Fans of fistiana, purveyors of pugilism, welcome to ‘For The Fancy’ where, each week, you can find the latest in boxing news from New Zealand and around the globe.
Nowhere else is there anybody else even remotely keen on giving our local scene the exposure it deserves. Coverage by popular media only extends to a handful of internationals, which isn’t at all indicative of the proud standard of not only boxing as a world sport but our down home kiwi scene.
Leading local news, Shane “The Mountain Warrior” Cameron’s (28-2, 21 KOs) scheduled bout with Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett (35-9-2, 20 KOs) will be moved back to July 5th. Barrett will be defending his WBO Oriental and WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight titles that he won from David Tua via unanimous decision last August. A third fight with Tua never materialized as “The Tuaman” retired a few weeks ago. Cameron, a former heavyweight fringe contender and everyone’s favourite red headed Maori this side of Paul Tito, dropped to cruiserweight in mid 2010 where he has been able to jockey himself into contender status. He was last seen winning a wide decision against former Kiwis league player Monty Betham at the Fight for Life charity boxing event.
The Week Ahead
This Friday, Craig Thomson promotions brings you Battle at the Box, headlined by top New Zealand Super-Middleweight Gunnar Jackson taking on kickboxer “Electric” Edwin Samy at The Corporate Box in Albert Street. Jackson will be making his first defence of the NZPBA Super-Middelweight strap he won last month against Kashif Mumtaz with the 12-2 fighter collecting the scalps of fighters such as Fale Siaoloa, Peter Tovio and the aforementioned Mumtaz. Although Samy will be looking for his first win in his fifth outing, his slick punching, hard chin and awkward style will be bound to make it a close fight.
Also on the same card, former NRL hardman Jason Williams collides with ex-New Zealand and South Pacific heavyweight champion Amosa Zanck. Since losing his debut, Williams is on a three fight tear with all wins coming inside the distance while Zanck is coming off a decision loss to, in the eyes of many, the real NZ Heavyweight champion Chauncy Welliver.
Top pound for pound fighter “Dinamita” Juan Manual Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) further solidified his case for another Pacquiao bout in gaining the WBO interim 140 pound strap with a wide decision win against Sergey “The Professor” Fedchenko (30-2, 13 KOs) at the New Mexico City Arena in errr…..Mexico City. The 38-year-old certain Hall of Famer added the title to his accolades at Feathweight, Jr Lightweight and Lightweight by controlling all of the action with his combination punching. Fedchenko was able to keep his distance so Marquez couldn’t land his debilitating hooks to the body and, although he would land, his negligible power had no chance of derailing Marquez. The final round would provide the most action, as repeated right hands had Fedchenko reeling around the ring however he was able to stay upright until the final bell. Final scores were 119-109 and 118-110 twice.
Marquez now has to be the leading contender for a November bout against Pacquiao. Currently 0-1-2 against The Pac Man, a sizeable portion of the boxing fraternity believe that the count should be 3-0 in favour of “Dinamita.”
WBA interim titlist Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) seemingly won the fight everywhere but on the cards against former WBA Lightweight Champion “Bam Bam” Brandon Rios (30-0, 22 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Rios, who came in overweight for the second fight in a row, applied pressure early with Abril boxing well and landing straight punches. Abril managed to tie up the every pressing Rios well when he got too close and made him pay coming in. Although the fight was a split decision, many at ringside had Abril winning comfortably.
Abril had stepped in at fairly short notice after Featherweight sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa pulled out of one of the sports biggest bouts. With Gamboa now tied up in legal matters concerning his move, it would seem that Rios will move up to 140 pounds to lobby for a fight with Marquez.
The Week Ahead
Although no pay-per-view boxing cards grace our screens, at least for a couple of weeks, bantamweight king Abner Mares (23-0, 13 KOs) moves up to 122 pounds to contest bantamweight stalwart Eric Morel (46-2, 23 KOs) for the WBC Super Bantamweight crown. The bout will be held at the Don Haskins Convention Centre in El Paso, Texas this Sunday (NZ time).
Although ill advised by, well, almost everybody with full reasoning abilities, former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (29-4, 18 KOs) fights continues his comeback quest against Caleb Truax (18-0-1, 10 KOs) at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi this Saturday (NZ time). Taylor won back to back victories against all time legend Bernard Hopkins to become undisputed middleweight champion in 2005 however he was knocked out in three of his last six with the nature of the knockouts being a real cause for concern. Truax’s record has been built over mainly second tier opposition.
The undercard features Cuban contender Erislandy Lara (15-1, 10 KOs) against Ronald Hearns (26-2, 20 KOs) in a middleweight bout. Lara was last seen losing a despicable majority decision to Paul Williams in July but still remains poised to make waves in the near future. Hearns, son of boxing legend Thomas, carries his father’s height and pop but has been stopped in both of his losses. NZFighters article found here