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Stories from Oz: Pacquiao needs to train smarter not harder, says Kambosos, Mitchel schools Yilixiati, Tszyu injured but Punches at the Park plays on, Flanagan gets back in the saddle

Elvis, Ali photos tell stories of 2 American icons
Elvis, Ali photos tell stories of 2 American icons

By Anthony Cocks

Manny Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38) needs to train smarter not harder if he wants to defeat Jeff ‘The Hornet’ Horn 17-0-1 (11) in their rematch tentatively scheduled for early December in Australia at a venue to be determined.


That is the opinion of undefeated Pacquiao sparring partner ‘Ferocious’ George Kambosos Jr who sparred 45 rounds with the eight-division champion in preparation for his fight against Horn.


Kambosos insists it wasn’t a case of the Filipino fighting senator taking Horn lightly, but rather trying to keep up with younger boxers in the gym that saw him overtrain for the fight.


“He trained very hard but we were trying to pull him back,” said Kambosos 12-0 (6).  “I know Justin [Fortune] and Freddie [Roach] were trying to pull him back.  Manny has been there so many times before and he is 38 years old going on to 39 and he’s got these young guys like myself pushing him in training and he wanted to try to compete with that.  He’s a fighter.  These guys, they want to be the top guy.  I’m running against him and he wants to win, I want to win.  We’re sparring, I want to get the better of him, he wants to get the better of me.  Always pushing each other.  But he needed to slow it up a little bit.  I believe he might’ve overdone it, overtrained for the fight.” 


Pacquiao, who lost his WBO welterweight title to Horn in a 12-round slugfest before 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia on July 2, trained well for Horn but might have left some of his fight in the gym.


“He didn’t underestimate Jeff because he trained very, very hard,” said the 24-year-old lightweight contender from Sydney.  “There was no underestimating Jeff, we knew what he was, and I was telling them he’s a hungry guy, just like myself.  There’s a big crowd and it was a big, big opportunity for himself. 


“I haven’t been part of his other camps so I can’t really compare with his other camps, but all in all it was a great camp and he should’ve just slowed it up and added to his game a little bit. 


“It might’ve made it a little bit easier for him on the night.”


Kambosos believes that Pacquiao deserved the nod in the first fight but gives Horn credit for his unexpected victory.


“But I still believe he [Pacquiao] won the fight,” said Kambosos.  “He’s the champion and you have to take the belt off the champion.  Jeff had to take the belt off him.  But in saying that Jeff fought a really great fight.  Credit to Jeff as well, he put Australia on the world scene map and he done a great job too that night.”


Top Rank, who co-promotes Horn with New Zealand outfit Duco Events, announced last week that Pacquiao wants to exercise the immediate rematch clause in his contract.  The return bout will bring Horn a minimum $2 million windfall with the fight likely to be hosted by one of the three state capitals on Australia’s east coast.


The exact date of the fight will be determined by when the Philippines Senate declares its recess.


"Once I have an answer from the Senate when they have their recess, I will go to my partner in Australia, Duco [Events], and we will figure out where we’re going to do the fight,” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told’s Dan Rafael.  “Queensland has certain rights from hosting the first fight, but we need to figure out where the fight will be.  The problem is we can’t have it outdoors again because of the weather.  November is the summer there, and it’s brutal to do it outdoors.  We can’t do it.  Even in July, which is their winter, it was pretty hot outdoors."


The rematch will once again be broadcast on ESPN.


This comes as Horn’s trainer Glen Rushton has called for random drug testing ahead of the rematch to ensure there is a level playing field.


“It is something I’d bring up because what I don’t want is for them to go ‘The only way we can win this fight is if we are trying to get an unfair advantage’,” Rushton told Fairfax Media.


