All the latest Aussie boxing news from Anthony Cocks
Newly crowned Australian junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu 13-0 (10) is in the Philippines sparring with Manny Pacquiao 61-7-2 (39) ahead of the multi-division champion’s challenge to WBA welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman 29-0 (22) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on July 20.
Tszyu, who is coming off a 10-round win over Joel Camilleri for the national crown last month in Sydney, believes Pacquiao will be a clear-cut winner against the undefeated American.
“I think Pacquiao will beat Thurman convincingly. If Pacquiao wants it as bad as how he wants it in his early days, I think you’ll see the best of Pacquiao,” the 24-year-old Tszyu told The Manila Times.
“I think he will hurt Thurman, he comes forward real quickly. And when he got these angles, then he will catch Thurman. If he sees Thurman hurt, Pacquiao will go for the kill to get that TKO.”
Pacquiao, 40, has previously used another Australian boxer in lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr 16-0 (9) as his main sparring partner, but with the IBF number five and WBO number nine contender booked to fight in Athens on June 7 he will be unavailable.
Tszyu says that despite Pacquiao’s age, the Filipino superstar still maintains his power.
“It’s snappy, it’s like a sting. Imagine like a sting that you feel it in few seconds. It’s a different power than what I have been hit before,” said Tszyu.
Pacquiao’s coach Buboy Fernandez was impressed by Tszyu’s ability to mimic Thurman’s style, labelling him a “copycat” of the 30-year-old from Clearwater, Florida.
“He sparred really good and we’re expecting he will be able to show more in the next sparring sessions. You can see it in his moves,” said Fernandez.
LIAM PARO HEADLINES BIG FIGHT CARD AGAINST FATIH KELES ON THE GOLD COAST THIS SATURDAY
WBO number three ranked junior welterweight Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 16-0 (11) will clash with WBO number 12 Fatih Keles 11-0-1 (6) of Turkey at The Star on the Gold Coast in Queensland this Saturday night.
The bout headlines a big night of international fights for Ace Boxing Promotions that also includes heavyweight Demsey McKean up against American Curtis Harper, lightweight Jacob Ng in with Mexico’s Ricardo Lara, welterweight Tysinn Best battling it out against South Korean In Duck Seo and cruiserweight Ben Kelleher locking horns with another American in Patrick Ferguson. All five fights are scheduled for 10 rounds.
Paro is looking forward to the challenge of facing Turkish Olympian Keles, who boxes out of Germany, and says he isn’t daunted by the 29-year-old’s 415 amateur fights.
“I know that Fatih has a good amateur background and that he will come to fight,” said the 23-year-old southpaw from Brisbane by way of Mackay.
“I also had a good amateur career representing Australia at the World Junior Championships.
“He’s also an undefeated fighter so, like me, he’s never tasted defeat in the pro ranks the and he’ll be coming to win.”
Paro’s trainer Alfie Di Carlo agrees it’ll be a fierce contest but that’s exactly what he wants for his boxer.
“I have been chasing this fight for a while because I do rate Fatih as a fighter,” he said.
“Keles is rated world number 12 and this fight gives Liam a wonderful opportunity to showcase to the world what he can do by beating the best in the world.”
If Paro gets past Keles the plan is to keep working their way up the rankings until the Queenslander is in a mandatory position to face WBO 140-pound boss Maurice ‘Might Mo’ Hooker 26-0-3 (17).
“I believe I can beat Hooker. I have seen a lot of his fights and I believe I have the tools to beat him,” Paro said.
“I respect him as a good champion but I’m confident of winning when I get my chance.”
Di Carlo agrees.
“I think Liam has the boxing prowess to overcome Hooker and his slickness and speed will be the difference,” he said.
"We want Liam to claim the No.1 spot in the world and from there we’ll seek a mandatory title shot with Hooker.”
‘TOWER OF TERROR’ CLOSING IN ON WORLD RANKING
Australian heavyweight champion Demsey ‘Tower of Terror’ McKean 14-0 (8) is hoping to secure a top 15 world ranking when he meets American Curtis Harper 13-6 (9) for the interim WBA Oceania title at The Star on the Gold Coast in Queensland this Saturday night.
McKean, who was originally scheduled to face the well-credentialed Solomon Haumono before the former rugby league enforcer withdrew due to injury, says he is ready to launch his career on the world stage.
“I’m ready for that step up,” the 28-year-old southpaw told the Queensland Times. “Then we’ll work from there, get a couple more regional belts and keep chipping away to try to get that world title shot in the next two-to-three years.
“Once you get that shot on that big stage you have to perform and put on a show so they get you back next time.”
McKean insists he won’t be going headhunting against an opponent he rates as his toughest test to date.
“If the opportunity to stop him early is there I’ll go for it, but I’m not going to look for it,” he said.
“Harper likes to sit back and pick is shots a lot more [than Haumono]. It should make for an exciting fight. It is definitely going to be my hardest test to date.
“I’m coming in fit and strong. I’ll do what I normally do, stay long and pop him from far away. I’ve got a pretty high workrate for a heavyweight too, so I’ll take him into deep waters if it goes there.”
DEEDEE HOBBS PLANNING SMASH AND GRAB IN ATHENS
Brisbane brawler Deedee ‘The Silencer’ Hobbs 8-0 (5) takes on Christina Linardatou 11-1 (6) for the WBO junior welterweight title at Olympic Hall Galatsi in Athens, Greece on Friday night.
Hobbs, who has quickly become a fan favourite in Australia after her entertaining slugfests with Arlene Blencowe and Baby Nansen, is expertly coached by experienced trainer Russell Finn.
“I’ve spent almost my whole life in boxing and this world title fight is the chance of a lifetime,” said Finn, who took up boxing more than half a century ago, to the Courier Mail.
“The world champ from Greece is a very tough fighter, she’s a real brawler but Deedee can brawl and box and I think that will be the big difference.”
RANDY PETALCORIN WANTS KENNY CANO IN AUSTRALIA
Former WBA interim junior flyweight champion Randy Petalcorin 29-3-1 (22) wants to face Venezuelan Kenny Cano 14-1 (11) and his promoter hopes to get the fight in Australia.
Petalcorin, who is ranked IBF number nine and WBA number 15, is coming off a seventh-round TKO loss to Felix Alvarado for the vacant IBF 108-pound title last October.
“The fight we want for Petalcorin is Kenny Cano,” said Australian Peter Maniatis, co-promoter of the 27-year-old Filipino southpaw. “He is world ranted in the top 15 with the IBF and WBA and Randy Petalcorin is rated IBF number nine and WBA number 15, so there is a high ranking at stake.
“Richard Pena, the promoter for Kenny Cano, already has agreed to fight Petalcorin. We are willing to travel even to Venezuela once the political protests cool down to make this fight happen and Cano has said they would also come to the Australia.
"Right now, Randy Petalcorin is in training to fight on June 9th in the Philippines his training so much smarter and harder now. He is 27 years old and maturing. The best three years of Petalcorin’s boxing career is in front of him. We want a major world title after the Thai on June 9th and Cano is on our radar.
"That is why Petalcorin his training hard at Sanman Gym in General Santos City.”
Petalcorin will have a tune-up this weekend when he takes on Thai boxer Worawatchai Boonjan 14-21-1 (13) at the Midas Casino ESPN 5 card in the Philippines on Sunday, June 9.
Peter Maniatis co-promotes Randy Petalcorin together with JC Manangquil, CEO of Sanman Boxing Promotions.