Aussie wrap-up for December

Anthony Cocks
07/01/2019 12:11pm

Anthony Cocks rounds up a busy month of action Down Under, including another win for Dennis 'Hurricane' Hogan, who is chasing a fight with WBO 154lbs titlist Jaime Munguia...

WBO number one ranked junior middleweight contender Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 28-1-1 (7) kept his world title dream alive with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Jamie Weetch 12-3 (5) at the Exhibition & Convention Centre in Brisbane, Queensland on 15 December on DDP Sports’ last promotion for the year.

The Brisbane-based Irishman came away with a wide points victory but he didn’t have it all his own way.

IBF number 15 ranked Weetch, from Perth by way of Wales, came out the blocks fast, backing up the counter-punching Hogan in the early going and landing some hard shots in the opening three frames. The pair traded shots after the bell to end the fifth with Weetch, 30, dropping Hogan with a body shot.

The exchange encouraged the 33-year-old Hogan to go back to what he does best as he boxed effectively from the outside for the remainder of the contest, earning the win by scores of 117-111, 118-110 and 119-109. The victory put Hogan in line to face WBO 154lbs champion Jaime Munguia 31-0 (26) of Mexico.

“[Weetch] gave me a great fight,’’ said Hogan, who added the IBF Pan Pacific title to his WBO Intercontinental crown. “Thank you very much to the very tough Jamie Weetch. I’m now the mandatory contender to fight for the world title and I hope we can bring Munguia to Brisbane for the fight.’’

Trainer Glenn Rushton, who expertly masterminded Jeff Horn’s world title win against the legendary Manny Pacquiao in 2017, is aiming to lure Munguia and WBA ‘regular’ junior middleweight champion Brian Carlos Castano 15-0 (11) of Argentina to Australia to defend their titles on a big world championship doubleheader against the Stretton Boxing Club duo in 2019.

Queensland Tourism Industry Development minister Kate Jones has reportedly shown interest in the idea after the state government provided funding to the tune of $6.5m for Horn’s fights against Pacquiao and Anthony Mundine, events that drew significant tourism to the Sunshine State.

“It is something that has never been done in Australian boxing, to have two fighters from the same gym fighting for world titles at the same weight,” Rushton said to the Courier Mail. “I spoke to Kate Jones about it and she was keen on the idea.’’

On the same card WBO number five ranked super middleweight Rohan ‘No Mercy’ Murdock 24-1 (17) turned back the challenge of WBO number 11 Rolando Mansilla 15-6-1 (6) of Argentina with a dominant decision over the ten-round distance.

Mansilla was aggressive in spots and landed a hard left hook, right hand in the fifth round but the Mike Altamura-managed Murdoch had his measure for most of the contest, running away the winner by scores of 99-91, 99-91 and 100-90 and picking up the vacant WBO Oriental title.

“Mansilla gave me a very tough fight but I’m ready to fight for the world title now,” said Murdock, who is targeting a shot at undefeated WBO 168lbs champion Gilberto Ramirez 39-0 (25) of Mexico.

The 26-year-old from the Gold Coast has benefited from a full year of activity after spending much of 2017 on the sidelines after a motorcycle accident left him with multiple injuries including a broken jaw.

In one of the fights of the year Deedee ‘The Silencer’ Hobbs 8-0 (5) asked for a war and she got one against teak-tough New Zealander Baby Nansen 7-4-1.

The quality super featherweight proved once again why she is one of the best prospects in Australian boxing as she overcame a busted beak in the sixth to outpoint Nansen in a blood-filled brawl over eight frames.

The Kiwi bomber didn’t come through unscathed with a bad cut of her right eye leaking claret for the last two rounds.

The highly-entertaining contest was awarded to Hobbs, 30, by scores of 77-75, 77-76 and 77-75.

“It was a great fight [that] could have gone either way,” admitted Hobbs, who won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific 130lbs belt with the victory. “I wanted a war and I got one. Thank you Baby Nansen.”

The 31-year-old Aucklander praised Hobbs and predicted world championship honours in her future.

“I was very honoured to share the ring with Deedee Hobbs because she will be a world champion one day,” said Nansen. “She hit me with some bombs.”

