Calloway Claims WBF Heavyweight Title

25.06.05 - By Tony Nobbs: Rob Calloway, from St Joseph Missouri, captured the vacant WBF heavyweight title by out pointing Australian Bob Mirovic over twelve action packed rounds at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland last night. In front of a near packed house Calloway, 6 ft 3 / 209 pounds, built up an early lead and then held his own with the 6 ft 5 / 264 pound Mirovic, winning the belt unanimously by scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 115-113. Eastside had it 116- 112 for the 35 year old ‘All American Prize Fighter’.

An excellent heavyweight fight and one of the best this writer has seen live over the past twenty odd years. A contrast of styles with the lighter and highly skilled Calloway boxing a beautiful tactical fight while not being afraid to stand and mix it with his plodding but always dangerous opponent. It was also one of the most courageous performances you’d get with Calloway’s right eye near shut by round eight and his left eye closing by the end of the fight. Mirovic had his best round of the fight, and this was his first clear round, when a right hand had Calloway in trouble and the follow up punches seeing him on unsteady pins. At this stage it looked like the slow starting ‘Big Bear’ may start to over power Rob but it was not the case as the visitor came back to take the sixth heat. Hurtful shots were land by either one or both infighters in each round.

Over the last four breaks, referee Ignatius Missailidis called ringside physician Ron Finlay in to check the bruised fighter. At one stage, before the start of round nine, Calloway mistook Finlay’s advice to the referee, thinking he had called it off. A motivated Calloway then stepped it right up and a left hook wobbled ‘the local’ early in the ninth and the round ended with Calloway letting go on a trapped Mirovic whose jaw was hurting when he came out for the tenth. The final few rounds were a little slower but still quality, Calloway a bit too agile with Bob doing a commendable job to fight at such a fast pace at his age (39) and weight.

When the decision was announced, Calloway was lifted by handler Steve Ward before kneeling in a brief prayer. On his shorts, read a scripture from Deuteronomy. He came in to the ring to songs from Toby Keith and ENINEM. Mirovic came into ACDC’s ‘Thunderstruck’. Calloway’s record now goes to 55-5-1, 42 KO’s (he also has four victories declared no contest). Mirovic drops to 25-15-2, 14 KO’s.

“I thank God. I thank the WBF for giving me this opportunity. I thank the people of Australia, you have been real nice and looked after me” said Calloway in the ring post fight. “The people of St Joe have been put on the map globally in boxing. I have been working so hard to carry this title. Mirovic is the strongest fighter I have ever met. He hits hard. He only had me going in the one round. I want to come back to your beautiful country and defend. I can bring my family”.

Mirovic conceeded he had not done enough to win.

During their stay, ‘Team Calloway’, consisting also of trainer/brother on law Jason Redmond, sparring partner Darwin Doney and Steve Ward carried themselves in a respectful and professional manner. While the WBF is not one of the top four sanctioning bodies, this fight was officiated well with the right man getting the nod and the win will open a few doors for the new champion with a top 15 ranking with the WBA expected in the coming months. Calloway is due to fly home Tuesday morning.

Undercard action: New Zealander Richard Tutaki got revenge on Tongan born journeyman King Kava registering a first round TKO at heavyweight. A right hand hurt Kava who then backed to ropes allowing Tutaki to rain punches. While a majority of Tutaki’s blows hit the gloves or arms, Kava never attempted to fire back and referee Phil Austin had seen enough at the 1.03 mark. Kava left the ring in protest and several in the crowd disagreed but it was a good stoppage. Kava had stopped Tutaki last year.

The Queensland super middleweight belt changed hands when Gold Coaster Les Sherrington scored a fifth round TKO over Toowoomba’s Jason Pierce. An entertaining bout. A right hand at the end of a three punch combo dropped Pierce. When the action continued a barrage of head shots saw him slump to the canvas along the ropes. Sherrington was up three rounds to one on Eastside’s card.

Former National Basketball League star , the 6 ft 8 John Szigeti made his pro debut, weathering the early storm against squat kiwi Alex Mene, taking the final two rounds to sneak a four round decision with the help of a point deduction (constant holding). A tough first up fight for Szigeti who can be thankful Mene was short on condition.. A late sub, the import is a
former NZ super heavyweight amateur champ. Judges cards: 39-36, 39-36 and 38-37. Eastside had it 38-37. Szigeti is trained by Tony Schwalger who has worked in the past with John Mugabi, Kail Meehan and Julian Holland.

Unbeaten Israel ‘Cobra’ Kani made it three wins in a row, all by stoppage when William Hadlow could not continue (a thumb in eye) in round two. Kani has a nice kit of punches but allowed the raw but sturdy Hadlow to march in and connect to easily. Israel is trained by a trim looking Bobby Wilson, who defeated 1984 Olympic silver medallist Kevin Barry as an amateur before
retiring 5-0 as a pro heavyweight.

In the show opener, Coast based North Queenslander Baden Oui stopped ex Kiwi amateur champ Jason Heppi in round two at heavyweight.

Foxsports commentators: Andy Raymond, Brad Vocale and Paul Briggs.

Promoter: Jamie Myer.

Article posted on 25.06.2005

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