Contender Blake Caparello wins hard-found 10 rounder over Reagan Dessaix.
By Anthony Cocks at ringside
World-rated light heavyweight Blake ‘Il Capo’ Caparello 29-3-1 (12) scored a competitive 10-rounds points decision victory over WBA number 11 ranked Reagan ‘The President’ Dessaix 16-2 (11) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria, Australia on Friday night on a Sam Labruna-promoted show.
The 32-year-old Caparello, who is ranked WBC number seven and WBO number 10, annexed the WBA Oceania title with the unanimous decision win. Two of the official judges had the veteran southpaw leading 97-93 while the third had the fight slightly closer at 96-94.
“We came into the fight with a good gameplan,” Caparello said in the ring after the fight. “We fought in his face for the whole 10-rounds. I knew I’d done enough to win. He was trying to draw me into a bit of a fight but we stuck to our guns.
“The public wanted an all-Aussie showdown, so hats off to both of us and our teams for making it happen. Maybe in the future if he works his way back up, who knows, we might be able to do it again.”
In a fast-paced opening round Caparello played the aggressor, mixing up shots to the body and head as he sought to put his superior pro experience on display. Dessaix made some adjustments in the second frame to begin finding his rhythm and range, but Caparello switched his style up to land some sharp counterpunches.
Essendon-born, Greenvale resident Caparello – who has only ever lost to world-class boxers Sergey Kovalev, Andre Dirrell and Isaac Chilemba – continued to look comfortable in the third as he countered with a variety of left crosses.
The 22-year-old Dessaix lifted in the fourth round while the fifth saw some great two-way action punctuated by some hard shots from the Brisbane-based boxer late in the frame. Dessaix went right back to work in the sixth, landing some crisp four- and five-punch combinations as he kept up his high workrate throughout the three-minute period.
After a closely contested seventh round Dessaix regained control early in the eighth, backing Caparello up until a hard, jarring counter left halted his forward momentum midway through the round.
In just his first fight past the eighth round Dessaix appeared to fatigue in the later rounds. Caparello controlled the ninth frame before Dessaix found himself on the canvas just before the bell after the pair got their legs tangled up.
There was little action in the 10th and final round as Caparello, clearly believing he was ahead on the cards, circled left and right to avoid Dessaix’s big shots.
With the win the Sam Labruna-trained Caparello believes he has a clear claim to being the number one light heavyweight boxer in Australia.
“It’s enough of people saying who number one and two is in Australia,” Caparello said. “There’s Damien Hooper but he hasn’t even been fighting, so me and Reagan are clearly the number one and two.
“We fought a hard, tough fight tonight. We both put it all on the line, our records and our world ratings. We both could have fought international fighters, but no-one cares. This is what people want to see, the best Aussie versus Aussie match-ups. Sammy Labruna sold out the whole show, so that just goes to show.”
Dessaix was far from disgraced and will only improve from the experience.
“We just went 10 rounds and I put everything of myself into it. I just want to thank every single person who came down from Brisbane to support me. Massive thanks, you guys are the best supporters,” said Dessaix.
“I said I wanted to fight the best in Australia, I wanted to test myself. I obviously thought I did enough to win but I’m down in enemy territory, so huge respect to Blake, he’s a very good champion.”
In the main support bout Joel ‘CamaKO’ Camilleri 17-5-1 (8) claimed the vacant Australian junior middleweight title with a dominant fifth round stoppage of previously undefeated Queenslander Billy Limov 4-1-1 (1) in their scheduled 10-round bout.
The 28-year-old from Keilor Downs wasted no time in getting to work, dropping Limov with an overhand right midway through the opening frame. Camilleri continued to strafe Limov with left hooks and right crosses for the rest of the round, with the New Zealand-born 31-year-old lucky to hear the bell to end the round.
The second round saw Camilleri control the action for the full three-minutes, hurting Limov again with mere seconds to go. Despite coming out on shaky legs for the third frame you couldn’t fault Limov’s ticker. He was all heart even as Camilleri jarred him with a short left hook just before the bell.
The fourth was a slower stanza but Camilleri opened up again in the fifth, smashing a right cross into Limov’s jaw that seemed to be sent from the fifth row and left the Queenslander reeling around the ring on unsteady legs. Camilleri was all over him and a follow-up lead left hook crumpled Limov to the canvas.
For the next half-a-round Camilleri continued to light Limov up, who was staggering around the ring like the drunkest man at the party looking for the exit door. Somewhat surprisingly the referee allowed the fight to continue until the bell to end the fifth, with Limov retiring on his stool between rounds.
“First of all, thanks to Sam Labruna. I’ve been with him for five or six years now and I’m here because of him. This belt is for Sam,” Camilleri said in the ring.
“Billy was having just his sixth professional fight; I was having my twenty-third. I was hitting him with my biggest punches and he just wouldn’t go down. Thankfully his trainer looked after him. Mate you fought an experienced fighter and you’ve got a bright future in front of you.”
In other action Cameroon heavyweight Christian Ndzie Tsoye 4-2 (3) knocked out Danny ‘Rockin’ Rio 4-3-1 (4) in the third round of their scheduled six-round contest. Official time of the stoppage was 2:53.
At light heavyweight Josh Nesbitt 3-0 outpointed southpaw Alex Brunetta 2-7 (1) in a four rounder, while welterweight Christian ‘Pretty Boy’ Pocev 2-0 (1) despatched Tainui Enua 0-2 at 1:44 of the second frame of their four-round clash when the Kiwi’s corner chucked in the towel.