Aussie boxing news by Anthony Cocks
MOLONEY TWINS BID FAREWELL TO AUSTRALIA WITH KO WINS
Twin boxing sensations Jason and Andrew Moloney have bid farewell to Australia with early-round knockout victories at Seagulls Stadium in Tweed Heads, NSW on Saturday night.
The 28-year-olds, originally from the Victorian capital of Melbourne but now based out of Kingscliff on the NSW north coast, recently signed a promotional deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank that will see them largely campaign out of the United States.
The Moloneys were expected to face Mexican opponents on the weekend before visa issues nixed both bouts and Tanzanian boxers were flown in at short notice. Andrew was matched with Selemani Bangaiza 15-6 (5) while Jason was paired with Goodluck Mrema 23-5 (13).
“This was one of the most difficult events I’ve been part of in my 20 years in the pro game,” manager Tony Tolj revealed to The Ring.
“I meticulously search for great matches for the fans. I have gone through 10 separate visas on this occasion. We have Mexican warriors who were set to come and ready for war. Unfortunately, they neglected to mention their past history to myself, our Mexican agent and also our migration agent.”
Super flyweight Andrew ‘The Monster’ Moloney 20-0 (13) needed less than two rounds to dispatch a reluctant Bangaiza while bantamweight Jason ‘The Smooth One’ Moloney 19-1 (16) needed slightly longer, knocking out Mrema at 2:23 of the third frame.
“The fight didn’t go exactly how I would have liked as I didn’t get a chance to show the huge improvements I have made in the gym,” said Andrew, who is ranked WBA number two, WBC number three and IBF number six at 115-pounds, to The Ring.
“My opponent felt my power and wanted out of the fight. The positive in the situation is I came out of the fight still fresh, with no injuries and I can get back into the gym on Monday and start working towards my next fight which I hope will be for the WBA junior bantamweight title.”
The Mrema fight was Jason’s second bout back since dropping a disputed split decision to then-IBF bantamweight champion Emmanuel Rodriguez in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series in October last year.
“It was really great to fight again in front of my home crowd,” said Jason, the WBA and WBC number three contender and IBF number six and WBO number eight challenger to The Ring.
“Unfortunately we had a late change in opponent and I didn’t get to have the hard fight I wanted to have. I didn’t really get the chance to showcase what I am capable of. I’m still happy to walk away with another win and take another step closer to becoming world champion.
“I’m really excited to now start the next chapter of my career with Top Rank. My next fight will be in America, most likely around August, and we are hopeful that it may be for a world title.
“The WBA title has just become vacant and I would love the chance to fight the number one ranked Liborio Solis. Hopefully we are able to make this fight happen.”
Tolj, who brokered the deal with Top Rank, is bullish about how the marketable twins will be received in the United States.
“Andrew and Jason were as explosive as ever and they did what I expected them to do,” he said. “They are amazing talents and I don’t believe anyone under world championship level is going to get close to troubling them. That’s why we have had to look abroad to get them tests and we are delighted to have linked up with Top Rank who I believe will provide the platform and opportunities the brothers need to become not just Australian, but global superstars.
“It was fantastic to have ESPN broadcasting the show on a massive day of boxing for ESPN which included the likes of Josh Warrington in the UK and Tyson Fury in the USA. To be a part of that was special and I believe it’s the start of an exciting future with ourselves, Top Rank and ESPN and also a great thing for Australian boxing.”
ALEX LEAPAI OUT TO TEST JOSEPH PARKER’S CHIN ON JUNE 29
Former world heavyweight title challenger Alex ‘Lionheart’ Leapai 32-7-4 (26) will be gunning for the knockout when he takes on ex-WBO ruler Joseph Parker 25-2 (19) at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island on June 29.
The 39-year-old Queenslander, a late replacement for Eric Molina, will be looking for an early night against the talented Kiwi.
“Alex will come out and put Joe under pressure straight away,” trainer Noel Thornberry told Grantlee Kieza of the Courier Mail. “We’re going for the quick KO. Alex has a puncher’s chance against anyone.
“We’re going in as the underdogs so you can forget about a points decision.”
Thornberry heaped praise on Parker, who has only ever lost to former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and leading contender Dillian Whyte. The 27-year-old from Auckland is also the only boxer to defeat reigning IBF, WBA and WBO champion Andy Ruiz Jr in the pros.
“Joe is a great heavyweight. He’s the only man to beat the current world champ Andy Ruiz and he has been in some of the biggest fights of recent times against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte,” Thornberry continued.
Meanwhile Parker’s manager David Higgins delivered a backhanded compliment to Molina’s promoter Don King, who he blamed for holding out for too much money to make the fight a reality.
“Most of us thought Don King was dead but it turns out he’s alive and well,” Higgins told Stuff. “He’s nearly 100 years old, living in Florida somewhere, probably with a big afro, causing trouble.
“In New Zealand dollar terms, he’d be a billionaire. He doesn’t need the money, but he still has a hand in a few boxers and Molina’s one of them.
“He [King] is a guy that’s difficult to deal with, but he’s a character Don King and he’s a legend.”
Higgins remains wary of Leapai’s power. The Samoan-born Australian has a knockout victory over 80% in his winning fights.
“To have a late change who is a real puncher is never ideal. It’s frustrating, but we have to be philosophical. He can bang, he’s got a massive overhand right, he’s knocked a lot of people out,” Higgins continued.