“I’m very happy with any drug testing.  I signed Jeff up for the WBC VADA Clean Boxing Program, which means you can be tested at any time.  As an Olympian, we’re used to this sort of drug testing.  We’ve had to do this many times.  He’s clean as a whistle.  If we thought it was a fluke, we would be dodging this.  But we’re saying let’s do it again, next time we’ll make it more convincing.”


Pacquiao has frequently claimed an aversion to needles.  His refusal to undergo Olympic-style random drug testing in 2009 put the kybosh on a mooted clash with Floyd Mayweather Jr that was tentatively scheduled for March 13 2010 when both boxers were in their respective primes. 




Super middleweight Jayde ‘J-Mitch’ Mitchell 15-1 (8) turned in a career-best performance when he comprehensively outclassed formerly undefeated Chinese banger Aniwaer Yilixiati 10-1 (8) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Australia on a Big Time Boxing card last Friday night.


The 24-year-old Chinese boxer of Turkish descent displayed his power late in the first round, landing a stiff right cross to Mitchell’s chin that stiffened the hometown hero’s legs in his own corner.


“Round one he caught me cold, definitely stunned me, but I recovered fast,” said Mitchell.  “Watching the replay you could hear the impact throughout the venue, it was a real chin-check.  I feel I passed with flying colours, nothing wrong with the old whiskers!”


It looked like it was going to be a long night for the popular 31-year-old from the Mornington Peninsula, but to his credit he bounced back in the second and third rounds using the whole ring to set up power shots off the back of an educated jab.


“I felt in control from the second round although you could really feel his vast amateur experience,” Mitchell admitted.  “He cut the ring of well his balance and timing was brilliant.  He was a little faster on his feet than I had imagined but through constant variety of my attacks, angles and timing, I was able to take control, but having said that I was made to work hard and make adjustments throughout the entire 10 rounds.”


Mitchell’s movement and angles clearly bothered Yilixiati and by the middle rounds his frustration showed with a low blow late in the sixth.


With the fight slipping away from him, Yilixiati came charging out of his corner to start the seventh and landed two hard shots to the body.  Mitchell remained composed and retaliated with a hard left hook of his own.


In an effort to stem the tide Yilixiati started to switch hit in the eighth but it had no real effect.  Mitchell brawled with him in spots, getting the better of the exchanges and getting out of there before any real damage was done in return.


After nine rounds of smart, effective aggression Mitchell took the fight to Yilixiati in the tenth and final round, looking to lose the show with a bang.  All the big shots were coming from the local fighter, who was slipping Yilixiati’s power shots and walking him into bone-jarring counters of his own.


When the bell finally rang to end the fight it wasn’t a question of who won, but by how much.  Two of the three judges had Mitchell pitching a shutout while the third judge could only find a single round to award to Yilixiati.


“It impressed me in the middle rounds when he switched to southpaw he was just as powerful and just as balanced,” said Mitchell. “It was a real mental battle to get the right angles to attack safely as he was an intelligent fighter, not just a banger.”


WBA #14 and WBA #15 Mitchell retains his interim WBA Oceania title and OPBF title with the win and can expect another boost in the world rankings next month.


The victory also clears the path for a proposed October clash with hard-hitting domestic rival Billal Akkawy 14-0-1 (12) of Sydney.


The same card saw Gaige Ireland 4-1-2 (3) retain his Victorian state lightweight title with a TKO5 of teak-tough Shaun ‘Too Deadly’ Thomas 4-4 (2) in the main support bout.  The very game Thomas had some early success but Ireland was able to use his five inch height advantage to keep the much shorter challenger on the outside and on the end of his punches for much of the fight.  The 35-year-old Thomas announced his retirement after the fight.   


Super middleweight Jake Carr 14-1 (5) took seven rounds of a scheduled eight to get rid of China’s Adili Abulimiti 8-2-1 (5).  At the time of the stoppage Carr was leading by three points and two points twice.  Abulimiti was penalised a point for holding in the sixth round.


