Max Boxing

Boxing in Oz

By Anthony Cocks

Aussie boxing news
Aussie boxing news



Australian heavyweight champion Demsey ‘The Tower of Terror’ McKean 13-0 (7) battered Roger Izonritei 12-8-1 (11) around the ring for four one-sided rounds to retain his national crown in his first title defence to win by TKO4 at Southport Sharks AFL Club on the Gold Coast in Queensland on Saturday night.


The 28-year-old Ipswich southpaw is fast making a name for himself as an expert prognosticator, correctly predicting the results of his last three bouts.


Speaking to Maxboxing ahead of the Izonritei fight last week, McKean was adamant about the result of Saturday night’s fight.


“Early stoppage within four rounds,” he said, adding ominously: “I’m going to hit him hard and hit him fast.”


And that’s exactly what he did. McKean hit the 43-year-old Perth-based Nigerian hard, fast and often in the opening round, throwing 30 unanswered punches in the final seconds of the first frame. Izonritei simply had no answers to the workrate and accuracy of the younger champion who overwhelmed the veteran in the fourth round, forcing him to retire on his stool between rounds.


The athletic 6-foot-6, 240-pounder was leading the bout by scores of 40-35, 40-35 and 40-36 at the time of the stoppage in the main event of the Ace Boxing Promotions show.


In a closely contested battle on the undercard Josh Frederiksen 8-1-2 (6) edged reigning Australian light heavyweight champion Quintin Carey 4-5 (1) to claim the national title by majority decision in his first 10-round bout. The 28-year-old Frederiksen was crowned the winner by scores of 96-95, 97-95 and 95-95.


Popular Gold Coast lightweight Jacob ‘The Flamingo’ Ng 9-0 (7) captured the Australian 135-pound title from champion Gaige Ireland 5-2-2 (3) when he stopped him in the fourth round after dropping him with a body shot in their scheduled 10-round bout.


Tysinn Best 9-0 (2) annexed the vacant national welterweight crown with a split decision victory over previously undefeated Nathan Webber 6-1 (2) of the Gold Coast after 10 competitive rounds. Scores were 95-96, 97-93 and 97-92.


Best will return to action in his hometown of Mackay in North Queensland on February 16 when he fights on the undercard of world-rated junior welterweight Liam Paro versus Massimiliano Ballisai of Italy at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre.



Undefeated super middleweight contender Bilal Akkawy 18-0-1 (14) is looking forward to fighting on the big stage when he takes on Mexican puncher Victor Fonseca 17-8-1 (14) over 10-rounds at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on the undercard of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez versus Rocky Fielding this Saturday night.


“It’s amazing to have the opportunity to fight there where all the legends have fought,” he told Channel 9’s Today show. “When the fight’s finished I’ll look up and enjoy it but before then, I’ve got to get the job done.”


Fonseca, 25, has won eight fights on the trot and picked up the WBO Latino light heavyweight title against once-beaten Manuel Ceballos in his last fight in August.


Akkawy has been the lead sparring partner for Canelo Alvarez’s last three training camps, an experience he says has helped him develop as a fighter.


“He’s a nice bloke, he’s very serious most of the time. But he gives his tips when needed, so it’s really awesome to have,” he said.


The softly-spoken 25-year-old Sydneysider credits his father Mick, a former boxer and big puncher in his own right, for developing his love of the sport from a young age.


“I just grew up in the gym and developed a love for it,” Akkawy said. “My first fight I struggled to walk to the ring, my legs felt shaky, but each time it got better and better, so that helped me. It gave me a head-start.


“My dad has basically trained me from day one. He’s taught me everything I know about fighting. He’s also kept me grounded too, made sure my feet stay on the floor. Everything pretty much inside and outside of the ring. I am who I am because of my father.”


The WBA number eight and IBF number 11 ranked 168-pounder says that the plan is to position himself for a world title shot as soon as by the end of next year.


