Aussie wrap-up for October

Anthony Cocks
29/10/2018 9:31pm

October's edition of Aussie wrap-up is headlined by Jason Moloney, who lost his WBSS fight against Emmanuel Rodriguez, but won the admiration of fans and media alike...

Jason ‘The Smooth One’ Moloney 17-1 (14) might have come off second best in his challenge to IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez 19-0 (12) in the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Super Series at the CFE Arena in Orlando, Florida on 20 October but his stock only rose in defeat.

As expected the talented Puerto Rican titleholder got off to a fast start, looking for opportunities to land his lethal left hook against the largely untested Australian, but Moloney sustained the early barrage and fought his way back into the bout in the middle rounds.

In a stunning display of heart, courage and superb skills, Moloney turned the tables on Rodriguez in the back half of the fight, using angles and a high work-rate to out-hustle the highly-regarded champion down the stretch.

When the dust settled Moloney had to settle for a split decision loss with one of the judges awarding him the bout 115-113 while the other two pegged Rodriguez the winner by the same score.

The 27-year-old can hold his head up high in what was one of the best performances by an Aussie boxing at this level abroad in the past ten years. Moloney will get a second crack at a major world title soon enough.

Earlier on the same day at the Palais des Sports in Marseille, France, Townsville’s Mark ‘Bam Bam’ Flanagan 24-6 (17) gave Arsen ‘Feroz’ Goulamirian 24-0 (16) all he could handle for six rounds in his challenge for the interim WBA cruiserweight title before the hometown fighter lifted to stop the brave Aussie in the ninth round of their scheduled 12-round championship bout.

WBA number ten ranked Flanagan, 28, showed marked improvement from his 12-round decision loss to Russian veteran Denis Lebedev last year when he failed to let his hands go and allowed himself to be outclassed by the busier boxer. Against Goulamirian he burst out the blocks, attacking the Armenian-born Frenchman’s body with ruthless efficiency in the early rounds, landing his savage left rip with disturbing ease.

Goulamirian worked his way back into the fight by the mid-rounds under the urging of his high-profile American trainer Abel Sanchez, who implored him to put his punches together and reminded him as late as the eighth round that it was a close fight.

In the end Goulamirian’s extra size and power were the telling factors of the fight. In the ninth round he backed Flanagan on to the ropes and pounded him to the canvas before repeating the process a minute later.

The gritty Aussie was quickly to his feet both times and it took a decision from his corner to throw in the towel to stop proceedings.

Former two-time world champion Susie ‘Q’ Ramadan 27-3 (12) was thwarted in her third trip to Mexico for a world-title fight when her bid to lift the WBC bantamweight crown from Mariana ‘Barbie’ Juarez 51-9-4 (14) came up short at the Auditorio Miguel Barragan in San Luis Potosi on 27 October.

In a close and competitive fight that saw Ramadan hurt the local favourite in the tenth and final round, all three judges awarded the victory to the 38-year-old Juarez, who was making the sixth defence of the world title she won against Catherine Phiri in April last year.

In 2011 Ramadan faced Yazmin Rivas for the vacant IBF bantamweight title in Mexico, going down by split decision in a result that was widely regarded as a robbery. Three years later she returned to Mexico for a rematch against Rivas for the WBC 118lbs title, losing a competitive decision.

The 39-year-old Melburnian has struggled to get fights in recent years but it hasn’t dampened her enthusiasm for the fight game. Against Juarez she showed she still has what it takes to compete at the highest level of the sport.

WBO number six ranked junior welterweight Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 15-0 (11) got in some much needed rounds against Robert Tlatlik 22-2 (16) before the rugged German retired on his stool at the end of the seventh round at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Queensland on 13 October.

The skillful southpaw had his full kit of punches on display, with his lethal left cross doing much of the damage as he broke down Tlatlik and became the first man to stop him in his 24-fight pro career. Paro didn’t lose a round.

