Boxing in Oz

By Anthony Cocks

Aussie boxing scene
Aussie boxing scene



Perth pocket dynamo Louisa ‘Bang Bang Lulu’ Hawton 8-2 (4) should be rejoicing after winning the interim WBC atomweight title on the untelevised portion of the Superfly 3 undercard from the Forum in Inglewood, California on Saturday night.


Instead she is left wondering what more she has to do to win a decision in the United States after her opponent Brenda Flores 13-4-1 (2) was awarded the victory in a fight the five-foot tall former WBO junior flyweight champion clearly dominated.


Two of the three judges awarded the fight to Mexico’s Flores by scores of 97-93 and 96-94, while the third judge got it right with a card of 97-93 for Hawton.


“I felt disappointed they got it so wrong,” said Hawton to Maxboxing. “The words ‘robbery’ and ‘scandal’ are being thrown around by the press; this was at best a disgraceful decision.”


This isn’t just a case of sour grapes. Many experienced boxing reporters and industry insiders agree with Hawton’s assessment of the fight.


“Best fight on the card was the undercard interim title bout between Louisa Hawton and Brenda Flores,” wrote Dougie Fischer in his Monday Mailbag column for


“Unfortunately, that quality scrap was marred by AWFUL scoring from the official judges, who handed an undeserving split decision victory to Flores.”


It is the second time in three fights that the 33-year-old mother of two can feel hard done by after dropping an eight-round unanimous decision to Anahi Torres in a fight that most ringside observers felt she won. Both fights were against Mexican boxers in WBC sanctioned contests.


But it’s not herself she feels sorry for.


“I’m a professional athlete, I work hard every day, sacrificing and pushing myself physically and mentally,” she said.


“I’m 10,000 miles away from my children in pursuit of creating something for them. This has taken away from them as well as myself.


“It broke my heart to hear them cry over the decision of the fight.”


After a couple of feeling out rounds Hawton found her rhythm, dictating the pace of the fight and ripping in some deadly accurate and hurtful shots on the inside.


“I felt within the third round I started to find my beat and began to dictate the fight,” said Hawton.


“My nose didn’t bother me at all. I know I was hurting her, banging her to the body, making her crouch over and popping her on the inside. Her facial expressions said enough.”


As for what the future holds, Hawton is adamant.


“I want a direct rematch,” she said.




World rated super middleweight Jayde ‘El Matador’ Mitchell 17-1 (9) scored a hard-fought 10-round points victory over Sydney knockout artist ‘Capt’n’ Kerry Foley 19-4-1 (16) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington, Victoria on Friday night.


All three judges awarded the fight to Mitchell by identical scores of 97-93.


Mitchell, who once weighed 130kg (286lb) and admits he looked like “a beach-ball with eyes”, dedicated the win to “all the Dad-bods and beer-bellies across Australia!”.


Foley, 30, started fast and was dangerous throughout the fight, but WBC and WBA number 12 ranked Mitchell boxed well to control the early rounds with his high work-rate and sharp counterpunching.


Mitchell survived a torrid sixth round to regain control of the fight from the big-punching Sydneysider.


“Rounds one to four were a cakewalk, I outboxed Kerry easily,” Mitchell told Maxboxing. “But Kerry adjusted, I can’t remember if it was late in the fifth or early in the sixth, and he caught me. I do however remember that round six sucked!


“I brought myself back into the fight in round seven and was able to comfortably take the remaining three rounds under the constant threat of Kerry’s power.”


The 32-year-old from Rye on the Mornington Peninsula said the fight was a learning experience for him and a good opportunity to test out his neck after surgery late last year to fix a long-standing injury.


“I learnt a lot in this fight and to be honest I don’t feel I fought at my best,” said Mitchell. “I felt a little off with my long absence from the ring and against real competition, as my March fight was an easy win just to test my neck out.


“The neck is great apart from a bit of soreness. I’m still injury free and I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym and working towards my next fight, staying active.”


Foley, who has never lost before at super middleweight, had a full preparation for this fight and looked in great physical condition.


“I have to give Kerry credit for the amazing shape he was in. I felt I got the best version of Kerry Foley and the fight lived up to the hype,” continued Mitchell.


“I feel Kerry was a worthy contender and although it was a clear victory for me, Kerry really made me earn it.


“I wore Kerry’s best shots, he complimented my toughness the following morning saying he was KO-ing people in 16oz gloves in sparring with the same shots.

“All in all I’m stoked to have been in a great all Australian match-up that captured the boxing public’s attention.”


With the win Mitchell retains his OPBF and interim WBA Oceania titles and claims the vacant IBF Pan Pacific belt.


Also on the card cruiserweight ‘Sugar’ Kane Watts 20-3 (13) stopped Kuldeep Singh2-2-1 (1) of India in the eighth round of a schedule eighth-round bout. It was the 36-year-old Watts’ first fight in almost two years.


At light heavyweight southpaw Lucas ‘Thriller’ Miller 5-3-2 (3) outpointed David Drapac 5-1 (2) over six rounds.


