The Melbourne Pavilion will this week host to not one, but two quality fight cards in the space of just three days.
The Middleweight division is Australia’s most talent rich, with 5 fighters ranked inside the top 15 across 3 of the sanctioning bodies. Two of them will meet this Wednesday in one of the most exciting domestic matchups of recent times.
The IBFs number 1 contender Sam Soliman (42-11, 17KOs) will take on the WBO’s number 8 ranked Les Sherrington (33-6, 19KOs) for the Interim PABA title.
Winning this bout will not only give bragging rights as possibly the best Middleweight in the country, the title also provides a ranking by the WBA, ultimately putting the victor in the mix for another of the major world titles.
Soliman is coming off a controversial outing with Felix Sturm in Germany. Originally, Soliman scored a unanimous decision victory, it later got changed to a no contest as a Soliman drug sample tested positive for an illegal stimulant. The test later got cleared and Soliman maintained his position as the IBFs number 1 contender.
With Sturm claiming a victory over Darren Barker on the weekend to claim the IBF belt, a win by Soliman on Wednesday could well set up a rematch with Sturm for the championship.
Sherrington, who will no doubt be facing the toughest test of his career, is riding a 6 fight win streak where he has claimed a number of regional titles. Getting past Soliman is his opportunity to break onto the world stage and a victory could possibly open doors for overseas fights and boosts his chance to make a run at a major title.
The undercard will feature an 8 round contest between 2012 Olympian Cameron Hammond (5-0,3KOs) and Thailand’s Dennapa Bigshotcamp (12-29, 4KOs).
Brisbane based, Irish born Paddy Murphy (9-0-2, 4KOs) will also feature in an 8 round match when he takes on the tough and rugged Alex Ahtong (8-25-5, 5KOs).
Newly crowned WBC Youth champions Bryad Smith and Damien Hooper will get a chance to showcase their skills in 6 round bouts.
Smith (7-0, 6KOs), who claimed the Featherweight title in October will take on Indonesia’s Erick Diaz Siregar (16-19-4, 4KOs).
2012 Olympian Hooper (5-0, 5KOs) claimed his title just three and a half weeks ago, he will fight Dechapon Suwunnalird (6-25, 2KOs) of Thailand in the Light Heavyweight division.
A 6 round Welterweight matchup between Adrian Campbell (11-13-1, 4KOs) and Samuel Colomban (21-6, 10KOs) will also take place over 6 rounds.
Australian Super Middleweight champion Jake Carr (5-0, 2KOs) looks to make the first defence of his title against Zac Awad (18-3-1, 7KOs).
This fight was originally scheduled for the Anthony Mundine v Shane Mosley undercard in October, with that event obviously being suddenly cancelled, the bout didn’t happen. Luckily it was able to be rescheduled and this time they get the chance to fight as the main event.
Carr claimed the Australian title in July of this year when he took on champion Serge Yannick on a Fox Sports featured card. A unanimous decision victory that night gave Carr the Australian Super Middleweight title, the same title his father Rod held over 2 decades ago.
Carr said he is prepared to go the distance with Awad, who is coming off just the third defeat in his 22 fight career after losing to former world title challenger Jamie Pittman.
With a victory Friday, Carr could set up a bout in the New Year with fellow Australian Junior Talipeau, ranked 7 by the WBA.
The undercard will see Australia’s undefeated Heavyweight Lucas Browne (18-0, 16KOs) clash with New Zealand based American, Clarence Tillman (11-14-2, 6KOs).
Coming off an impressive knockout victory in the United Kingdom over previously unbeaten Richard Towers in a Commonwealth title eliminator, Browne is looking to stay busy before his shot with David Price sometime in the New Year.
Browne is currently ranked at 11 by the WBC.
Also on the card is Matthew Lytwynenko (9-2-5, 5KOs) taking on New Zealander Ricky Campbell (0-3) over 8 rounds. Franko Valenzuela (1-0-1) versus Daniel Smith (1-0) in a 6 round contest, and Paul Watson (1-1, 1KO) against Jason Lord (1-2, 1KO) in the Super Middleweight division over 4 rounds.