Super Boxer Begins….With A Bang!

By Srithar Visuasam: Last night boxing returned to free-to-air television in Australia for the first time in over a decade with the debut of the Super Boxer series in Sydney, Australia at the Big Top in Luna Park. The first of four shows this month to be broadcast on Network Ten’s One HD, this card featured some terrific encounters and culminated with a wild main event that ended in mayhem.

The main event saw former IBO super featherweight champion and WBO featherweight title challenger Billy Dib (23-1, 12 KOs) take on the Japanese fighter Kenichi Yamaguchi (15-2-2, 4 KOs).. The entrances gave a hint of what was to come with the hyperactive Yamaguchi decked in a blue ninja suit initially waving a couple of samurai swords and then bolted towards the ring shadow boxing all the way.

In almost the complete opposite demeanour, Dib calmly strode to the ring, with Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ playing in the background, soaking up the limelight. Dib has made it clear that the Super Boxer series can be just the catalyst to boost his profile to the wider public and make him a household name, therefore now was the time to put on a show.

Fighting for the WBO Asia-Pacific featherweight title, round 1 commenced with Yamaguchi rushing from the sound of the bell at Dib throwing a wild right hook. This pace continued with Yamaguchi rough housing Dib seeing the Australian slip to the canvas 30 seconds into the round. The Japanese fighter kept his frantic pace, and moments later a flurry of blows landed which saw Dib hit the canvas.

Dib, although fazed by the onslaught, didn’t look hurt and started to work his jab and claw his way back into the round. Later into the round, Dib threw a solid combination to the body and head, with a right hand that dropped Yamaguchi to the ground. However, as the Japanese was still on his knees, Dib threw another blow on Yamaguchi’s chin that looked to clearly affect him. He got up a few moments later but as the referee Les Fear called him to walk forward, was on unsteady legs and the fight was waved off. The stoppage did seem to be slightly premature and the punch Dib landed whilst Yamaguchi was on his knees appeared to affect the outcome. It is at this point is where the mayhem reaches another level.

Clearly upset by the fight being stopped, Yamaguchi pushes the referee Les Carr in disgust and then walks around the ring in anger, without causing a further scene. Yamaguchi then appeared to walk in the direction of Dib and in response Dib aggressively pushed him away, which appeared to be unnecessary. Moments later more than a dozen people enter the ring from both camps and they were on the cusp of an all in brawl. The Japanese camp then promptly left the ring which was a move of common sense for all parties concerned.

Dib emerged victorious via first round TKO and improved his record to 23-1, with 12 KOs. In response to the controversial punch landed on Yamaguchi whilst he was down, Dib stated in his post fight interview “The shot was in the moment, things like that happen”. The fight would have definitely given Dib attention from a wider audience, however the attention garnered mightn’t have been of the desired intent.

In the other fights, the contest of the night clearly belonged to the main support bout between cruiserweights Dominic Vea (11-1, 9 KOs) and Anthony McCracken (10-3, 3 KOs). Scheduled for 8 rounds, momentum see-sawed between the fighters with Vea dominating the early stages of the fight with his power and McCracken controlling the middle rounds illustrating solid boxing skills.

In round 7, Vea’s punches started to get through McCracken’s defense with more ease as he proceeded on an unrelenting assault of the body. Vea’s work saw McCracken hit the canvas, all to body shots, with the third seeing referee Garry Dean waving an end to contest.

Also at cruiserweight, Jamie Withers (11-0-1, 3 KOs) took on Daniel Ammann (15-2-2, 3 KOs) in a bout scheduled for six rounds. The fight started promisingly until Withers landed two errant elbows on Ammann which opened up a large gash over his right eye, resulting in the fight being called off. The fight was then deemed a technical draw, with Withers appearing lucky to not be disqualified.

Light heavyweight Michael Bolling (7-0, 6 KOs) continued his impressive start to his career with a unanimous 6 round points decision victory over Samoan Togasilimai Letoa (10-2, 5 KOs). Bolling controlled most stages of the bout with Letoa being deducted a point in round 5 for continued loss of his mouthguard. The judges scorecards read 59-54, 58-55, 59-54 all in Bolling’s favour.

Welterweight Alex Ahtong (3-2, 2 KOs) scored an impressive second round stoppage win against Anthony Brownlie (2-3, 1 KO), with his aggression and power a feature. Junior welterweight Robert Whaley (2-0, 2 KOs) triumphed against Gavin Locock (2-2-1) via third round TKO and cruiserweight Jody Gall (1-2, 1 KO) notched up his first win against debutant Paul Cimino (0-1) also via a third round TKO.

The Super Boxer series now travels to Melbourne next week with the headline bout featuring Australia’s Tim Bell (16-5-1, 13 KOs) against Tongan Walter Pupu’a (11-3, 8 KOs) at the Melbourne Town Hall.

Article posted on 10.07.2009

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