Heavy-hitting cruiserweight Dids Mwaka 2-0 (2) had too much firepower for Mitchell Kitson 4-1 (2), stopping him by TKO in the fourth round of a scheduled six.


Heavyweight Jason Whateley 1-0 opened his pro account with a six round unanimous decision win over Navosa Ioata 5-2 (4) of New Zealand. The 27-year-old from Sale in Gippsland represented Australia at the Rio Olympics and won the silver medal at this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.


Tayla Harris 4-0 scored a five-round unanimous decision over Janay Harding 1-3 (1) at middleweight while cruiserweight Waleed Haddara 2-0 (1) scored a first round KO over professional loser Plaisakda Boonmalert 33-28 (29) of Thailand in a four round bout.


Aussie boxing scene
Aussie boxing scene



The push in on to match WBO number nine super middleweight Zac Dunn 26-1 (21) with Jayde ‘El Matador’ Mitchell 17-1 (9) in November.


“I’m all for it. Just tell me if the money’s right, job done,” said Mitchell in his post-fight interview after defeating Sydney’s Kerry Foley on points.


“I love the fight, it’s good. The best versus the best. If we want to be world champions, we have to be able to clean our backyard out first.”


The 27-year-old Dunn, who watched Mitchell versus Foley from ringside, has been rebuilding since losing his Commonwealth crown by seventh round stoppage on a body shot to Scotsman David Brophy 20-2-1 (4) in March last year. At the time of the stoppage two of the judges had the fight even while the third had the visitor ahead 58-56.


The heavy-handed Dunn, who has won three fights by stoppage since his lone career loss, promises to present an even sterner test than Foley with his amateur pedigree and ability to cut off the ring adding extra layers to his fight-ending power.


The result of the highly-contentious Sam Soliman 45-14-1 (19) 2NC versus Tej Pratap Singh 13-4-2 (7) 1NC fight at the Melbourne Pavilion on July 27 has been overturned by the Victorian Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Board after it found after errors by veteran referee Malcolm Bulner.


The bout will now be recognised as a no contest.


The Gerry Murphy-trained Singh, who was making the first defence of the WBA Oceania 160-pound title he won against Jake Carr at the same venue four months earlier, was penalised a point in both the fifth and tenth rounds and had two final round knockdowns ruled slips by referee Bulner.


Two of the three judges ruled the fight in favour of Soliman. Andrew Campbell had it 96-94, while Samantha Bulner turned in an indefensible card of 98-90. Martin O’Malley scored the fight a draw, 94-94.


“I have just received notice from the boxing control board of Victoria that the [WBA] Oceanic middleweight pacific title held on July 17 in Melbourne has been declared a no contest due to the fact that after an independent judge from America declared that fouls committed by Soliman were not acted upon by the referee and that two clear knockdowns in the 10th round were also not declared as knockdowns and therefore Tej was at a major disadvantage to judgement,” wrote Murphy on social media.


“As a result the board has deemed the bout a ‘no contest’. This mean Tej is still the Oceanic Champion and his loss record goes back to 4 [losses].

“I would like to thank the Boxing Control Board headed by Simone Bailey for their diligence and integrity they have applied to this inquiry in coming to a just and fair result for Tej.”


Referee Bulner was at the centre of another controversy in 2016 when the WBC ruled he erred in his decision-making during the fight between Randy Petalcorin and Omari Kimweri for the WBC Silver flyweight title but stood by the split decision result in favour of the Australian-based fighter.


In that fight Bulner missed as many as four knockdowns when the ropes appeared to be the only thing holding Kimweri up.


Samantha Bulner and Andrew Campbell both scored the fight 115-112 for Kimweri.


Cruiserweight contender Mark ‘Bam Bam’ Flanagan 24-5 (17) will get a second opportunity to win a version of the WBA world title when he takes on number one contender Arsen ‘Feroz’ Goulamirian 23-0 (15) at the Palais des Sports in Marseille, France on October 20.


The fight for the vacant interim WBA 200-pound title comes after the 28-year-old Brisbane-based Townsville slugger dropped a 12-round points decision to dangerous Russian puncher Denis Lebedev 31-2 (23) in July last year.


“Ace Boxing is very excited to have another fighter in its stable fight for a world title. Very rare that an Australian fighter gets a second opportunity for a title and I know Mark can bring home that belt,” said promoter Angelo Di Carlo on social media.


WBO number seven ranked super middleweight Rohan ‘No Mercy’ Murdock 22-1 (16) has his sights set on a world title shot against reigning WBO champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez 38-0 (25) in 2019.


The 26-year-old from the Gold Coast in south-east Queensland says he is ready now to face the talented Mexican, but his team have a plan in place to further develop his talents before making a run for the title.


“As a fighter I always have belief in myself,” said Murdock, who inked a long-term deal with fledgling promotional outfit DDP Sports earlier this year.


“I’ll go into any fight with the mindset of winning and that I’m ready. However, to have the best shot of not just competing but winning the title, I believe I’ll have two to three more fights, building opposition, to be completely ready.”


