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Dunn keen for KO against Brophy in Commonwealth title clash


By Anthony Cocks

World ranked super middleweight champion Zac "Dynamo" Dunn 23-0 (18) is looking forward to kick-starting his 2017 campaign with the inaugural defence of his Commonwealth title against slick-boxing Scotsman David Brophy 18-1-1 (2) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Melbourne, Australia on Friday night.


The world ranked power-puncher, who hails from Brunswick in Melbourne’s inner north, is shooting for a dominant performance that outshines former three-time world title challenger George Groves’ fourth round knockout of Brophy last April. 


Dunn believes that if he can better Groves’ performance it will announce his arrival on the world stage.


"I watched him against George Groves," said Dunn.  "That was his only defeat so if I can get him in a better fashion than Groves, I’m on my way aren’t I?"


Maxboxing was on hand to watch Dunn box six fast-paced rounds against Italian former WBA champion Giovanni De Carolis at Fighting Lyons Gym in Essendon two-and-a-half weeks out from his fight.  Dunn started off with the jab, letting De Carolis come to him while he worked on his defence, blocking and parrying punches.  The second and third rounds saw Dunn putting together two and three punch combinations, attacking the body and head with laser-like accuracy.  The sounds of Dunn’s punches belied the fact he was wearing 16 oz. gloves. 


In the fourth De Carolis backed Dunn onto the ropes and unloaded while the Australian worked on rolling under the punches and countering back. After 30 seconds of this work Dunn spun off the ropes and forced De Carolis across the ring, backing him onto the ropes where he had to cover up to keep the power shots from hitting him clean.  Dunn kept balancing his work between offence and defence for the last two rounds, rarely missing when he let his hands go.  It was good quality work for both guys.


De Carolis, 24-7-1 (12), won the WBA 168 pound title in January last year with an eleventh round TKO over Vincent Feigenbutz in a rematch of his close decision loss to the big-punching German in October 2015. 


The 32 year-old Italian successfully defended the title with a majority draw against Tyron Zeuge last July, followed by a KO12 loss in the rematch of a fight he was trailing by three points on one card and one point on the other two cards.


De Carolis was in Australia for just over two weeks and sparred around 50 rounds with Dunn.  He was replaced by Polish-born New York middleweight Maciej Sulecki 23-0 (8) for the second half of the training camp.

It was clear from the sparring that defence was a big part of this preparation.  Dunn admits that it is one area of his game he needs to focus on if he wants to compete with the big boys on the world stage.


"I watched my last fight and everything was good," he said.  "I was winning the fight but I just wasn’t happy with where my hands were.  This fight I just want to keep my hands up.  I believe I’m just as good as the best in the world, but the difference is they keep their hands up even better and that’s going to make the difference."


Against Brophy, Dunn will be facing a boxer with good all-round skills but little pop.  With just two knockouts in 18 victories, what Brophy lacks in power he makes up for in above average hand speed and a good kit of punches.


The 26-year-old from Caldercruix, who was contracted to play professional soccer for Dundee United as a junior, had only 30 amateur fights but still managed to win three Scottish titles, two British silvers and reach the quarter finals of the European Cadet Championships in Albania in 2006."What I have seen of him he’s got a good defence and when he throws his combinations he swings them up pretty good," said Dunn.  "But I watched the George Groves fight and when he [Brophy] wasn’t ready he didn’t engage and that’s what won him [Groves] the fight."


Last November Dunn was extended the championship distance for just the second time in his professional career.  Fighting for the vacant Commonwealth 168 pound title against durable Yorkshireman Liam Cameron, 19-4 (7) going in and never been stopped, Dunn landed heavy shots throughout the bout but quickly found a rhythm to ensure he had enough energy in reserve to get himself through to the final bell. 


It was a big confidence boost.


“I’ll be honest with you, from about the second round till about the ninth I got into like a rhythm," said the 26 year-old.  "You know when everything just like comes off second nature?  Rounds two to round nine just felt like two seconds, I was enjoying it, you know.  If I can win world titles feeling like that, I’m going to be happy.”


At heart, Dunn knows he is a knockout artist and that is what people pay to see.  It is no surprise then that his favourite fight of his four outings in 2016 was his one-punch demolition of Rogerio Damasco in February.  After patiently stalking Damasco for the opening minute of the round, Dunn backed him onto the ropes, slipped under a jab and threw a looping right cross that landed squarely on the Brazilian’s chin.  Damasco slumped to the bottom rope, then sunk into the canvas.


"We replay that [knockout] in all the promos, that was pretty good," said Dunn.  "I didn’t plan to knock him out that quick, I planned to throw a bit shot in the last minute of the round.  But you know how adrenaline kicks in.  About 40 seconds in I thought it was well into the round.  I just timed it.  The timing was perfect.  I slipped outside his jab, bowled it over, it was just good timing.  That was a good win."


Dunn will be hoping for a similarly explosive ending to open his account for 2017.



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