Mostyn Niemann keen to impress on Wood-Mundine card

With the Garth Wood – Anthony Mundine return in Brisbane having everyone's attention this week, an exciting young prospect features in an under card six rounder against a twice Australian title challenger when two time Australian amateur heavyweight champion Mostyn Niemann meets former Queensland “super cruiserweight” titlist James Ellis.

At 22, and with two impressive wins in his professional career, South Australian born Niemann is regarded as one of the best of Australia’s prospects. He is nationally ranked number 9 by the ANBF at heavyweight but is now campaigning in the 200 pound division.

After compiling a 61-9 amateur record and captaining the Australian team at the 2009 world championships, he made his professional debut last May in Sydney with a first round knockout of trial horse Scott Lewis , courtesy of three knockdowns. Brutal body shots did the job that night. Lewis was coming off a stoppage victory over Rugby League hard man Carl Webb and two and a half months ago went six rounds with ex league and current Union star Sonny Bill Williams.

Nieman’s second opponent in the punch for pay ranks, Shane Tilyard did not go away so easily and in fact got off the deck twice in the second stanza to extend the 5’10 puncher the whole four rounds on a Danny Green undercard in Perth in July. Ellis figures to stay around a while as well. With a jorneyman’s 6-8 log, he has been in with better fighters and doesn’t figure to be overawed by the still unproven young gun.

Niemann arrived in Queensland on Sunday and says he is “thrilled to be on such a big card”. He took time to answer the following questions:

How has training camp been? “I’ve had a six week training camp and am ready to go out and put on an entertaining fight for the fans. I had six sparring partners but they were one or two round sparring partners. One would come in and be finished and then another. I only had a few good sesions sparring but I know my speed and power has maxed out since my last fight. I’ve also dropped seven kilo’s since my last fight and am fitter than ever. It’s going to be good to show what I can do as a cruiserweight. I’m pumped for this fight”.

Who is training you? “My trainer is Don Mackay. He trained me for all of my amateur titles and he is a very good coach. We are good mates outside the gym also and we make a great team”.

How have you found the pro’s? “Don has always trained me to fight like a pro. That’s the way he teaches so it’s been great to get in there. No head gear, no big gloves, I can go out and fight my style. I’m only going to get better as I have more fights”.

What do you know about Ellis? “ He had a lot of tent fight and a 300 amateur fights and was Australian champion in the ABL which is a lot more like pro boxing than Olympic style. He is an endurance fighter. He doesn’t have a lot of speed or power, he likes to hang in and go rounds and tire his opponents out. He’s experienced, he’s fought for titles so I don’t expect him to lie down."

Have you seen him fight? “I’ve seen a couple of his fights and have a few plans”.

What opponents are you looking at down the track? “I’ll leave it up to my managers Matt (Clark) and Brendan (Bourke). They have a lot of confidence in me and have a plan. I know they have another fight matched next month. I just want to concentrate on fighting and let them work on getting the opponents.”

Who are your favorite fighters to watch? “Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Evander for his mind and heart. Tyson for his ferociousness and sheer punching power. Their fights were the first I ever saw and watching those two great fighters gave me the determination to become a fighter. I try to take a little of both into my fights."

Article posted on 12.04.2011

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