By Anthony Cocks
ANTHONY MUNDINE CONCERNED ABOUT JEFF HORN HEAD-BUTTS AS BOTH BOXERS COME IN ON WEIGHT
Questions about Jeff Horn’s reckless use of his head have be raised by Anthony Mundine ahead of the pair’s high-profile domestic match-up at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this Friday night.
The Sydney veteran is continuing the trend started in the wake of Horn’s breakthrough win against Manny Pacquiao at the same venue in July last year that continued through to his second WBO welterweight title defence against Terence Crawford in Las Vegas, Nevada in June.
Mundine 48-8 (28) says he will be raising the issue with referee Phil Austin ahead of the fight.
“That’s the only thing that I’m worried about,” said Mundine.
“When he starts to get banged up and he starts to get blood here and there, he’s going to get frustrated and not know what to do so he’s going to start leading with his head and all these types of things.
“Hopefully we’ll talk in the rules meeting and put our case forward.”
Former schoolteacher Horn 18-1-1 (12) will have a 13-year age advantage over Mundine, who turned pro at 25 after a successful career in rugby league. But ‘The Man’ insists he is yet to reach the twilight of his career.
“This young cat is going to get pumped,” Mundine said in an interview with Fox Sports. “I take my hat off to him, but there’s levels to this and he’s not on my level.
“When I’m on, mentally and physically, I’m a different animal. I’m too much. He’s very effective at what he does but he’s awkward. But once I adapt to his style, this boy’s in trouble.
“Father time hasn’t caught up with me yet. I’m still sparring with young cats and I’m beating them up, outclassing them. I feel good.”
Meanwhile Horn’s coach Glenn Rushton has conceded that Mundine looks in much better shape than he was anticipating for the 156.5-pound catchweight bout.
“He does look fit. He does look sharp. He does look like he’s really come to fight,” Rushton said. “If he really puts in, we’ve got to plan to beat a 30-year-old Mundine, not a 43-year-old one.”
At the 1pm weigh-in at the venue on Thursday Mundine scaled 154.9-pounds while Horn was slightly heavier at 155.5-pounds. There is a rehydration clause in the contract that only allows for the fighters to come in at 165.35-pounds shortly before the bout.
REAGAN DESSAIX AND BLAKE CAPARELLO CLASH FOR DOMESTIC BRAGGING RIGHTS IN FEBRUARY
In a surprise announcement world-ranked light heavyweights Blake ‘Il Capo’ Caparello 28-3-1 (12) and Reagan ‘The President’ Dessaix 16-1 (11) have quickly agreed to terms for a mouthwatering domestic clash with world title implications for the winner.
The fight will take place at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington on February 22 on an SLB Fight Night promotion.
“I am so pumped and couldn’t be more ready for this great domestic match up that lays ahead,” said Dessaix, 22, who will be defending his WBA Oceania title over 10 rounds.
“This is a fight a lot of people thought I wouldn’t take… but it’s been the story of my life, always stepping up and rising to any challenges put in front of me.”
WBA number 15 Dessaix is coming off an impressive second round knockout of the highly-regard Steve Lovett 17-3 (13) earlier this month.
Prior to the fight Dessaix mocked the credentials of Australia’s other leading 175-pound contenders Caparello and Damien Hooper in an interview with Maxboxing.
“As of the other contenders, one doesn’t know what weight division he is in and the other doesn’t even know what planet his living on,” he said.
It seems that 32-year-old southpaw Caparello, who stopped local rival Trent Broadhurst in a single round in June before moving up to cruiserweight to dispatch Lance Bryant in three, didn’t take too kindly to Dessaix’s taunts.
“It’s on! Last time an Aussie mentioned my name for a fight, I proved I’m on another level,” said Caparello, the WBC number eight and WBO number 12 contender.
“This is going to end the same way.”
SLIMMED-DOWN LUCAS BROWNE SCORES KO WIN OVER JUNIOR PATI IN NEW ZEALAND, WANTS DAVE ALLEN NEXT
Former WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne 27-1 (24) has recorded his second straight win after his disastrous showing in London against Dillian Whyte in March when he turned up out of shape and was knocked out cold in six.
Fighting in St John, New Zealand in the eight-round main event, Browne won every round against journeyman Junior Pati 12-23-1 (6) before knocking him out at 2:35 of the fifth.
Browne surprised many by turning up at a career-low weight of 243½-pounds. It was the first time he has weighed under 250-pounds in his 10-year professional career.
The 39-year-old from Perth is looking forward to getting back in the ring early in the new year and is eyeing off a return to the UK where he has built a solid fan-base with six fights there in the past.
“I’m looking to get back out in January or February,” said Browne on social media. “Someone like a Dave Allen in the UK. I think people would like to see that and I’d love to do that.
“Or [Adam] Kownacki, another pretty good fighter. They’re two fellas I just want to bash, so that would be good. Or Charles Martin, [Tomasz] Adamek, another Polish fighter, along with [Kyotaro] Fujimoto of Japan.
“These are some of the fights that I’m looking at, that I’m trying to make… [But] I think Dave Allen next would be perfect.”
ANDREW MOLONEY UNIMPRESSED BY KAL YAFAI’S PERFORMANCE IN WORLD TITLE DEFENCE
WBA number four super flyweight contender Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 18-0 (11) was singularly unimpressed by WBA champion Kal Yafai’s points decision win over number 14 contender Israel Gonzalez in Monte Carlo, Monaco on Saturday night.
In the fourth defence of his world title the 29-year-old Englishman failed to impress against the Mexican challenger, who appeared to outwork and outbox him for long periods of the fight. Yafai made up some ground in the later rounds to be awarded the win over Gonzalez 23-3 (10) by scores of 117-111 and 116-112 twice. The fight appeared much closer than the official scorecards suggest.
