31.03.05 – By Anton Williams: Anthony Mundine is currently sparing world light heavyweight contender Paul Briggs on the Gold Coast and has raised a few eyebrows by requesting the services of Manny Siaca ahead of his world title fight with Mikkel Kessler in Sydney on May 11th. Reports suggest that Mundine is training harder than ever and the last training session with Briggs was as brutal a sparring session as any in recent times. Briggs is reported to have said that Mundine is looking fitter and stronger than ever and is now “prepared to get his hands dirty” in order to prepare for what he (Mundine) says is the biggest fight of his life. Stay tuned for further developments.
In other boxing news Kostya Tszyu is training upwards of six hours a day at the Institute of Sport in Canberra (Australia’s number 1 elite sports training academy) in preparation for his June 4 World Title Fight with Ricky Hatton in Manchester, England. The fight which is scheduled for 2am to satisfy American TV commitments was sold out in a British Sporting Record time of 2 hours. With 22000 Englishmen booing an Aussie it promises to be a great fight.
My early prediction is that with Hatton being a fighter that gets hit a lot and Tszyu being the hardest hitting junior welterweight I have seen, Kostya should stop Hatton in no more than 5 rounds. Still on Kostya. With only one year left in the fight game he is already looking to promote fights and has taken up managing an incredibly gifted and powerful fighter by the name of Anton Solopov who interestingly enough beat Miguel Cotto(World Champ) as an amateur. For the record Kostya has stated he has 3 fights left in him. The Hatton fight, one in Russia, (his homeland) and one here in Sydney so whatever you do try not to miss his last three fights because it will be a while until we see another tough, gifted and incredibly humble champion like him.
Also it has been Thirty Years since the Flyweight Division has been unified (to hold two or more Titles in the One Division). Vic Darchinyan recently won the IBF Flyweight World Title and has a remarkable record of 22 Fights for 22 Wins (17 KO’s).
One of the most devastating punchers ever seen in the lower weight classes in many years (he benchpresses close to 250lb), Vic Darchinyan impressed Jeff Fenech at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games whilst representing Armenia, building up an impressive amateur record of 152 wins from 170 bouts. The former world champion saw something special in the big punching southpaw and he has been proven correct.
Darchinyan left a trail of destruction when winning the IBF flyweight world title from long standing and previously undefeated Irene Pacheco. The “Raging Bull” is now looking towards world domination in the flyweight division. I’ll keep you updated on his progress over the coming months.
Other World Class Boxers that will feature in future news include Nedal ‘Skinny’ Hussein, Lovemore NDOU as well as the captain of Australia’s 2004 Olympic Boxing Team to Athens, Jamie PITTMAN. If you want me to cover a fighter here in Australia just let me know and I’ll hunt him down for you.
Until next week this Eastside Boxing’s roving reporter in Sydney, Australia.