The ever-improving Joel Camilleri 14-4 (7) put a three minute beating on Ben Nelson 2-4 , dropping him three times in the first round before referee Tony Marretta stepped in to save him from further punishment.


The 26-year-old junior middleweight has now won five on the trot and looks ready for a step up in class.  A fight with Eltham’s Ben Capps 14-4-2 (6) for the state or national title would be a natural.








Rising middleweight star Tim Tszyu 6-0 (5) has been forced to withdraw from Hosking Promotions’ ‘Punches at the Park 5’ on August 19 after sustaining an ankle injury.


Tszyu, the son of former undisputed junior welterweight champion Kostya, was scheduled to take on fellow undefeated puncher Emmanuel Carlos 3-0 (3) on the card.


Speaking to Maxboxing before the injury, Tszyu outlined his short-term goals in the sport.


“By the end of the year I want to become the Australian champion,” he said.  “So I’ve got my eyes on that at the moment.  Once you’ve got that, you can start looking at bigger things.”


Tszyu has weighed in below 159-pounds for all of his professional bouts bar one and says that eventually he will move down to junior middleweight when the right opportunity arises.


“Light middleweight will be where I’m going to be at,” said Tszyu.  “Because we’re fighting on such a regular basis, we’re eating right and everything is going to plan, what’s the point of struggling [with the weight].  So we’re fighting at middleweight at the moment and we’re fighting monthly.”


There will be some 154-pounders who aren’t so happy to hear those words.


Meanwhile, Punches at the Park 5 still boasts a stacked card featuring the world ranked 26-year-old Moloney twins, popular Werribee boxer Ibrahim Balla, Jeff Fenech protégé Brock Jarvis, along with another three fights filling out the card.


Andrew Moloney 13-0 (8) will face Raymond Tabugon 20-7-1 (10) of the Philippines for the vacant WBA Oceania super flyweight title in a ten rounder, a move down in weight from bantamweight where he has campaigned as a pro up until now.  Moloney is currently rated WBA #10 and IBF #14 at 118-pounds.


Jason Moloney 13-0 (11) defends his WBA Oceania super bantamweight title over ten rounds against Filipino Lolito ‘Thunder Shot’ Sonsona 21-1-4 (9).  Moloney is ranked WBA #8 and WBO #12 at 122-pounds.


Featherweight Ibrahim Balla 11-1 (7) will clash with former world title challenger Silvester Lopez 28-13-2 (19) over ten rounds.  The 29-year-old Filipino veteran went 10 rounds with world ranked Tasmanian Luke Jackson last November, winning 3-4 rounds, and promises to provide a stern test for Balla. 


One of Australia’s top prospects, super-talented super flyweight Brock Jarvis 10-0 (9) will square up against Indonesian Ghalatry Sonny 5-3 (3) over six rounds.  The 19-years-old Jarvis from Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west is trained by three-division world champion and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Fenech.


The Melbourne Park Function Centre is located in the heart of Melbourne’s sports precinct.  Tickets to PATP5 on Saturday August 19 are available online from:




Brisbane-based Townsville slugger Mark ‘Bam Bam’ Flanagan 22-5 (15) will return to the ring on November 4 when he takes on Argentinean hardman Pablo Matias Magrini 19-2-1 (15) at the Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre.


It will be Flanagan’s first fight back since losing a unanimous points decision to longtime cruiserweight world champion Denis Lebedev in Russia last month.


Promotor Angelo Di Carlo admits that the Lebedev fight was a learning experience for Flanagan.


“He didn’t take the opportunity but that’s what happens, Lebedev has been the champion for a long time,” Di Carlo told the Townsville Bulletin.


“Mark learned some lessons that night and he already knows where he went wrong.”


WBA #14 Flanagan last fought in Townsville in 2014 when he won a ten round split decision over Daniel ‘The Doberman’ Ammann for the vacant Australian cruiserweight title.



© 2010 MaxBoxing UK Ltd