Boxing

King Grinds Out Victory

Photo - Neale Winter

Photo – Neale Winter

Townsville Lightweight Josh King has retained his WBO Oriental title, as well as added the WBO Asia Pacific title to his cabinet, with a victory over Argentina’s Xavier Castillo at the Aitkenvale PCYC Saturday night.

The victory for King, now 18-3, 8KOs, didn’t come easy, with Castillo giving the Townsville boxer his toughest fight to date over the full 12 rounds.

Castillo may have been in unfamiliar territory, having his first fight outside of his home of Argentina, but his team had done their research and he used all the tricks in the book to take the fight to the local.

Boasting a large reach advantage Castillo did well to use it throughout the contest, keeping King at range with solid jabs.

King however was able to adapt and find success with rights and eventually score with some of his signature body shots.

After a tight and furious 12 rounds, with the local sporting a cut and both eyes swollen shut, the crowd, somewhat tense, waited in anticipation for the judge’s verdict.

Photo - Neale Winter

Photo – Neale Winter

The scorecards read 116-112, 114-114, 116-113, and much to the delight of the crowd it was in favour of King, handing the local a Majority decision victory.

With this hard earned victory it’s believed that the proud North Queensland product is now set to display his skills in an overseas bout, with news to be announced in the coming weeks.

Photo - Neale Winter

Photo – Neale Winter

The undercard saw a successful night for other local boxers, with Jordan Gee Hoy, Kolby Johnston, and Chris Khan all notching up victories.

Gee Hoy scored a unanimous points decision over Matt Te Paa in their 6 round Light Middleweight contest. Scorecards read 58-56, 60-54, 59-57.

Light Middleweight prospect Kolby Johnston improved his record to 4-0 ,3KOs with a 1st round TKO over Luke Akauola.

Debutant Chris Khan began his professional campaign with a 3rd round TKO over fellow local Travis Barton in the Super Middleweight division.

Khan Finally Set To Make Pro Debut

chris khanTownsville boxer Chris Khan has had some terrible luck across recent months, with several opponents on different cards falling through, denying the 23 year old the chance to step into the professional ranks.

He will however get his chance this Saturday when he takes on Travis Barton at the Aitkenvale PCYC as part of the undercard to Josh King’s WBO title fight.

A veteran of 80 amateur bouts, including numerous titles as a kid, Khan took a 2 year hiatus from the sport, but after starting a family made the decision earlier in the year to step into the paid profession.

Originally scheduled to fight Barton in May on the undercard of Mark Flanagan and Daniel Ammann’s Australian title fight, the bout was cancelled just days prior when Barton sustained an injury.

Khan was then pencilled in to fight again in June, but suffered more disheartening news when his opponent received a cut in sparring and was forced to withdraw, once again with notice too short for replacement opponents to be organised.

“It has been a frustrating and disappointing couple of months, but unfortunately this stuff happens in boxing.” Khan’s trainer Scooter Hooper said.

“I have been really pleased with how Chris has handled the news and he has kept himself in the gym and stayed hungry when he could have easily lost his motivation.”

The same fate almost struck Khan this time around, with original opponent Jonathon Taylor bowing out due to injury. Barton has however stepped in to replace him and set up a showdown some 4 months in the making.

“The cancellations while disappointing have almost been a blessing in disguise.” Hooper explained.

“Chris is physically and mentally better prepared now than he’s ever been and I couldn’t be happier with where he’s at. We are excited to finally get his debut out of the way.”

Doors open Saturday night at the Aitkenvale PCYC at 6.30pm with action kicking off at 7pm.

King Ready For Battle With South American

King v CastilloChampionship boxing returns to Townsville at the weekend, as local Josh King (17-3, 8KOs) looks to defend his WBO Oriental title and in the process pick up the Asia Pacific strap, when he faces Argentinean Xavier Castillo (11-3, 3KOs) at the Aitkenvale PCYC.

Last time King took to the ring at the Aitkenvale PCYC the roof was almost blown off the venue, as he produced a shutout victory over Japan’s Koichi Ito in an action packed, crowd pleasing battle back in June.

King and his team are expecting another fast paced fight with Castillo, who is looking to upset the local on his first venture fighting out of Argentina.

“Xavier is a good strong boxer, coming from a good stable out of Argentina,” King’s trainer and manager Joe Pennisi said.

“He is also a bit taller than Josh, but we have had the best preparation ever and covered all bases.”

King spent time in Brisbane in his lead up, getting the chance to spar with world rated Light Middleweight Dennis Hogan and former Olympian Todd Kidd.

It has however been work with the other Townsville fighters which Pennisi, also promoter of the event, describes has been unbelievable.

“It’s a nursery up here. The talent pool is so strong at the moment and we are lucky enough that we can work together as a community and help each other out, which is only going to see development.” Pennisi explains.

King weighs in at a ripped and ready 61.03kg

King weighs in at a ripped and ready 61.03kg

The undercard will see locals Jordan Gee Hoy, Kolby Johnston, Chris Khan and Travis Barton all in action.

Gee Hoy, coming off an impressive TKO victory in June, takes on Brisbane based New Zealander Matt Te Paa in a 6 round Light Middleweight bout.

Rising star Kolby Johnston takes on Luke Akauola, also contested over 6 rounds at Light Middleweight. While Chris Khan and Travis Barton do battle in a much anticipated Super Middleweight matchup.

Doors open at 6:30pm Saturday night with fights beginning at 7pm.

Sherrington Eyes Fletcher or Geale

sherrWith Aussie Middleweights Daniel Geale and Jarrod Fletcher each suffering defeats over the past couple of weekends in their attempts to claim world titles in the United States, many are questioning what is next for each fighter.

