In a shock result, Scottish super middleweight David Brophy 19-1-1 (3) made his trip halfway around the world to Australia a successful one, scoring just the third stoppage of his 21 fight pro career against world-ranked Zac Dunn 23-1 (18) to claim the Commonwealth 168-pound title at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria on Friday night.
The 7th round TKO was a career-best victory for the lightly-regarded Brophy, who entered the ring a huge underdog against the hometown favourite. But according to the newly crowned champion, the fight went exactly to plan.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said Brophy after the fight.
“With the work I’ve put in, I deserve this. Zac was tough, but we did what we were supposed to do. We watched a lot of Zac’s fights and he keeps his elbows up. When the body shots started landing, we knew it was going to be over early.”
The 26-year-old from Caldercruix, Scotland rebounded from a fourth round KO to three-time world title challenger George Groves last April with a TKO2 of Kelvin Young in October and a six round points win over Kiril Psonko in January. Neither victory over these journeymen suggested he was ready to annex the Commonwealth title from the WBA, WBO and IBF #5.
In his first fight outside of Britain, the Billy Nelson-trained fighter attacked Dunn’s body early and never really let up. The 26 year-old champion from Brunswick in Melbourne’s northern suburbs showed his mettle to rally back in the middle rounds, but Brophy continued his body assault in the sixth.
A left rip in the seventh dropped Dunn and as Brophy went in for the kill, the towel came in from Dunn’s corner to save him from further punishment.
Dunn had invested heavily in his preparation for Brophy, flying in former WBA super middleweight champion Giovanni De Carolis and undefeated middleweight contender Maciej Sulecki for sparring. In his last outing Dunn won the vacant Commonwealth title with a beautiful display of power-boxing to outpoint durable Sheffielder Liam Cameron over twelve in November last year.
Dunn’s manager, former IBF 130-pound champion Barry Michael, was as shocked as anyone by the result.
“I have never seen Zac hurt by a body punch before,” said Michael. “I knew in round two he was hurt and never really fully recovered.”
While Dunn heads back to the drawing board, the victory will open doors for Brophy on the world stage.