Boxing

Australia's John Hopoate To Fight Oliver McCall In Las Vegas In May?

by James Slater - Just when we thought former WBC heavyweight champion Oliver McCall, who has been quiet for a number of months now, was retired, does he wind up having a fight scheduled. According to The Australian Daily Telegraph, "The Atomic Bull" will face former Rugby League player-turned pro boxer John Hopoate in Las Vegas on May 22nd..

Hopoate, a 34-year-old who has notched up an 11-2(11) pro record since swapping his football boots for boxing gloves, was in training to face fellow Australian Bob Mirovic in a rematch of a fight he won by 9th round TKO. Now, however, the fight against his biggest named foe yet will take priority. According to the newspaper, the fight will take place at The Orleans Casino in Vegas. The 34-year-old is said to be absolutely thrilled with the news.

"I'm going to Las Vegas to fight for a world title (the lightly regarded IBA version). It's unbelievable," Hopoate said. "It's amazing. This has come so much quicker than I thought it would. Even fighting for the Australian heavyweight belt (last year) was beyond my expectations. But to be fighting for a world title is beyond my wildest dreams.

"I'm not going to waste this opportunity. Make no mistake, I'm ready and willing to do this for my family. I got into boxing because I've got mouths to feed and I won't approach this any differently."

Father of eight Hopoate won his last fight, against Mike Tyson look-alike Cliff Couser this past Friday night in his home country, and he is now hoping to beat the still dangerous McCall to further make a name for himself. The 6'0," 240-pounder stopped Couser inside four rounds, and he can definitely punch. However, inactive as he may have been lately, the never-stopped McCall will be a tough opponent for the raw novice who has only been boxing since May of 2006.

McCall, who will turn 44 in April, has not fought since losing a decision to Juan Carlos Gomez in October of 2007. Since then the former champ with the iron jaw has been helping his young son with his boxing - Elijah McCall trying his hand at the sport that made his father famous. With a record of 51-9(36) the gulf in experience between he and Hopoate will be huge. However, as rusty as he will surely be when he fights in May, will McCall see himself being out-worked by an ambitious and hungry fighter?

One thing is sure, it will be a helluva shock if the slugging Australian manages to put McCall down. He may be a faded former champ and he may not have won a meaningful fight since June of 2007 (a points win over the strong Sinan Samil Sam), but "The Atomic Bull's" reputation as an unstoppable fighters is intact.

Look for it to stay that way on May 22nd in Las Vegas.

Article posted on 28.03.2009



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