Hobbs is now chasing a shot at WBO lightweight champion Rose Volante 14-0 (8) of Brazil.

Ace Boxing Promotions delivered a Christmas cracker with a card featuring four Australian title fights in the heavyweight, light heavyweight, welterweight and lightweight divisions at the Southport Sharks AFL Club in Southport, Queensland on 8 December.

Reigning heavyweight champion Demsey ‘The Tower of Terror’ McKean 13-0 (7) retained his national crown with a fourth round stoppage of veteran Roger Izonritei 12-8-1 (11) in a scheduled ten-round bout.

The big Ipswich southpaw once again delivered on his pre-fight prediction, breaking down the 43-year-old Perth-based Nigerian with his high workrate and awkward angles. It was McKean’s second fight back after hand surgery to repair ligament damage to his left mitt.

“Early stoppage within four rounds,” McKean told the week before the fight. “I’m going to hit him hard and hit him fast.”

McKean’s backers are bullish about the undefeated boxer’s future and have called for a fight against former WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight titleholder Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne 27-1 (24).

Entertaining lightweight Jacob ‘The Flamingo’ Ng 9-0 (7) wrested the national crown from rugged Melbourne southpaw Gaige Ireland 5-2-2 (3) in the fourth round of their ten-round clash.

The classy Ng was aggressive from the outset, applying tremendous pressure and dropping Ireland in the fourth frame before referee Paul Tapley stepped in to save the defending champion from further punishment. Ng was leading 30-28, 29-28 and 30-27 at the time of the stoppage.

The 24-year-old from the Gold Coast is a rising star of the sport with his flamboyant style, technical proficiency and strong fanbase. Ng is the son of Stephen Ng 6-4 (4), a capable middleweight who once won the Queensland state title at 160lbs and challenged former world-rated Perth boxer Daniel Dawson for national honours at 154lbs, lasting eight rounds against the hard-hitting former kickboxing world champion.

In a closely contest fight for the vacant Australian welterweight title Tysinn Best 9-0 (2) edged Nathan Webber 6-1 (2) by split decision over ten by scores of 95-96, 97-93 and 97-92.

Best will return to his hometown of Mackay in North Queensland to defend his title against Dillon Bargero on Ace Boxing’s big ‘Homecoming’ card on 16 February that will be headlined by world-rated junior welterweight Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro against Italian champion Massimiliano Ballisai.

Josh Frederiksen 8-1-2 (6) claimed the Australian light-heavyweight title from reigning champion Quentin Carey 4-5 (1) by ten-round majority decision. Scores were 96-95, 95-95 and 97-95.

Mike Altamura’s new promotional outfit MJA Platinum hosted their first show with a big triple header headlined by undefeated super featherweight Paul ‘Showtime’ Fleming 26-0 (17), former interim WBO featherweight world title challenger Luke ‘Action’ Jackson 17-1 (7) and MTK Global-managed welterweight ‘Gelignite’ Jack Brubaker 15-2-1 (7) at the Emporium in Bankstown, New South Wales on 21 December.

Southpaw Fleming, 30, used his superior hand speed and excellent punch selection to outclass former two-time world champion Panya Uthok 52-6 (35) of Thailand over eight one-sided rounds in his first fight in a year.

“I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs. My age says 30 but I still feel like I’m 22,” said Fleming, who won by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73.

“I’m looking forward to 2019. Mike Altamura has got some big things planned and I just can’t wait to get back in the ring and show the world what I’ve got.”

Look for the talented Fleming, who is promoted by Top Rank, to make a run at the WBO 130lbs title currently held by once-beaten Japanese boxer Masayuki Ito 25-1-1 (13) in 2019.

Jackson got back in the winner’s column with an eight-round unanimous points win over Indonesian veteran Rivo Rengkung 37-29-6 (14) at super featherweight poundage. The 34-year-old from Hobart in Tasmania was having his first fight back after being stopped on his feet in nine rounds by Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton in a high profile bout at Belfast’s Windsor Park stadium in Northern Ireland in August.

Despite carrying an injured right hand into the fight Jackson proved to have too much versatility for Rengkung, winning by scores of 79-72 across the board.