“The goal is to become a world champion within the next year or two,” he said. “The goal is to get through this fight, enjoy New Years in Sydney and then head back to Mexico for another fight in early February and then we’re looking at a massive fight in May.”


WBC and WBA number 10 super middleweight Jayde ‘El Matador’ Mitchell 17-1 (9) has hit back at critics who say he can’t punch ahead of clash with Denmark’s Kim Poulsen 28-4 (7) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington on Friday night.


“A lot of peoples’ perception is that I can’t punch,” the 32-year-old told Betelgeuse Films. “My shoulder was ripped coming in to [my last] fight. I didn’t throw a hard punch. All I had to do was touch that guy; I knew I was smarter and I’d get past him. My fight in Japan was exactly the same. I knew all I had to do was touch this guy and my boxing IQ would come through... But if I get a sniff, I’m getting you out of there.


“My boxing is based on variation. If you’re picking patterns in me, it’s because I’m leaving those patterns there. Something my father has drilled into me since day dot is variation; change, change, change.”


After suffering a neck injury last year that required surgery Mitchell has returned with a vengeance in 2018, logging a third-round knockout of Ariel Zampedri in March and a hard-fought 10-round points win over big-punching Kerry Foley in September.


Next year Mitchell wants the big fights, starting with a local rival.


“After my last win [WBO number nine and WBA number 13] Zac Dunn got in the ring and mentioned my name,” Mitchell said. “That’s a fight I’m gunning for in 2019. I think that’s a fight that has to happen. We’re both Melbourne boys, both rated, let’s find out who the best fighter in Melbourne is. I’m keen.


“Tell you what Zac, if you’re good enough to get past me I’ll wish you all the best. There’s no hard feelings whatsoever, the best fight the best and you clean out your own backyard. You called me out, I accept brother. I think it’s a great fight.”


Before that can happen he will need to get past Poulsen on Friday.


“I want to make a statement,” Mitchell said. “Kim Poulsen has been a great boxer in the lower weight classes but he has no business at super middleweight. I’m world rated by the WBA and the WBC. I’m going for the finish. I’m not looking past you; I’m looking through you.”



WBO number five ranked super middleweight Rohan ‘No Mercy’ Murdock 23-1 (17) will be looking to elevate his world ranking further when he takes on WBO number 11 Rolando Mansilla 14-5-1 (6) of Argentina for the vacant WBO Oriental title at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia on Saturday night.


The 10-round bout will be the main support to Dennis Hogan versus Jamie Weetch on DDP Sports’ big ‘All or Nothing’ card.


The fight will be Murdock’s third outing for the year and the 26-year-old Gold Coast puncher is looking forward to stepping up his level of opposition in the new year.


“I’ve never really had anyone willing to invest in quality opponents, which has always been an issue. Now I feel we have that I really want to step it up,” Murdock told


The Mike Altamura-managed fighter kicked off his 2018 campaign with a fourth round stoppage of Frankie Filippone at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas in what was his fight in the United States.


The experience was a real eye-opener for Murdock.


“In America I learnt it’s such a really high level. You can really see the difference between them and Australian boxers,” he said.


“You really need to step it up in the gym, to see it live was a great experience. To see how they approach the sport has pushed me more and more.


“With this opponent – he is world ranked – all I want to fight is world ranked opposition. I think it’s an exciting fight as he has power in both hands, that knockout power.”


Murdock is expecting a tough fight from Mansilla but says that he is planning on making a statement against the rugged Argentine.


“I really just want to go out there and dominate,” he said. “I just want to show that I belong with these top guys and that I can get these top guys out of there, as well and move on to bigger fights.


“It should be a good test for me as I’ve never fought a world rated fighter before. I really hope to get a big shot overseas after beating a couple more world ranked guys.


“I feel like I’m at that time in my career now, where I’m ready to fight pretty much any of these guys, I know I haven’t yet fought any of the top ranked guys as yet.”


Aussie boxing
Aussie boxing



Luke ‘Action’ Jackson16-1 (7) is looking forward to returning to the ring on Friday 21 December in his first bout back after his lone career loss to two-weight world champion Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton 26-1 (15) in Belfast last August.


