Aussie Wrap-up: Broadhurst secures world title shot, Luke Jackson moves closer to Oscar Valdez fight, hot prospect Liam Paro victorious

By Anthony Cocks




WBA #11 light heavyweight Trent Broadhurst 20-1 (12) gets the chance of a lifetime on 4 November when he challenges Russian prodigy Dmitry Bivol 11-0 (9) for the WBA world title left vacant by Badou Jack who sent a letter to the Panamanian sanctioning body last Saturday expressing his desire to give up the belt.


The news came the same week undisputed 175-pound champion Andre Ward announced his retirement from boxing effective immediately.


The reshuffle at the top of the table has opened the door for the 29-year-old from Slacks Creek to challenge the WBA’s mandatory contender as the headline fight on a Matchroom Boxing show in the exotic locale of Monte Carlo.


26-year-old Bivol’s best win came against fringe contender Cedric Agnew in June on the undercard of the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. The defensive-minded Agnew couldn’t keep the aggressive Bivol at bay and was stopped in four rounds. It was the sixth time Bivol had knocked out an opponent in the fourth round.


“He has been steamrolling through fringe contenders like they are nothing,” admits Broadhurst. “No disrespect but all of Bivol’s opponents to date make the same mistakes against him, mistakes I can’t and won’t make. My team has put together a great game plan. It’s up to me to execute it on the night.”


Bivol won the WBA ‘interim’ title against Felix Valera in 2016 and defended in twice in 2017 against New Zealand’s Robert Berridge and Samuel Clarkson from Texas, beating them both by TKO4. Berridge holds a KO5 win over Broadhurst back when the big punching Kiwi was undefeated six years ago.


“My biggest advantage over Bivol is going to be my ability to adapt to anything he does,” says Broadhurst. “These guys are sleeping on me based on my record and the guys I’ve fought. I couldn’t be happier.”


Broadhurst was last in action against former contender Nader Hamdan who he defeated by TKO3 on the undercard of the Anthony Mundine and Danny Green rematch at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide back in February.


The Queenslander says that the lack of opportunities is the only thing holding back Australian boxers from becoming world class operators in their own right, but that is starting to change.


“It is tough, I feel very fortunate,” says Broadhurst. “We have so much talent down here it’s not funny but a lack of opportunity to gain world class experience is what holds us back down here.


“Some promotional companies like MTK Global are starting to take notice and pick up some great local talent.”

The fight is scheduled to be broadcast in the United States on HBO and in the UK on Sky Sports. An impressive win will afford the new champion the opportunity to parlay the victory into more lucrative bouts with the division’s leading names in 2018.




One week before WBO featherweight champ Oscar Valdez 23-0 (19) of Mexico successfully defended his belt against Filipino challenger Genesis Servania 29-1 (12) in a tougher than expected 12 round shootout in Tucson, Arizona, WBO #10 Luke ‘Action’ Jackson logged another solid win over 10 rounds against Mexican Humberto ‘El Convicto’ de Santiago 14-4-1 (10) to retain his WBO Oriental strap.


Fighting in front of his home crowd at the City Hall in Hobart, Tasmania, the 32-year-old former Olympian had little trouble defusing the visitor’s power, outboxing de Santiago to win a unanimous decision by scores of 100-91, 97-94 and 98-92. With the win Jackson moves his record to 15-0 (6).


Jackson’s promoter Adam Wilcock of Fight Card Promotions is in negotiations with the Valdez team and the Tasmanian State Government to bring the undefeated Mexican brawler to Hobart early in the New Year to defend his WBO title against Jackson at the Derwent Entertainment Centre.


“We have spoken to his team, they’re keen,” Wilcock told WIN News in Hobart after the fight last week “They’re open to coming down here, so we’re pursuing all of that.”


After the success of the Jeff Horn versus Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane last July, Tasmanian Liberal MP Michael Ferguson confirmed the state government was open to the idea of providing some form of financial backing to help secure the fight.


“We would certainly welcome the discussion, that’s the sort of conversation we would like to have,” Ferguson said to WIN News Hobart.


Wilcock knows that any sort any sort of government backing would come with caveats.


“We would never expect them to foot the whole bill,” said Wilcock. “That’s completely unrealistic. We understand that we’ve got to come to the party with something as well, but we’ll sit down with them hopefully and see if there’s justified and genuine interest from them.”


There have been offers to bring the fight to Melbourne and Wilcock says that while there is potential backing there to do that, he is determined to bring the fight to Tasmania.


“Luke Jackson is Hobart,” Wilcock said. “Luke Jackson is Tasmania. So that’s what we want to so.”




Junior welterweight prospect Liam Paro 10-0 (7) passed another test on the weekend when he took just three rounds to stop Jose Aubel 8-1 (7) of Argentina at Eaton Hills Hotel in Eaton Hills on an Ace Boxing Promotions card.


The talented southpaw from Townsville in Far North Queensland was leading the fight at the time of the stoppage and had already sent the visitor to the canvas prior to referee Derek Milham waving off the contest at the 2:00 mark.


The 21-year-old lefty was a vital part of Jeff Horn’s training camp ahead of his historical win over Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 2 July.