"With only one hand it was hard. I didn't want to throw the right hand and let him know that it was sore,” said Jackson. “I didn't really let it go until the sixth but when I did I dropped him shortly after that.”

Cronulla’s Brubaker engaged in an entertaining slugfest with big-punching Indonesian Larry Siwu 27-12 (23) en route to a hard-fought eight-round decision win at junior middleweight.

Siwu wanted a war and Brubaker obliged, much to the delight of the crowd. When the dust settled it was the 27-year-old Cronulla prospect who emerged victorious by scores of 79-74 and 77-75 twice.

“I knew he was a big puncher and I could feel from the opening bell that he was very strong,” said Brubaker.

“He had a big overhand right and he was pretty awkward but we got the win and we’re looking forward to bigger challenges in the new year.”

In other results talented prospect Youssef Dib 11-0 (5) needed just two rounds to turn back the challenge of Ty Gilchrist 6-8-1 (2) in a welterweight contest scheduled for four rounds. The 26-year-old Dib, who is the brother of former IBF featherweight champion Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib, forced the Queenslander to retire on his stool at the end of the second frame.

Entertaining junior welterweight Dylan Emery 20-1 (13) stopped Indonesian Bima Prakosa 1-5 (1) in the third frame of a four-rounder in his first fight in more than a year. The Australian-based Kiwi’s only professional loss was to world-rated lightweight Kye ‘Mr Frenzy’ MacKenzie 20-2 (17) in a competitive four-round brawl for the national crown two years ago.

Super featherweight Lauryn Eagle 20-4-1 (12) logged her twelfth straight win with a third-round stoppage of Thailand’s Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa 0-11 in a four-round fight.

Exciting junior middleweight prospect Alex ‘Sweet Hands’ Hanan lifted his record to 9-0 (5) with a four-round unanimous decision over Jessie Nikora 2-2.

WBA number 10 and WBC number 12 Jayde ‘El Matador’ Mitchell 18-1 (9) laboured to a ten-round points win over reluctant Kim Poulsen 28-5 (7) of Denmark to retain his interim WBA Oceania strap at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria on December 14.

The 32-year-old Mitchell, a natural boxer and counterpuncher, had to work hard to encourage the survival-minded Poulsen to engage in the headline fight on the Big Time Boxing card.

The Mornington Peninsula pug earned the victory the hard way by scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91. The popular ‘J-Mitch’ is chasing big fights against world-rated boxers in 2019.

At middleweight Tej Pratap Singh 14-4-2 (8) claimed the vacant national 160lbs crown with a fourth round TKO of Jason Leuken 7-2 (3) in their 10-round contest.

The big-punching southpaw, who could easily have a record of 20-1, was leading 29-28 on one card and trailing 28-29 and 27-30 on the other two when the fight was stopped at 2:11 of the fourth stanza.

The victory closes out a busy year for Singh who has fought six times including a stoppage of Jake Carr and a controversial ten-round no contest against former IBF 160lbs champion Sam Soliman.

In other results, light heavyweight knockout artist Mitch ‘Big Country’ Middleton Clark 14-2 (13) continued his comeback with a third-round TKO of Brad Traynor 3-10-2 (1) in an eight-round bout when the Queenslander retired on his stool at the end of the round citing a shoulder injury. Clark was up 30-27 on all three cards at the time of the stoppage.

Undefeated featherweight Jai Alexander 9-0 (6) stopped Thai journeyman Tanawat Phonnaku 31-12-1 (19) in the third round of a six round contest at 130lbs.

Former WBC minimumweight world title challenger Omari Kimweri 17-4 (7) made short work of Thai southpaw Suphakit Khampha 2-6 (1), stopping him at 2:42 of the first round in a scheduled six-round bout.

In international action WBA number eight ranked junior middleweight Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa 25-3 (14) tested WBA number two Kell ‘Special K’ Brook 38-2 (26) before losing by unanimous decision in a world title eliminator at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England on 8 December.

The Commonwealth 154lbs champion looked out of his depth in the early going before warming to the task and coming on strong from the mid-rounds on, even appearing to wobble the Sheffield banger on at least one occasion.

The scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 119-109 didn’t represent the competitiveness of the contest and one has to wonder how the fight would have played out if the 26-year-old Melburnian was a bigger puncher.

