Boxing

Australia: Heavyweight title up for grabs

10.16.04 - By Guy Hearn: Friday (Oct. 22 nd ), Red Corner Promotions presents a night of boxing at the Kedron Wavell Services Club, Chermside QLD, the undoubted highlight of which will be the fight for the Australian Heavyweight Championship between defending champ Colin “Kid” Wilson and challenger Auckland Auimatagi.

Okay, so the heavyweight division isn't the strongest division in Australian boxing, what with most big athletic kids being channelled into team sports like rugby or Australian Rules Football at early age, and okay, the two best known Australian heavyweights, Kali Meehan and Bob Mirovic, don't fight in this country much any more, but there's just something about a heavyweight title fight that gets the pulse going a little faster. And this could be a good fight; it'll certainly be a fight with plenty of contrasts.

Wilson, despite his nickname, is the gnarled veteran with a record of 27 – 16 (17 KOs) in a professional career stretching back to November 1992. Friday's fight will be the first defence of the title he won over Roger Izonritie in September last year, although he has won two non title fights against lowly rated New Zealander Bob Gasio since then.

At 32, it has been a long road to the top for Wilson ; he briefly held the Australian title in 1997 by taking a twelve-round decision over Vince Cervi, but in January 1998 he was dethroned by a 47-year-old Joe Bugner. Apart from his defeat of Cervi, the most notable win on his record is a points victory over an ageing Jimmy Thunder in 2002 but for most of his career he's been the “nearly man”, unable to step up to a better class of opposition, losing no less than 4 times to Kali Meehan and twice to Bob Mirovic.

By contrast, Auckland Auimatagi although only two years Wilson 's junior, is relatively inexperienced, having had only twelve professional fights for a record of 4-7-1 . His number four ranking by Australian boxing's ruling body, the ANBF, therefore reflects his potential rather than his results. Never the less, with exciting prospects Nathan Briggs and Mark de Mori having registered surprise loses in their most recent outings, Auimatagi deserves his chance as much as anyone.

But I'd favour Wilson to win this one; in addition to his greater experience he is the much taller man (6'5 to Auimatagi's 5'10) and enjoys a considerable reach advantage. Also, both men have been coming in at over 250lbs in recent fights, a weight that sits easier on Wilson's bigger frame than on Auimatagi; when I've seen him, Auimatagi has tended to tire quickly after the initial rounds whilst Wilson is quite capable of going the distance.

So Auimatagi's best chance will come in the early rounds. He does have a punch; his challenge will be how to get close enough, often enough, to unleash it. My guess is he won't be able to and Wilson will hold onto his title and look forward to a defence against De Mori, Briggs or Briggs' recent conqueror, the resurgent Roger Izonritei.

Also on Friday's card, two exciting young Lightweights battle it out when local prospect Mick Shaw (16-5-1) takes on Allan “Wild Thing” Luxford (9-1). I haven't seen Shaw fight, but Luxford's all action style makes any fight he's involved in well worth the price of admission. This one could go either way."

Article posted on 16.10.2004



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