“I won’t lie, the loss hurt,” says Jackson of his ninth round stoppage to the interim WBO featherweight champion. “But I took some time off for the first time in my career and sat down with my trainer Billy Hussein to figure out where we go from here.


“I was keen to go round again but I needed Billy’s sanction to do that. He gave me his blessing and we are both very excited to get the monkey off my back after my first professional defeat and return to the winner’s column.


“Next year is going to be my year and you’re only going to see a new and improved version of ‘Action’ Jackson in 2019.”


The tripleheader at the Emporium in Bankstown, Sydney will be the first promotion by Mike Altamura’s MJA Platinum and will also feature undefeated super featherweight Pail ‘Showtime’ Fleming and welterweight ‘Gelignite’ Jack Brubaker in separate bouts.




Renold Quinlan 12-3 (8) has been added to the undercard of Dillian Whyte versus Dereck Chisora when he will take on WBA International light heavyweight champion Jushua Buatsi 8-0 (6) at London’s O2 Arena on December 22.


“I’ve seen bits of Buatsi and he’s nothing special,” said Quinlan. “He hasn’t fought anyone like me yet and I can’t wait to give him a great fight.”


In his last outing Quinlan had WBO number eight Damien Hooper on the canvas twice in the fifth round before succumbing himself in the ninth round of a war.


The Buatsi fight will be the 29-year-old Dunghutti Destroyer’s second fight in the UK after going 10 rounds with Chris Eubank Jr in February last year.


“I’m delighted to be returning to the UK on such a big card and I’ll be putting on a great performance for all my UK fans,” he said.




Pint-sized powerhouse Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton 9-2 (5) scored an impressive victory over Lorraine Villalobos 2-2 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California last Saturday night, stopping her at the end of the fifth round of their 10-round bout.


The 33-year-old US-based Hawton, who originally hails from Perth, picked up the interim WBC atomweight title with the win.


Before the fight the mother-of-two spoke openly about how heartbroken her children were when she was robbed of victory against Brenda Flores in her previous bout in September, but victory over Villalobos will go a long way to alleviating the pain of that hotly disputed loss.


“Bringing that belt home to my two beautiful babes Eli and Estelle!” Hawton posted on social media. “Dreams can be created! The moment when your hard work, dedication and sacrifice feels so damn good! Proud to represent Australia on the main stage!”


The fight took place on the undercard of the very last boxing broadcast by the HBO network, who announced their planned withdrawal from the sport earlier this year.




Former Commonwealth junior middleweight champion Michael ‘Pretty Boy’ Zerafa 25-3 (14) earned a lot of respect with his brave stand against Kell ‘Special K’ Brook 38-2 (26) at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England last Saturday night. The 26-year-old Melburnian rallied in the second half of the fight to win some rounds and even had the former IBF welterweight champion rocked on at least one occasion.


WBO number six rated junior welterweight Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 15-0 (11) will headline a big homecoming card in his hometown of Mackay in North Queensland when he takes on reigning Italian 140-pound champion Massimiliano ‘El Loco’ Ballisai 22-5 (12) at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre on Saturday 16 February. The Ace Boxing Promotions show will also feature newly-minted Australian welterweight champion Tysinn Best 9-0 (2) and former Australian lightweight champion Gaige Ireland 5-2-2 (3).


Cruiserweight Jai Opetaia’s fight against IBF Intercontinental champion Bilal Laggoune has been postponed again and will now take place in early 2019. Opetaia 16-0 (13), the WBO number nine ranked cruiserweight, was originally scheduled to face IBF number nine Laggoune 24-1-2 (13) on October 20 but was forced to withdraw due to injury. The fight was rescheduled for December 15 in Belgium but this time Laggoune suffered an injury. The 23-year-old Sydney southpaw fought three times in the first half of 2018 but has been out of the ring since June. Laggoune, 26, knocked out late replacement Tamas Lodi in four rounds in October.



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