WBA number eight and IBF number 10 ranked super middleweight Bilal Akkawy 19-0-1 (15) halted Victor Fonseca 17-9-1 (14) in the seventh round of a scheduled eight-round bout on the untelevised undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s three-round demolition of Rocky Fielding at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 15 December.

The heavy-handed Akkawy broke down his Mexican opponent with hard shots to the body and head, trapping him on the ropes and unloading a fusillade of shots that forced referee Steve Willis to intervene and stop the contest midway through the penultimate round.

The 25-year-old from the Sydney suburb of Peakhurst was having his second fight under new trainer Eddy Reynoso – who also trains Alvarez – after spending the last three camps as the Mexican superstar’s lead sparring partner.

Former WBO junior flyweight champion Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton 9-2 (5) claimed the interim WBC atomweight title with a fifth round stoppage of late substitute Lorraine Villalobos 2-2 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on the untelevised undercard of the very last boxing broadcast on HBO on December 8.

The pocket-sized punching machine outworked the 22-year-old American, forcing her to retire at the midway point of the 10-round fight.

The 33-year-old Perth mother-of-two was expected to rematch Brenda Flores 15-4-1 (3) who she lost a highly-debatable split decision to in September. The 26-year-old Mexican withdrew from the bout citing injury.

In Perth Jackson Jon England 8-1 (4) was crowned Australian featherweight champion by TKO7 in his 10-round bout against Cain Brunton 4-1 (3) for the vacant national crown at Metro City in Northbridge, Western Australia on December 14 on a Dragon Fire promotion.

The 21-year-old had full control of the action and was pitching a shutout when the 10-round contest was called to a halt at 2:05 of the seventh frame.

Junior middleweight Fano Kori 5-2 (2) made a successful move up to middleweight to comprehensively outpoint Sherwyn Watkins 6-3-1 (2) over eight rounds by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 twice.

Junior welterweight Brandon Ogilvie 22-2-1 (11) won a six-round split decision over Thailand’s Wachirasak Waiyawong 4-3 (3) by scores of 58-56, 57-56 and 56-57.

Super middleweight Mark Kassab 11-0 (6) kept his unbeaten record intact with a fifth round TKO of Queensland veteran Tim ‘Knuckles’ Kanofski 14-10-1 (1) at the Whitehorse Club in East Burwood, Victoria on December 8 in a scheduled ten-round bout on a Shamrock Promotions card. Kassab was leading 39-37 and 40-36 twice at the time of the stoppage.

Kayne ‘Superman’ Clarke 7-0 (4) picked up the vacant Victorian state junior welterweight title with a fifth-round TKO of southpaw Ebrahim Jamasi 3-3. The eight-round fight was stopped at 2:44 after Clarke had won all four of the completed rounds.

Matthew Hartmann 2-1-3 annexed the vacant Queensland middleweight championship with an eight round unanimous decision over James Langridge Jr 0-6 at the Deception Bay Bowls Club in Deception Bay, Queensland on 8 December by scores of 78-74, 78-74 and 78-74. The show was promoted by Damian Smith of the Deception Bay Boxing Club.

At super middleweight Joshua Jenkins 5-1-1 (2) claimed the vacant New South Wales 168lbs title with an eight-round shutout victory over Nick Xipolitas 4-10-1 (1) at South Newcastle Leagues Club in Newcastle, New South Wales on 8 December. Rob Fogarty’s Steel City Boxing promoted the show.

Super middleweight Deece McDonald 4-0-1 picked up the vacant Queensland 168-pound state title in his third fight against Luke Travers 4-11-2 at the Marriott Resort & Spa in Surfers Paradise, Queensland on 21 December on a Jamie Myer promotion.

McDonald claimed the win with an eight round unanimous decision victory by scores of 78-74, 79-74 and 78-75. Travers held McDonald to a majority draw in their previous bout in September.

Former world-rated light heavyweight Trent Broadhurst 21-3 (13) returned with a win against Thomas Russell 0-8, stopping the Kiwi battler in the third round of their scheduled five round contest at cruiserweight. Russell was down twice in the third.

Broadhurst was coming off a shock first-round knockout loss to Blake Caparello in Melbourne in June.