Weekend Forecast, Thursday 10th, Friday 11th, Saturday 12th, October

Thursday, 10th

Auckland, New Zealand

Rising heavyweight and possible future opponent for Sonny Bill Williams, Joseph Parker, will headline this New Zealand card with a 10 round contest against Afa Tatupu. Parker, who is just 21, has 6W on his professional record with 5 coming by KO. Tatupu has 9W (7kos) 4L. It is reported that Williams wants to have another bout in January and Parker is hoping Sonny takes up his offer to step in against the promising young boxer.

Robert Berridge, a fighter who we have seen a lot of in Australia will be the main support bout on this undercard. 2013 has seen Berridge claim the NZPBA and also the WBC Asian Boxing Council light heavyweight titles. He boasts an impressive record of 20W (16kos) 1L and 1D. His only loss is to undefeated Australian, Blake Capparello, who fights for a world title next week. Berridge whose nickname is The Butcher, will fight Argentinean Mariano Jose Riva 11W (6kos) 4L.

Another Heavyweight matchup will feature when Jason Williams takes on Julius Long. Williams, whose record stands at 6W (3kos) 1L will give away a heap of experience to his American opponent Long, with a record of 15W (13kos) 17L and who has been in with a number of heavyweight contenders worldwide.

Former NRL player Sam Rapira will be having his third professional fight when he takes on Atalili Fai at Cruiserweight. Rapira has won by KO on both his previous outings in the ring, while Atalili has won just once in his twelve fight career.

Friday, 11th

Brunswick, Victoria, Australia

PABA Middleweight champion Jarrod Fletcher, 16W (10kos) 1L will put his title on the line when he takes on Indonesian Marco Tuhumury, 10W (3kos) 10L 1D. Fletcher, a highly decorated amateur who competed at Commonwealth games and Olympic levels is expected to overwhelm his opponent who shouldn’t offer much of a threat. Fletcher is then hoping in the near future to set up an all Australian Middleweight showdown by getting a shot with Les Sherrington. This is a fight that would be great for the Australian public.

It’s a Heavyweight rematch when undefeated Craig Vitale steps in once again with Joe Lloyd. Vitale fought Lloyd in his professional debut, edging out a decision over the 4 round contest. This time Lloyd hopes to even the scores when the pair meet, this time over 6 rounds. Since his debut in May this year, Vitale has had 4W (2kos) 0L while Lloyds record is 3W (3kos) 5L.

A 6 round Light Middleweight fight between Anthony Buttigieg, undefeated after 2 professional outings and Michael Dan 3W(1ko) 5L 1D will take place. Along with a 4 round fight between newly crowned Queensland Super Middleweight champion Faris Chevalier and Henry Torres. Other 4 rounders include Mike White v Sorosh Ashjaa, Marcos Amado v Ben Harvey and Stevie Kelly v Terry DeHaan.

Saturday, 12th

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Pacquiao Conquerors Square Off

The only two men to have beaten the legendary Manny Pacquiao in the last 7 years will now come face to face. American Timothy Bradley who is undefeated with 30W (12kos) holds the WBO Welterweight title which will be put on the line. Jaun Manuel Marquez, 55W (40kos) 6L 1D, will be looking to take Bradley’s championship and become the first Mexican to win world titles in five weight divisions.

Both Bradley and Marquez fought and conquered the great Pacquiao in 2012. Bradley won a close and dubious split decision victory. Marquez, who had fought Pacquiao on 3 previous occasions, losing twice and drawing once, finally claimed a victory over his Philippine rival when he scored a 6th round KO that shocked the entire boxing world.

Marquez, who celebrated his 40th birthday in August looks stronger and more ripped than ever. He says “Professional athletes that take care of themselves will last a very long time in any sport and in boxing a big part of my success has been about maintaining my weight and keeping fit the best I can in between fights. Marquez goes on to add ‘’My age will not be a factor one way or the other, but my experience might be the difference between winning and losing in this fight.”

Bradley obviously thinks differently saying’’ Age will indeed be a factor. This is a young man’s game. Speed kills. So does quick footwork. I am faster and quicker and he won’t be sure what direction I’ll be coming from or what I’m going to be doing.’’ 

Battle of the Orlando’s

Mexico’s Orlando Salido will take on Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz for the vacant WBO Featherweight title. Salido, 39W (27kos)12L 2D previously held this title but lost it in January. After champion Mickey Garcia could not make weight for his defence, the belt became vacant. Salido now gets a chance to reclaim it in what will be his 10th world title fight.

In the other corner, Cruz with a record of 20W (10kos) 2L 1D is yet to compete in a major title fight. Some claim he is not a legitimate contender but after becoming the first boxer to come out publicly as a homosexual he gained a lot of media attention and along with 4 straight victories, he has been given a shot .

Not your Average Debut

This undercard will see the debut of a Ukrainian Featherweight named Vasyl Lomachenko. Typically a fighter will debut with a 4 round bout. Not Lomachenko. His debut fight will be contested over 10 rounds. Another remarkable thing about this debut is that it’s against WBO number 7 ranked Jose Ramirez 25W (15kos) 3L. Ramirez is a tough challenge for anyone, especially someone who has never had a professional fight.

For those that don’t know of Lomachenko, there is good reason as to why this is his first fight. He won gold medals at two separate Olympics (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). His final record as an amateur was an astounding 394W and only 1L. That only loss he avenged on two separate occasions.

Many believe Lomachanko could become the quickest world champion in history. If he defeats Ramirez he could possibly be challenging for a world title after just a couple more fights.

Also on the undercard

Anthony Smith 14W (10kos) 1L will challenge for the WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight title when he takes on the undefeated champion Sean Monahan 18W (11kos).

Undefeated Philippine Featherweight Jun Doliguez 16W (12kos) will have a scheduled 8 round contest with Mexican Giovanni Caro 24W (19kos) 13L 4D.

Kenny Abril 14W (7kos) 6L 1D v Brad Soloman 20W (8kos) 0L will take place at Welterweight.

Light Middleweight Mikael Zewski 20W (15kos) will take on journeyman Alberto Herrera 9W (5kos) 9L 1D.

Light Heavyweights Trevor McCumby 12W (10kos)and  Eric Watkins 10W (5kos) 4L 1D will also go toe to toe.

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