Aussie wrap-up for February
Anthony Cocks rounds up all of February's action Down Under, including a win for Blake Caparello against Reagan Dessaix in an all-Aussie light-heavyweight clash...
World-rated light heavyweight Blake ‘Il Capo’ Caparello 29-3-1 (12) turned back the challenge of WBA number 11 ranked Reagan ‘The President’ Dessaix 16-2 (11) with a competitive ten-round unanimous decision at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria, Australia on 22 February on a Sam Labruna-promoted show.
The 32-year-old Caparello, who is ranked WBC number seven and WBO number 10, was awarded the victory by scores of 97-93 twice and 96-94.
“We came into the fight with a good game plan,” said Caparello in the ring after the fight. “We fought in his face for the whole ten rounds. I knew I’d done enough to win. He was trying to draw me into a bit of a fight but we stuck to our guns.
“The public wanted an all-Aussie showdown, so hats off to both of us and our teams for making it happen. Maybe in the future if he works his way back up, who knows, we might be able to do it again.”
Southpaw Caparello swept the first three rounds but Dessaix worked his way back into the fight in the mid-rounds before the Melbourne veteran closed out the fight strongly.
The 22-year-old Dessaix from Brisbane voiced his displeasure with the result.
“I felt I controlled the fight as did everyone in attendance and there was an outpour of dismay on social media after the fight. Surely everyone can’t be wrong,” Dessaix said.
“Caparello was just looking for counters then running or holding. You can’t win a fight like that. I forced the fight, throwing and landing more punches. I won the fight and everybody knows that.
“I am a Queensland fighter fighting in Victoria. I was always up against it in this fight but I’m not downhearted about the result. The world saw who won and I will move on now.”
Caparello, who has only ever lost to world-class boxers Sergey Kovalev, Andre Dirrell and Isaac Chilemba, said the win settled any dispute about who is the best 175-pounder in Australia.
“It’s enough of people saying who number one and two is in Australia,” Caparello said. “There’s Damien Hooper but he hasn’t even been fighting, so me and Reagan are clearly the number one and two.
“We fought a hard, tough fight tonight. We both put it all on the line, our records and our world ratings. We both could have fought international fighters, but no-one cares. This is what people want to see, the best Aussie versus Aussie match-ups. Sammy Labruna sold out the whole show, so that just goes to show.”
The main support bout saw Joel ‘CamaKO’ Camilleri 17-5-1 (8) claim the vacant Australian junior middleweight title with a dominant fifth-round stoppage of previously undefeated Queenslander Billy Limov 4-1-1 (1) in their scheduled ten-round bout.
The popular 28-year-old from Keilor Downs went straight to work at the opening bell, sending Limov to the canvas with an overhand right in the opening round. Camilleri continued to apply the pressure for the rest of the round, strafing Limov with left hooks and right hands that had the 31-year-old reeling around the ring.
In the second and third rounds Camilleri kept Limov on the back foot, jarring the Queenslander with a left hook at the bell to end the third frame.
After a slightly slower fourth round Camilleri opened up again in the fifth, battering Limov from pillar to post for the full three-minutes. Camilleri smashed a right cross into Limov’s chin and a follow-up left hook crumpled him to the canvas.
Limov somehow survived the round but was retired on his stool at the end of the fifth stanza.
“First of all, thanks to Sam Labruna. I’ve been with him for five or six years now and I’m here because of him. This belt is for Sam,” Camilleri said in the ring.
“Billy was having just his sixth professional fight; I was having my twenty-third. I was hitting him with my biggest punches and he just wouldn’t go down. Thankfully his trainer looked after him. Mate you fought an experienced fighter and you’ve got a bright future in front of you.”
WBO number four junior welterweight Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 16-0 (11) overcame two broken hands to outpoint Massimiliano Ballisai 22-6 (12) over ten rounds at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre in Mackay, Queensland on an Ace Boxing Promotion on 16 February.
Paro bit down on his gumshield to outpoint the Italian in what was his first bout past the seventh round.
“Saturday I had to dig to a place I haven’t been before,” the 22-year-old southpaw said after the fight. “Breaking both hands in rounds four and five wasn’t part of the plan, but like a true champion we adapted and continued to control. I would lose limbs before losing [a fight] even crosses my mind.”
Also on the card Australian welterweight champion Tysinn Best 10-0 (3) successfully defended his national crown with a fourth round TKO of Dillon Bargero 5-7 (3) in their scheduled ten-round bout.
In other action, Gaige Ireland 6-2-2 (3) claimed a six-round unanimous decision over veteran Mick Shaw 27-19-4 (8).
Undefeated junior middleweight Tim Tszyu 12-0 (10) delivered another impressive display of power-boxing as he knocked out veteran British boxer Denton Vassell 25-6 (11) in less than two rounds at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, New South Wales on 8 February on a No Limits Boxing Promotions card.
Tszyu, the son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu, becomes the mandatory for Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa’s WBA Oceania title with the win.
“I want to see the level I’m at,” said Tszyu to News Corp. “There’s a few names – Zerafa and Mundine are talking to each other, I’m now the mandatory to fight Zerafa. If them two fight, I’d love to fight the winner. They are the big names I’d like to fight.
“I just want the big names, the big fights, the big arenas. My main goal is the US, there’s not much going on domestically other than the Zerafa fight. I want to go international, go to the States and test myself on the world level.”
Tszyu displayed the same finishing instinct against Vassell that made his famous father such a devastating fighter to watch.
“I found the distance and range from the get go,” the 24-year-old said. “Once you do that, you can do whatever you want. It’s like playing basketball – if you want to hit a two-pointer or a three-pointer, you can do it.
“I found the opportunity to do that, to use my straight right. I kept it simple and got the job done nice and early.”
Tszyu is currently in the United States training with Freddie Roach at the famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California and will continue on to Las Vegas, Nevada where he will train at the Mayweather Boxing Club.
On the undercard big-punching super middleweight Cesar Mateo Tapia 9-0 (5) claimed an eight-round unanimous decision over Adam Copland 4-1 (2).
Also at super middleweight Rocky Jerkic 17-1 (13) eked out an eight-round split decision victory over Mark Lucas 9-1 (3).