120-107.
Flanagan was aiming to become the second Queenslander in a week to claim a world title after Horn outscored Pacquiao the previous weekend.
Lebedev controlled the pace of the fight and illustrated his accurate counterpunching ability but Flanagan had his moments and finished strongly down the stretch. The Australian’s activity let him down at times and his trademark body shots were strangely absent from his attack.
It was Flanagan’s first fight outside of his home country in his eight-year professional career.
After more than two years on the sidelines former WBC super middleweight champion Sakio ‘The Scorpion’ Bika 33-7-3 (22) barely missed a beat as he outboxed and eventually stopped Luke Sharp 15-6-3 (6) in seven rounds at the Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadows, New South Wales on Saturday 8 July.
Bika, who was last in action in April 2015 when he challenged Adonis Stevenson for his WBC light heavyweight title in Quebec City, Canada, gave up 12lbs in weight to Sharp but it didn’t seem to bother him. The 38-year-old Cameroon-born Sydneysider has only ever lost to world class boxers.
On the same card Haithem Laamouz 10-0 (4) claimed the vacant Australian lightweight title with a TKO2 of Joebert Delos Reyes 15-8-1 (10), who came in half a pound over the weight limit.
Across the continent in Perth, Western Australia, on the same night IBF number 11 featherweight Nathaniel ‘Cheeky’ May 18-1 (10) had an early night against Filipino Roman ‘Hitman’ Canto 12-9-3 (7) scoring a third-round TKO in an over-the-weight eight rounder.
A rabbit punch in the early going rattled May, but he was able to recover and break his opponent down with well-placed body shots.
Headlining the CDL Boxing Promotions card at the WA Italian Club, Australian-based Welshman Jamie ‘The Welsh Dragon’ Weetch 10-2 (4) had a solid hit-out over eight rounds against Will Parsons 8-3 (2) in a junior middleweight clash.
Weetch busted up the Queenslander, cutting him over both eyes as he boxed his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Former world ranked lightweight ‘Brilliant’ Brandon Ogilvie 19-2-1 (10) won by TKO2 over Thai Terdchai Doungmontree 15-8 (12) in a fight scheduled for eight rounds. It was Ogilvie’s second fight since losing a 12-round decision to local rival and WBA number seven lightweight ‘Ferocious’ George Kambosos Jr.
Cruiserweight Jai Opetaia 12-0 (9) scored the biggest win of his career when he outboxed and stopped experienced campaigner Daniel ‘The Doberman’ Ammann 32-10-1 (7) in nine rounds at Wests City Club, Newcastle, NSW on Saturday 15 July.
Southpaw Opetaia claimed the vacant Australian and OPBF cruiserweight titles from fellow lefty Ammann.
The fight was closely contested in the first five rounds, but the 22-year-old Sydneysider of Samoan descent increased the pressure in the second half of the fight, savagely attacking the body with both hands and landing chopping left crosses to the head.
By the ninth round Ammann was running on nothing but fumes and referee Anthony Shipley wisely waved off the contest and crowned Opetaia the champion.
On Friday 14 July WBA number 14 light heavyweight Blake ‘Il Capo’ Caparello 25-2-1 (9) was back in action for the first time this year when he took on Kiwi Jordan ‘The Terror’ Tai 10-4 (9) at the Melbourne Pavilion headlining a Big Time Boxing card.
The former world title challenger was too classy for Tai, using his southpaw angles to outbox the New Zealander before stopping him in the sixth round of a scheduled ten to claim the vacant WBA Oceania 175-pound title.
The only losses on the 30-year-old Caparello’s record are to world class operators Sergey Kovalev and Andre Dirrell.
Also on the card WBA number three junior welterweight Czar Amonsot 34-3-3 (22) had his ten-round fight against Argentinean Martin Enrique Escobar 17-3 (14) cut short when an accidental clash of heads in the second round opened up a cut over Amonsot’s left eye and forced a premature end to the fight.
Amonsot looked to be on his way to a stoppage victory but with insufficient rounds completed to go to the cards the bout was ruled a no contest.
Former national champion at 168-pounds Jake Carr 13-1 (4) boxed his was to a five-round unanimous decision victory over Thai Paitoon Jaikom 7-31 (2) in a stay busy fight.
Junior middleweight Joel Camilleri 13-4 (6) scored a second-round knockout of Chatri Charoensin 7-10-1 (4) of Thailand, his fourth win on a row.
At the Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne, Victoria on Friday 21 July Terry Tzouramanis 18-3-3 (3) scored his clearest win yet over local rival Andrew Wallace 11-10-1 (7), originally from Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom but now based in Melbourne.
Tzouramanis, who holds a majority decision win and a split decision loss to Wallace, was much more effective this time around, winning by unanimous decision over eight rounds to secure the vacant Victorian state junior welterweight title.
In the Queensland city of Toowoomba Rivan Cesaire 15-5-1 (3) held on to his Australian welterweight title by outboxing Jamie Hilt 6-2-1 over 10 rounds at Rumours International by scores of 99-92 and 98-92 twice on a card promoted by Brendon Smith on Saturday 22 July.
Heavyweight Randall Rayment 7-3 (2) caused a mild upset by outboxing the more experienced Herman Ene Purcell 12-7 (6) in a six-rounder. Scores were 60-54, 59-58 and 58-56.
Also in action popular young prospect Tim Tszyu 6-0 (5) scored his fifth straight stoppage with a TKO2 of Townsville’s Chris Khan 1-2-1 (1). The fight was contested at a catchweight between middleweight and super middleweight. Tszyu expects to fight at junior middleweight once he starts contesting titles.
At the Famous Fortitude Gym in Newstead, Queensland super bantamweight ‘Shotgun’ Shannon O’Connell 15-6-1 (7) didn’t have the homecoming she was anticipating when she faced Ghana-based Nigerian Helen ‘The Iron Lady’ Joseph 14-3-1 (9) on Saturday 29 July headlining a Eureka Promotions card.
Despite carrying a 3¼ pound weight advantage, O’Connell had no answer for the 28-year-old African’s power.
O’Connell was boxing well when she got caught with a right cross during an exchange that decked her just before the end of the first round, but she walked back to her corner on steady legs at the bell.
Joseph stalked O’Connell in the second round, looking to set up a big finishing shot. She found it halfway through the round when she caught O’Connell on the point of the chin with a left hook that crumpled her to the canvas.
Referee Paul Tapley waved off the contest without a count. The time was 0:55 of round number two.
The 34-year-old O’Connell was coming off a ten-round decision loss to IBF super bantamweight champion Marcela ‘La Tigresa’ Acuna in Argentina in June.
In his first fight in the United States in three years former IBF featherweight champion Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib 42-4-1NC (24) was unlucky not to get the win over Yardley Armenta Cruz 22-8-1NC (12) when the 23-year-old Mexican opted not to continue after an accidental head clash caused a cut to his brow in the third round of a scheduled eight.
Fighting on the untelevised portion of the Adrien Broner vs Mikey Garcia undercard at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center on Saturday 29 July, the IBF number three ranked super featherweight was in control at the time of the stoppage. The 31-year-old Australian was disappointed he wasn’t afforded the opportunity to get the knockout win.
“Unfortunately it was not the result I yearned for but that’s boxing,” Dib told his fans on Twitter. “My opponent saw the writing on the wall, and took the easy way out.”
Dib won the vacant IBF 126 pound title in 2011 against Mexican Jorge Lacierva. He lost his world title to Evgeny Gradovich by split decision in 2013 before losing a rematch for the title by TKO9 later the same year.