Ramirez won the title with a 12 round unanimous decision over veteran champion Arthur Abraham in April 2016, winning every round. The 27-year-old southpaw has successfully defended the belt four times since.


“I rate Ramirez very highly, being tough, strong, technical, the list goes on,” continued Murdock. “I would trust in what my coach Chris Carden’s game plan is, which he would create if and when the fight happens.”


Before that fight can happen Murdock must first get past experienced Argentinean journeyman Pablo Daniel Zamora Nievas 33-15-1 (19) who he will face in the eight round main event at the Pullman & Mercure Hotel in Brisbane this Saturday night on a Steven Wijangco Presents and DDP Sports co-promotion.


“I have watched a few of his fights, one of which was for the WBA world title against Anthony Mundine. We know he will be tough and ready and has the experience of fighting the championship rounds,” said Murdock.


“I have prepared for this fight the same as any, with no stone unturned.”


In his second fight back after a year on the sidelines due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Bali, Murdock impressed Top Rank boss Bob Arum with his dominant 10-round points victory over hard-headed Russian Apti Ustarkhanov on the Jeff Horn versus Gary Corcoran undercard in Brisbane last December.


Arum, who promotes Ramirez, praised Murdock’s ability in the ring and talked up the possibility of a world title fight outdoors on the sun-drenched beaches of the Gold Coast.


Murdock says the plan for a big fight in his hometown is still alive.


“Absolutely, my team plan on fighting a top 15 world rated fighter come December, followed by a huge fight in March on the Gold Coast,” said the Mike Altamura managed boxer.


“Then we will be looking for that world title shot.”



World-rated super middleweight Bilal Akkawy 17-0-1 (14) fights Cristian Olivas 16-2 (13) over eight rounds at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada this Thursday night on the undercard of Pablo Cesar Cano 30-7-1(21) vs Ruslan Madiev 12-0 (5) on a Golden Boy Promotions card to be broadcast by ESPN2.


The 25-year-old banger from Peakhurst in Sydney’s south was twice drafted into camp by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for his rematch against unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin – first for the aborted May 5 date and again for this Saturday’s highly-anticipated clash.


His work in preparing Alvarez for Golovkin has been rewarded by Golden Boy Promotions, who will be promoting his USA debut.


But finding an opponent for the relatively unknown Australian puncher has proven difficult.


“It’s been a bit tough to get an opponent,” Akkawy admitted to Daniel Attias of this week. “I heard they approached [former world title challenger] Marco Antonio Periban, but he declined.


“There was also Marcos Reyes and he also declined it, so they came back with Cristian Olivas and it looks like we will be fighting him but I’m just happy to get the fight to be honest.”


The WBA number 10 and IBF number 11 ranked 168-pounder was last in action in February when he defeated Italian former WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight titleholder Giovanni De Carolis 26-9-1 (13) by wide points decision over 10 rounds at Club Punchbowl in Sydney.



WBO number 10 ranked cruiserweight Jai Opetaia 16-0 (13) is off to Belgium next month to face once-beaten IBF number 11 Bilal Laggoune 23-1-2 (12) in what will be his first bout over 12 rounds.


The 23-year-old Sydney southpaw will be challenging for Laggoune’s IBF Intercontinental 200-pound title at the Country Hall de Liege in Liege, Belgium on October 20. It will be the 25-year-old Laggoune’s seventh contest scheduled for the 12-round championship distance.


The fight figures to be a genuine test for the talented Opetaia, who has only been past the third round once in the past two years when he took his time to put away the experienced Daniel Amman, stopping him in nine frames to claim the vacant Australian and OPBF titles in July last year.


It will be Opetaia’s fourth fight outside of Australia as a professional.


Australia has lost the fight for the vacant IBF junior flyweight title between Filipino Randy ‘Razor’ Petalcorin 29-2-1 (22) and Argentinean Felix ‘El Gemelo’ Alvarado 33-2 (29) to the Philippines after a better offer was made.


The fight was scheduled to take place in Melbourne – where Petalcorin has fought three times before – but has now been moved to Manila on Sunday October 21.


“The IBF world title fight that matched Petalcorin versus Alvarado was scheduled for Melbourne, Australia on October 21st but because of a better proposal to stage the fight in a casino in Manila, Philippines we decided to change locations to Manila,” said promoter Peter Maniatis.


The fight will be a co-promotion between Peter Maniatis Events, Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions and JC Manangquil’s Sanman Promotions.


“I would like to thank Senator Manny Pacquiao and Sean Gibbons along with Joe Ramos and Jim Manangquil for making it possible to stage the IBF world title fight in Manila, Philippines, who we are co-promoting the IBF world title event with,” said the Melbourne-based Maniatis.


“When I notified Ricardo Rizzo the advisor of Felix Alvarado of the location change to Manila, Ricardo Rizzo said ‘Team Alvarado would be happy to fight Petalcorin on the moon if it means Alvarado gets to fight for the IBF world title with Petalcorin’.”


SecondsOut Weekly Newsletter

© 2000 - 2018 Knockout Entertainment Ltd &