On the same Ace Boxing card light heavyweight Reagan Dessaix 11-1 (8) needed just one round to KO Francisco Ramon Benetiz 16-6 (13). The 37-year-old Argentine’s four previous trips to Australia have all ended the same way.


Paro will be back in action against TBA on 4 November at the Townsville Entertainment Centre on an Ace Boxing Promotions card headlined by light heavyweight contender Mark Flanagan vs Pablo Matias Magrini. It will be Paro’s first pro fight in front of his home crowd, while cruiserweight Flanagan will be having his first fight back since losing his world title bid against WBA ‘super’ champion Denis Lebedev in Russia last July.



*DDP Sports Management has put together one of the best cards of the year on 14 October at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre titled ’It’s Time’. Headlining the show is a world title eliminator between WBO #6 junior middleweight Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 25-1-1 (7) and WBO #7 Yuki Nonaka 31-8-3 (10). The winner is guaranteed the WBO #2 spot and will be in the box seat to fight for the world title currently held by Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto. In the main support bout Faris Chevalier 11-1 (7) and Sam Banney 8-2 (5) clash over 10 rounds for the Australian super middleweight title currently held by Chevalier. Also on the card former world number six super middleweight Rohan Murdock gets back in the ring after a horror year marred by injuries when he takes on Tanzanian Said Mbelwa, heavyweight Alex Leapai begins his comeback, Herman Ene Purcell and John Szigeti meet in a heavyweight war over six, while light heavyweights Ronald Branford and Adam Copland open the show. Ticketek are handling all tickets, so log on now by clicking here to secure your seats before they all sell out.


*Jayden ‘Plugger’ Nichols 3-0-1 (1) had to overcome a near-tragedy on fight night to secure his majority decision victory over local rival Johnny Brown 2-3-1 on the undercard of Luke Jackson vs Humberto de Santiago in Hobart on 16 September. Plugger’s aunty had a massive heart attack at ringside before his fight and was transported to hospital for treatment after spending some time clinically dead. To Plugger’s great credit, he got on with the job at hand and boxed his way to victory by scores of 78-74, 77-76 and 76-76 to claim the vacant Tasmanian cruiserweight title. Don’t be fooled by the kid’s husky build; he has fast hands, a great kit of punches, likes to mix it up and has a granite chin. He is next in action on the big ’Punches at the Park 6’ card by Hosking Promotions on 21 October in Melbourne where he will face Cliff Chamberlain Jr.


*Hot cruiserweight prospect Jai Opetaia 12-0 (9) is returning to Melbourne on 21 October to fight on the big Hosking Promotions ‘Punches at the Park 6’ card at the Melbourne Park Function Centre. The Sydney southpaw was scheduled to face American Frankie Lopez 9-0 (7) in Samoa on 7 September but with that card falling through, the fight has been added to the line-up for #PATP6. Lopez is trained by former light heavyweight and cruiserweight world champion Virgil Hill. In his last fight Opetaia turned in a career-best performance, stopping the experienced Daniel Ammann in nine rounds for the vacant Australian and OPBF cruiserweight titles.


*On the undercard of the Oscar Valdez vs Genesis Servania world title fight, former world title challenger Leonardo Zappavigna 35-3 (26) scored a dominant third round TKO of Fidel Monterrosa Munoz in a scheduled eight round bout. Zappavigna had Munoz on the deck three times in third round before the fight was stopped at the 2:48 mark. The 29-year-old, 5-foot-6 Zappavigna from Leppington in Sydney’s west was competing as a welterweight, where he intends to campaign from here on out.


*WBA #7 George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr 12-0 (6) is making his overdue Melbourne debut when he fights Krai Setthaphon 25-2 (16) in defence of the WBA Oceania title at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington on 13 October. Melbourne has one of the largest Greek ex-patriot communities in the world. There’s a huge market here just waiting to be tapped into. The card also features former light heavyweight world title challenger and current WBC #9 and WBA #14 Blake ‘Il Capo’ Caparello 25-2-1 (9) vs Rocky Montoya 32-2 (22); junior middleweight Joel ‘CamaKO’ Camilleri 14-4 (7) vs Yao Yi Ma 15-2 (10); former WBC world bantamweight champion Susie Ramadan 26-2 (11) up against Saowaluk Nareepangsri 7-5 (1); WBA #8 featherweight ‘Aussie’ Joel Brunker 31-2 (18) vs Khamron Klaphaisan 19-1 (14) and much, much more on the Big Time Boxing promotion.

*Next weekend the bad blood between Demsey McKean 10-0 (4) and Willie Nasio 10-2 (9) looks set to boil over as they battle it out for the prestigious Aussie heavyweight title. Expect fireworks and no love lost between the two big men, who have had previously scheduled fights cancelled on a number of occasions. These fights will take place on 6 October at the Melbourne Pavilion once again with Big Time Boxing promoting. In the main support bout WBA #3 junior welterweight Czar Amonsot 34-3-3 (22) will be battling it out against undefeated Paraguayan Carlos Manuel Portillo 18-0 (14) for the interim WBA Oceania 140-pound title.





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