With the victory Paro added the vacant WBO Asia Pacific 140lbs title to his WBO Youth title at the same weight.

At just 22 there is plenty of time for further development before making a world title run, which his trainer Alfie Di Carlo envisions is 12-18 months away.

On the same card Queensland junior middleweight state champion Adrian Rodriguez 11-1-2 (5) held on to his belt against Billy Limov 4-0-1 (1) when the pair had to settle for an eight-round split draw.

The judges struggled to split the two, with one judge awarding the fight to Rodriguez 77-75, another judge scoring the fight for Limov 77-75, while the third judge had it 76-76 apiece.

Meanwhile national heavyweight champion Demsey ‘Tower of Terror’ McKean 12-0 (6) returned to the ring after a year-long lay-off due to hand surgery to stop Victor Oganov 32-6 (30) in the sixth round of a scheduled eight-round bout.

McKean called out Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne after the fight.

Welterweight Tysinn Best 8-0 (2) claimed the vacant Queensland state title with a third-round TKO of Gabriel Kafi 1-2-1 in their eight-round bout.

Jacob Ng 8-0 (6) claimed the vacant Queensland lightweight title with a seventh-round TKO of Mark Ramirez 5-13-3 (1) in another eight rounder.

WBO number three ranked lightweight Kye ‘Mr Frenzy’ MacKenzie 20-1 (17) delivered a typically exciting performance against Mark ‘Machete’ Bernaldez 17-2 (12), knocking him down in the fourth round before climbing off the canvas himself in the fifth to stop the 26-year-old Filipino at 1:56 of the seventh at Metro City in Northbridge, Perth in Western Australia on 5 October.

Bernaldez was down twice in the seventh round. MacKenzie was ahead 58-54, 58-55 and 58-54 at the time of the stoppage in the scheduled ten-round bout.

The 26-year-old MacKenzie from Tamworth in New South Wales claimed the vacant WBO Asia Pacific 135lbs title with the win.

On the same card Glen Austin 7-0 (2) and Rob Powdrill 6-4 (1) engaged in an explosive opening round that saw three knockdowns and didn’t last until the second bell in a battle for the Western Australian cruiserweight title.

Powdrill, best known for stopping world-rated light heavyweight Damien ‘Super’ Hooper in the opening frame of their contest almost three years ago, decked Austin first but made the cardinal sin of throwing a late punch. Austin was given five minutes to recover and Powdrill was deducted two points for the infraction.

When the action resumed Austin looked to take out his frustrations on Powdrill and did so in immediate fashion, sending him to the canvas twice before the referee stepped in and stopped the contest, awarding the victory and the state title to the undefeated Perth boxer.

In his first real step up in class Mark Schleibs 10-0 (6) delivered an impressive performance to outbox the hard-charging Robert Trigg 3-3-1 (1) and take the Australian bantamweight crown off his hands at the Melbourne Pavilion in Melbourne, Victoria on 5 October.

Schleibs was in control for much of the ten-round contest and finished the better of the two to run away the victor by scores of 100-90, 97-93 and 98-91.

In other action, popular puncher Mitchell Middleton Clark 13-2 (12) won his first contest by decision with a six-round majority nod over veteran campaigner Steven Ma 7-12-1 (2) in a light-heavyweight fight.

Southpaw ‘Big Country’ Clark, 24, who has been on sabbatical in the bush for over a year-and-a-half, showed some rust but gutted out the win by scores of 58-56, 57-57 and 59-55.

At the Gunnedah Town Hall Wade Ryan 16-7 (5) got back in the winner’s circle after losing two of his last three bouts to Tim Tszyu and Michael Zerafa at junior middleweight with a ninth-round stoppage of Townsville veteran Les Sherrington 37-11 (21) in Gunnedah, New South Wales on 6 October.

Southpaw Ryan was leading 79-73, 79-73 and 80-72 when Sherrington’s corner threw in the towel 24 seconds into round number nine. Ryan claims the vacant OPBF Silver middleweight title with the win.