Anthony Cocks on the latest from the boxing world down under
TIM TSZYU OFF TO THE UNITED STATES AFTER DESTROYING DENTON VASSELL IN TWO
Tim Tszyu will jet out to the United States in the coming weeks to test his mettle against some of the best boxers in the world in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
The undefeated 24-year-old junior middleweight has camps locked in at Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood and the Mayweather Boxing Club in Vegas.
The move comes after another devastating performance on Friday night that saw Tszyu 12-0 (10) turn back the challenge of the vastly more experienced British boxer Denton Vassell 25-6 (11) in under two rounds.
The victory at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion makes him the mandatory contender for Michael Zerafa’s WBA Oceania 154-pound title. Zerafa himself is in negotiations for a fight against Aussie veteran Anthony Mundine.
“I want to see the level I’m at,” said Tszyu to News Corp. “There’s a few names – Zerafa and Mundine are talking to each other, I’m now the mandatory to fight Zerafa.
“If them two fight, I’d love to fight the winner. They are the big names I’d like to fight.
“I just want the big names, the big fights, the big arenas. My main goal is the US, there’s not much going on domestically other than the Zerafa fight.
“I want to go international, go to the States and test myself on the world level.”
Tszyu again showed the same finishing instinct against Vassell that made his father, former 140-pound boss and International Boxing Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, such an exciting fighter to watch.
“I found the distance and range from the get go,” he said.
“Once you do that, you can do whatever you want. It’s like playing basketball – if you want to hit a two-pointer or a three-pointer, you can do it.
“I found the opportunity to do that, to use my straight right. I kept it simple and got the job done nice and early.”
DDP SPORTS PUSHING FOR DENNIS HOGAN TO CHALLENGE WBO CHAMPION JAIME MUNGUIA IN QUEENSLAND
Promotional outfit DDP Sports are deep in negotiations with Golden Boy Promotions as both sides seek to find a deal that would see Australian-based Irishman Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 28-1-1 (7) challenge WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia 32-0 (26).
The 33-year-old Hogan is the mandatory challenger to the Mexican champion’s world title.
Earlier this month the WBO ordered both parties to negotiate a deal before March 2 or the fight would be taken to purse bid.
“We have started negotiations with Golden Boy as of this week,” Paul Keegan of DDP Sports said to Irish Boxing.
“We are hoping to be able to negotiate a deal to lock in the fight before the deadline which is March 2nd when purse bids are due.
“As of now we are miles apart in the negotiations of the fights but I’m confident ourselves and Golden Boy will reach common ground.”
If the fight does go the purse bid route, Keegan has a plan in place that would see the fight brought to Hogan’s adopted homestate of Queensland.
“In the case that we don’t, we have been working on two possible locations for Australia to host it – Brisbane and the Gold Coast – both have the weather and infrastructure to host a big, big event,” continued Keegan.
“We are meeting a couple of those venues tomorrow and hope to lock in meeting with local governments to see how we can all work together.”
Hogan trains alongside former WBO welterweight champion and Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn at Glenn Rushton’s Stretton Boxing Club.
ANDREW MOLONEY WANTS THE BIG FIGHTS AFTER MIGUEL GONZALEZ
Undefeated super flyweight contender Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 18-0 (11) says he is hungry for the opportunity to show what he can do against WBA number two contender Miguel Gonzalez 29-1 (6).
The WBA number three contender will need to travel into the lion’s den when he takes on Gonzalez at the Gran Arena Monticello, San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile on March 22.
"Gonzalez is a good fighter. He’s 29-1 for a reason. He has a great record and his team have a lot of belief in him,” the 28-year-old Moloney said.
"This fight is really what world title eliminators are about. Two fighters at the top of their game battling it out to see who is number one. Gonzalez is a world level fighter, but I am out to prove I am an elite level fighter on March 22."
Moloney, who is world-rated by all four of the major sanctioning bodies, has repeatedly called for a fight against WBA boss Kal Yafai but says he would welcome the opportunity to lock horns with any of the big names in the division, including Thailand’s WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Nicaraguan legend Roman ’Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
"I want to be world champion, that is the ultimate goal. Fighting someone like Roman Gonzalez in AAMI Park in Melbourne would be a dream, but my focus in Miguel Gonzalez right now, then onto a big world title clash in 2019," he said.
LIAM PARO SET FOR MACKAY HOMECOMING AGAINST MASSIMILIANO BALLISAI ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Junior welterweight contender Liam ‘The Prodigy’ Paro 15-0 (11) returns to action on Friday night when he takes on Italian 140-pound champion Massimiliano Ballisai 22-5 (12) over 10-rounds at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre in Mackay, Queensland on Friday night.
The fight will be just the second time the 22-year-old southpaw has fought in his hometown since relocating to Brisbane to progress his boxing career.
Paro, arguably the best prospect in Australia, stepped up his opposition in 2018 to log knockout wins over Andrew Wallace, Sebastian Bytyqi and Robert Tlatlik.
The classy boxer-puncher is ranked number four by the WBO and is gunning for a shot at undefeated American world champion Maurice ‘Mighty Mo’ Hooker 25-0-3 (17) later this year.
JOEL BRUNKER SET FOR MARCH 9 RETURN AGAINST BRUNO VIFUAVIWILI
In what promising to be an entertaining scrap, ‘Aussie’ Joel Brunker 34-3 (20) is set to take on spoiler Bruno Vifuasviwili 22-2-1 (5) for the vacant IBF Pan Pacific super featherweight title over 12-rounds at Windsor Function Centre in the Sydney suburb of Windsor on March 9.
The 32-year-old Brunker was upset by awkward Kiwi southpaw Nort Beauchamp last July. After getting off to a slow start, he managed to salvage a split decision loss with wildly different scorecards: one judge had Brunker leading 97-93, while the other two had Beauchamp ahead 99-91 and 96-94. The Sydneysider returned with a third-round knockout of Indonesian journeyman Rivo Rengkung in November.
Brunker’s only previous losses were to future world champions Josh Warrington and Lee Selby.
Vifuaviwili, 23, originally from Tanzania but now fighting out of Australia, scored a surprise 10-round majority decision victory over Billel ‘Baby Face’ Dib last March only to see the WBA nuber 10 super featherweight comprehensively outbox him in the rematch five months later, winning every round on two of the official judges’ scorecards.
Brunker may have too much firepower for Vifuaviwili but this one should be fun while it lasts.
BILLEL DIB WARNS WBA SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION ANDREW CANCIO
World-rated super featherweight Billel ‘Baby Face’ Dib 22-3 (10) has put newly-minted WBA super featherweight champion Andrew ‘El Chango’ Cancio 20-4-2 (15) on notice after the American sprung a surprise fourth-round knockout on former world champion Alberto Machado 21-1 (17) last weekend. earlier this month.
“Cancio shocked me like he shocked the rest of the world,” said Dib. “I think it’s time for Machado to move up a weight division. Cancio looked great but if he wants to keep that belt he needs to stay far away from me.”
The 29-year-old Sydneysider is deep in training for his return to the ring at the Seagulls Stadium in Tweeds Heads, NSW on March 30. His opponent will be Rey Juntilla 23-8-5 (14) of the Philippines.
“Just like my last camp, training has been second to none,” he said. “Sparring is great, we have great sparring in our team, Moloney twins, (Jason and Andrew Moloney) Bruno Vifuaviwili and also our new team mate Furkan who is going to do big things in the sport. I’m working hard day in and day out to become world champion.”