“I thought Yafai was one-dimensional and he was very lucky to be given the decision,” Moloney told The Ring this week. “I personally scored the fight 117-112 to Gonzalez.”
Moloney, who is coming off an impressive 10th round TKO of former world titleholder Luis ‘El Nica’ Concepcion is September, has been chasing a shot at Yafai 25-0 (15) since the start of the year.
“I have always been confident that I would beat Yafai, that is why I have talked about wanting this fight for so long,” said the 27-year-old. “But after watching Yafai’s performance, I’m more confident than ever that I have what it takes to win that world title.”
Next up for Moloney is a stay-busy fight against Filipino southpaw Cris ‘The King Paulino 19-3 (8) at Metro City in Northbridge, Perth on December 14. It will be his first fight in Western Australia as a pro and just his second against a lefthander in his four-year career.
Last month Moloney travelled to Orlando, Florida to help his twin brother Jason prepare for his gutsy effort against IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series. The experience has only made Moloney hungrier than ever to land a world title shot in front of a sizeable crowd.
“I hope that I can get Yafai early next year. I am happy to fight him anywhere, but it would be amazing to fight him on the Anthony Joshua card at Wembley Stadium [on April 13] in front of 100,000 people,” he said.
Manager Tony Tolj, who represents both of the twins, is adamant that the best if yet to come for the likeable pair of pugnacious pugilists.
“Andrew’s last fight was impressive; he just goes up another level every time,” Tolj told The Ring. “Team Moloney do not want easy fights, we want to make statements and fight the best.
“I believe Andrew will rise to another level facing Yafai, and the junior bantamweight division best beware – there is a monster on the loose and he’s hungry for some gold.”
BILAL AKKAWY RECEIVES BACKING OF A LEGEND AHEAD OF FIGHT ON CANELO ALVAREZ VS ROCKY FIELDING UNDERCARD
Ahead of his fight on the Canelo Alvarez versus Rocky Fielding undercard at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on December 15, heavy-handed Sydneysider Bilal Akkawy 18-0-1 (14) has received support from one of Australia’s greatest trainers.
Johnny Lewis, who took Jeff Fenech, Jeff Harding and Kostya Tszyu to world championships honours and also trained Akkawy’s father Mick, says that the 25-year-old Peakhurst puncher has the ability to become an even more devastating knockout artist than his dad.
“Some people are blessed with raw power and I think Bilal is going to be an even better puncher than his dad,” said Lewis in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph.
“Some people are born fast, some strong, and I think while you can improve the power in your punches, power is something you’re born with.
“It’s a gift from God and Bilal has certainly got that.”
In February Akkawy scored a breakthrough win against former WBA ‘regular’ 168-pound champion Giovanni De Carolis of Italy, but despite the prized scalp he was becoming disillusioned with the sport and its lack of rewards.
“I beat De Carolis and then I was having problems with a few injuries. I just fought this former world champ who is still in his prime and the reward is very little. It was getting to me,” said the WBA number eight and IBF number 11 contender.
“There’s no recognition. I felt like quitting.
“Then my friend called me to say you’re going to America to spar Canelo.”
Akkawy was drafted into camp as a sparring partner for Alvarez ahead of his aborted rematch with undisputed middleweight king Gennady Golovkin. When the fight was rescheduled, Akkawy got the call-up again.
The ambitious young super middleweight created such an impression on Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso that he invited him to relocate to the United States to train with him on a permanent basis.
It was an offer too good to refuse.
Akkawy will have the chance to repay Reynoso’s faith in him when he takes on Mexican Victor Fonseca 17-8-1 (14) over 10 rounds in one of the main support bouts to Alvarez-Fielding. It will be his second straight fight in the US after outpointing Cristian Olivas 16-3 (13) at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada in September.
JOEL CAMILLERI DOMINATES ADAM DIU ABDULHAMID IN WELTERWEIGHT DEBUT
In his first fight at welterweight Joel ‘Cama-KO’ Camilleri 16-5-1 (7) scored a comprehensive points victory over tough Filipino Adam Diu Abdulhamid 13-7 (5) to claim the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title at the Malvern Town Hall in Melbourne on Saturday night.
The 28-year-old from Keilor Downs, who has competed at junior middleweight or higher throughout his career, was simply too skilful for the 24-year-old visitor, running away the winner by scores of 100-90 twice and 99-91.
Camilleri will return on the undercard of stablemate Blake Caparello’s WBA Oceania title challenge against reigning beltholder Reagan Dessaix at the Melbourne Pavilion on February 22.
In other results junior welterweight Terry Tzouramanis 21-4-3 (3) defeated Victor Odindo 5-2 (5) on points over 10 to pick up the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council continental title. Scores were 100-90 and 97-93 twice.
Layton McFerran 3-1 (1) claimed the vacant Victorian state super featherweight title against Daniel Huculak 4-1 (2) by eight round unanimous decision with scores of 78-74 and 79-73 twice.
Victorian welterweight champion Adam Kaoullas 6-1 (2) successful defended his state title against Jonny Singh 5-3-2 (3) by KO3.
Southpaw Matt Sheehan 4-1 (2) annexed the vacant Victorian state light heavyweight title with an eighth round TKO of Mark Smith 5-4-2.
Middleweight Emmanuel Carlos 9-1 (7) stopped Siliveni Nawai 11-2 (8) by TKO3 in a six-rounder.
In other results Joel Taylor 4-0 (2) stopped debutant Tainui Enua in the third round of a scheduled four and heavyweight Che St John 5-0 (2) stopped Mafa Telepe 2-7 (1) in the second round of their four-rounder.