One person particularly interested in this question is Toowoomba based Middleweight Les Sherrington, who seeks the opportunity to set up a showdown with either fighter.

Sherrington was quick to praise his fellow countrymen, saying, “Gealey and Fletch fought two great fighters, big props to them for going over to the States and giving it their all.”

“I however believe I have put myself in a position to face either guy, and would love a shot.”

“I firmly believe I am capable of beating them both.” Sherrington added.

Having formerly held a top 10 ranking with the WBO, Sherrington dropped after suffering a defeat late last year at the hands of now IBF champion Sam Soliman.

Sherrington stated his ambition to return to that level and perhaps even earn himself a rematch.

“I had a shocker of a fight against Sam, and really feel I am a much better fighter than what I was when we fought last time.”

“I want to fight the best Middleweights out there, hopefully I am only one or two fights away from being rated as high as I was and I get myself in line for a shot with one of the champions.”

Unbeaten Aussies Abroad

732992-lucas-browneHeavyweight Lucas Browne (20-0, 18KOs) and Light Heavyweight Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6KO) will fly the flag for Australia this weekend when each take to the ring in overseas bouts.

Sydney based Heavyweight Lucas Browne heads to Wolverhampton United Kingdom where he takes on unbeaten Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko (24-0, 16KO) at Civic Hall.

Browne, who is promoted by Brittan’s former world champion Ricky Hatton, is extremely popular in the United Kingdom, having fought there four times previously, the most recent a 5th round KO victory in April for the Commonwealth title.

That Commonwealth title victory saw Browne become the first Aussie in 122 years to claim the illustrious belt.

Should Browne dispatch of Rudenko, a world title opportunity doesn’t seem too far out of reach for the heavy handed former MMA fighter,  now ranked in three of the major organisations (IBF #7, WBC #8, WBA #13).

The Heavyweights title hopes were given more boost recently, after linking with one of Australia’s all time greats in Jeff Fenech, who now trains and mentors Browne after being virtually self trained for a large portion of his career.

KovCap640Victorian Light Heavyweight Blake Capparello takes on a test which rivals what Daniel Geale faced against Gennady Golovkin, when he challenges feared Russian WBO champion Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22KOs) at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Much like Geale conqueror Gennady Golovkin, Kovalev has left on a path of destruction on his way to claiming and defending the Light heavyweight crown, with all but two of his victories coming via stoppage.

In contrast, Caparello, who has based himself at the famed training camp at Big Bear California, has only 6 stoppages in his 20 fight career. What Caparello does possess though is slick boxing skill and a defensive game to see him rival the dangerous champion.

This will be Caparello’s second fight in America, after outpointing veteran Elvir Muriqi earlier in the year on ESPNs Friday Night Fights.

The fight can be ordered and seen Live on MainEvent PPV Sunday (August 3rd) 10:30am AEST.

Hooper Dominates Brave Casey

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Hooper celebrates his 7th round KO of Joel Casey. Photo via Hooper’s trainer Gareth Williams’ Twitter.

After weeks of antagonising comments over social media, Damien Hooper got his revenge on Joel Casey lastnight at Jupiter’s Casino on the Gold Coast.

Casey, 30, was vocal in calling out the 2012 Olympian, but it was 22 year old Hooper who proved much too good, putting on a dominant and career best performance before ending the bout in the 7th round.

From the opening bell Hooper displayed his superior boxing skill, using his extreme reach to land jabs at will.

After 6 rounds of calculated dominance, Hooper landed a vicious body shot in the 7th, crippling Casey and sending him to the canvas.

The veteran southpaw displayed his renowned toughness to answer the count, but Hooper would again land a shot to the body which sent him to the mat.

With the three knockdown rule in affect, Hooper again dug a rip downstairs and with Casey going down he was awarded the 7th round KO.

The highly regarded prospect improves his record to 9-0, 8KOs.

Golovkin Downs Geale In 3

Photo: AFP

                         Photo: AFP

Daniel Geale’s bid to reclaim a world title was unsuccessful, suffering a TKO defeat in round 3 at Madison Square Garden to Kazakhstani wrecking machine Gennady Golovkin, who kept his WBA and IBO Middleweight titles and improved to 30-0, 27KOs.

The bout opened with a very eventful round. Geale found himself on the deck thanks to a strap from a ringside cameraman. Then a timekeeper error seen a 4 min round take place, with Geale getting cut over the right eye towards the finish.  

Round two would see Geale on the canvas again, this time a Golovkin punch was the cause. Geale wasn’t badly hurt and attempted to use his feet and box the dangerous champion, as many expected would be his game plan. Golovkin however was able to cut the ring off and force the Sydney based Tasmanian onto the ropes on multiple occasions.

The power differential was evident, which was demonstrated in the third round when Geale clocked Golovkin with a solid right hand, but simultaneously the Kazakhstani connected with a right of his own which floored the Aussie.

Geale rose quickly, but with shaky legs referee Mike Ortega was forced to wave the bout off, giving Golovkin his 17th consecutive stoppage victory.  

“I connected with a right and thought I was safe. I was wrong.” Geale said post fight.

Golovkin made clear his aim is to now unify world titles in the Middleweight division, offering fights to Miguel Cotto (WBC), Peter Quillin (WBO), and Aussie Sam Soliman (IBF).

He expressed special interest in a fight with Puerto Rican legend Cotto. “I respect him, I respect his style. This is the biggest fight for everybody. For TV, for my fans, for everybody. For boxing.” The hard punching Khakhstani said.