“Leapai is still in his 30s. They say a heavyweight doesn’t reach his prime until their mid-30s and there’s another saying in boxing that the last thing a heavyweight loses is their power – that’s why you had George Foreman knocking people out in his 40s.”
The Parker versus Leapai fight will be on the undercard of WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade’s world title defence against Maciej Sulecki live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.
DENNIS HOGAN CLOSING IN ON SECOND SHOT AT WBO JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE
Australian-based Irishman Dennis Hogan 28-2-1 (7) is closing in on a second crack at the WBO junior middleweight championship currently held by Mexican knockout artist Jaime Munguia 33-0 (26).
The 34-year-old Hogan was held to a disputed majority decision against Munguia in Mexico in April, going down by scores of 113-115, 114-114 and 112-116.
But Munguia, 22, turned down the opportunity to set the record straight when the champion’s co-promoter Golden Boy Promotions made an offer for an immediate rematch.
Instead, the pair will feature on the same card on October 19 in separate fights against opponents to be named.
“I think there will asterisk beside his name for the rest of his career,” said Hogan’s promoter Paul Keegan of DDP Sports to Irish-Boxing.com.
“We really thought he was one of those proud Mexicans, like all the Mexican greats who have represented boxing so well over the years.
“I am not sure he can be seen in that light anymore and you’d worry for him that the Mexican fans won’t see him like that anymore.
“He turned down a rematch. Golden Boy offered it to him and he turned it down. It wasn’t as if his team where trying to prevent him from taking it or trying to protect him. He was offered it by Golden Boy and he turned it down.
“I think that just proves he knows Dennis definitively beat him and that he thinks Dennis would beat him again. It’s disappointing because he offered us the rematch in the ring [after the first fight], but has since turned it down.”
DDP will look to re-establish Hogan, the current WBO number three, as the mandatory challenger once again to force the rematch.
“We are now working to try and get Dennis mandatory again and then we can try force the fight, but I honestly think Munguia will just vacate and move up once Dennis gets that close to fighting him,” Keegan concluded.
APRIL ADAMS AND DINA THORSLUND PROMISE TO GO TO WAR IN WORLD TITLE FIGHT THIS SATURDAY
April ‘Armageddon’ Adams 11-1-1 (4) is counting down the hours until she challenges WBO super bantamweight champion Dina Thorslund 13-0 (6) at the Forum Horsens in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday night.
The 31-year-old Queenslander is feeling relaxed and confident ahead of what will be her first fight outside of Australia.
“It’s great to be here in Denmark,” said Adams. “Everyone has been very welcoming and I look forward to boxing in front of the Danish fans.
“I’m here for one reason and that’s to take the belt home to Australia. Every fighter dreams of this opportunity and this is something I have been working towards my whole career. I’m well prepared and I feel ready to become world champion.”
Undefeated Thorslund, 25, will be making the second defence of the world title she won on points against Jessica Arreguin Munoz on home soil in August last year. In January Thorslund made the maiden defence of her belt against skilled veteran Alesia Graf, winning by virtual shutout.
"I look forward to getting in the ring on Saturday," Thorslund said. “I know Adams is an offensive fighter and I’m expecting a great fight. She comes with the storm, but it is me who brings the thunder. I will send her back down under with a bang. I believe I will win this fight by knockout.”
Thorslund’s coach Thomas Madsen echoed those sentiments.
“Adams can only box on the front foot and only knows one way, which is forward,” Madsen said. “This will give Dina some good opportunities. I believe she will knock Adams out on Saturday and show why she is the best in the world!”
Coach John Bastable, who trains Adams, insists they haven’t travelled halfway around the globe just to make up the numbers.
“We wouldn’t have travelled all this way if we didn’t believe April could win this fight,” Bastable said. “They say they’re coming for the knockout and I hope they bring it from the first round because April is ready!”
World-rated super middleweight Zac ‘Dynamo’ Dunn 29-1 (24) dispatched Rafael Sosa Pintos 58-14 (23) in the eighth round of a scheduled 10-round bout at the Melbourne Pavilion in Flemington last Friday night. Making the first defence of his WBA Oceania belt, WBA number 11 and WBO number seven ranked Dunn had the 38-year-old Uruguayan veteran on the deck in the opening frame and was in complete control throughout the contest.
Former Australian junior middleweight champion Joel ‘CamaKO’ Camilleri 17-6-1 (8) has moved from Melbourne to Brisbane to join Glenn Rushton’s stable at the Stretton Boxing Club after his 10-round unanimous decision loss to Tim Tszyu last month. Camilleri will train alongside Rushton’s star pupils Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan and promising heavyweight prospect Joseph Goodall. The 28-year-old Camilleri is expected to try his luck in the welterweight division.
On the undercard of the Moloney twins’ fights Auckland super middleweight ‘Iron’ Mose Auimatagi Jr 13-1-2 (9) delivered a devastating sixth-round knockout of Sydneysider ‘Cap’n’ Kerry Foley 19-5-1 (16). The heavy-handed 24-year-old showed great variety in attack to the body and head, forcing a count on Foley in the second stanza after his glove touched the canvas and finishing off the job at 1:23 of the sixth with a jarring left hook. You can watch the full fight here: www.dailymotion.com/video/x7bbfgl
Light heavyweight ‘President’ Reagan Dessaix 17-2 (12) bounced back from his competitive 10-round points decision loss to world-rated Blake Caparello 29-3-1 (12) in February to claim the vacant Australian 175-pound title with a seventh round TKO of Mitchell Whitelaw 5-2-1 (2), also on the undercard of the Moloney twins doubleheader.