By Anthony Cocks
The long awaited Australian heavyweight title fight between Demsey ‘The Tower of Terror’ McKean 10-0 (4) of Ipswich and Willie ‘Wild Bill’ Nasio 10-2 (9) of the Gold Coast will finally take place on 6 October at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington as the headline fight on a Big Time Boxing card televised on Fox Sports in Australia.
The mouth-watering clash between two of Australia’s best big men has been scheduled to take place three times in the past 12 months. Most recently Nasio was forced to withdraw from a planned May scrap in Darwin after he travelled to Japan and lost on points to Kyotaro Fujimoto for the vacant OPBF title.
It has led to a lot of bad blood between the two camps, encouraged by what McKean sees as trash-talk from Nasio’s side of the table.
“There is far from any love lost between us, but that’s come to be expected when someone trash-talks as much as him,” says McKean. “I’ve been sparring Alex Leapai twice a week now for the majority of this fight camp, to mix it up with someone so experienced who has also been at the top level is awesome. Someone that mimics the style of Nasio too, we definitely don’t spar light so it’s been great for the preparation. I’m feeling very confident in this fight.”
Nasio says that his preparation for this fight has been on point. The 31-year-old from Queensland’s Gold Coast has been working on [his] conditioning, attitude, consistency and nutrition as he puts in rounds against some of Australia’s leading heavyweights, including Lucas Browne, Alex Leapai and Pat Eneanya.
“Power is just one of the factors,” Nasio says. “I am now moving like a lightweight. I’m quick and agile like a cat backed up by sleeping power in both hands. But I expect to sleep Demsey in four. He hasn’t fought someone with my power before who ain’t scared of his tickling jabs and hugging tactics.”
The key to the fight according to Nasio is consistent pressure.
“Demsey hates pressure and hates getting hit,” he says. “I ain’t going nowhere for 10 rounds. I’ll walk through his pussy punches and knock him out.”
According to Nasio, the bad blood between the two camps is the result of McKean’s backers getting emotionally involved in the proposed fight.
“I’ve never been shy about letting my opponents know how I believe the fight will go when we fight,” says Nasio. “With Demsey, it seems like his cheerleaders get more cut up than him and so it’s pretty much his supporters against me with Demsey occasionally agreeing with them. And they don’t like that I’m expressing what I’m going to do to Demsey.
“I’ve never said anything personal to him but they have been taking it very personal and catch feeling pretty quick. I think his male supporters experience that time of the month every day of the year.”
At 6-foot-6 McKean will enjoy a sizeable height and reach advantage over the stockier Nasio who, at 6-foot-2, is expected to hold a 25-pound weight advantage over McKean when they meet in the ring. At 27-years-old McKean is also the younger fighter by four years.
McKean says that while he’s a boxer by nature, he is still expecting to find the fight-ending punch at some stage during the contest.
“I’m a boxer and as long as I box my opponents I’ll beat them every time,” says McKean. “There’s no doubt Nasio has a bit of power and likes to brawl so I don’t see why I should give him what he wants. I’m a smart, technical and fast heavyweight that moves well, so I’ll be using all these to my advantage on fight night, but I’m positive I’ll be getting the knockout win.”
Back in January Nasio travelled to Japan to face once-beaten Kyotaro Fukimoto at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo for the vacant OPBF title, losing a competitive fight by twelve round decision. It was the first time Nasio had fought the championship distance and just the first time he had been past five rounds.
“Nasio doesn’t have the gas tank that I do so if it makes it to the later rounds I’ll pick him apart more so,” says McKean. “The longer the fight goes the more advantage I will have.”
Not surprisingly, Nasio views the fight a little differently.
“I learnt a lot about myself,” says Nasio. “That’s the best thing that could of happened to my career. I’m so grateful I experienced that. I now know I can go 12 rounds. But at the same time I knew exactly the things I didn’t do to get the win. Everything I didn’t do for the Fujimoto fight I did in preparation for this fight.
“Sorry Demsey,” he laughs. “You won’t be fighting the slow Frankenstein from Japan this time.”
McKean is a relative newcomer to the sport. The former mixed martial artist and Muay Thai fighter had his first boxing bout in 2014 and transitioned over to the sport fulltime in 2015. McKean is confident that his diligence and discipline combined with his imposing physical dimensions will take him all the way to the top of the heavyweight division.
“I’m a hard worker and motivated to excel in boxing and with age on my side as well,” he says. “As long as I keep chipping away and training hard with my team behind me, I believe anything is possible.”
Nasio also came late to the sport, making his professional debut against Eddy Marsters at Southport RSL on his 27th birthday four-and-a-half years ago. He had spent the previous two years in the amateur ranks but after finding it difficult to secure fights – he managed only two fight a year – he turned his sights to the professional ranks where he quickly decided his goal was to win a world title. Right now he sees McKean as a bump in the road on his way to the championship.
“I decided I would be a world champion as a pro before I started fighting as an amateur,” says the ambitious Nasio. “World title has been my goal from the start. Once I walk through Demsey I’ll get back on my quest for a world title.”