Boxing: Micevic Wins Australian Light Heavyweight Title - Photo Report
By Anthony Cocks at ringside, (Nov 18, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (All Photos © Werner Kalin)  
In just his fifth pro fight Zdravko Micevic 5-0 (2) had to drag himself off the canvas in the tenth round to win the vacant Australian light heavyweight from Townsville’s Joel Casey 4-5-2 (3) in an entertaining slugfest at the Coburg Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia this past Friday night.

A right hook from southpaw Casey near the beginning of the final frame dropped Micevic heavily near the neutral corner, but the popular local fighter was on his feet at four and went back to war until the final bell in what has to be a top contender for Australian round of the year.

“He wasn’t going to stop me,” said Micevic after the fight. “I had my eye in. I guess every fighter says this after he’s been dropped, but I really wasn’t hurt. I knew I was going to finish the round no dramas.”

Fighting in front of a packed house Micevic took the early lead, sweeping the first four rounds with his explosive speed and ring generalship. With his left hand dangling around his waist, Micevic was able to time Casey coming in to land whipping left hooks and lead right hands against the 24-year-old southpaw.

A big left hook in the third jarred Casey early and the follow up barrage had the visiting fighter reeling. Casey’s only respite was when referee Ignatius Missailides halted the action to replace his mouthpiece but Micevic picked up where he left off when the action continued, beating Casey from pillar to post until the bell.

Micevic continued to pick off the forward stalking Casey in the fourth, measuring him for the sleepmaker. After losing his mouthpiece for the second time in as many rounds referee Missailides issued a warning that there would be a point deduction if it happened again.

The momentum changed almost imperceptibly in the fifth as Micevic conserved his energy for the later rounds while the teak-tough Casey continued his forward march. Casey’s continual pressure brought measured success in the sixth and seventh rounds, but it was Micevic who appeared to finish the stronger with his snapping left hooks and lead right hands.

The tenth round was as entertaining as it was dramatic. A sharp right hook from Casey in the early going dropped Micevic, but the proud Yugoslav-born Australian was quickly to his feet and engaged in a toe-to-tow brawl for the remainder of the round. The only break in the action came when Casey again lost his mouthpiece and was deducted a point for the third infringement, but both men dug deep to make a statement in a crowd pleasing final round. A perfect example of two boxers leaving it all in the ring.

When the dust had settled and the judges’ scorecards had been tallied Micevic ran away the winner by scores of 97-91, 95-94 and 98-90.

The 26-year-old St Albans concreter – who was originally slated to Geelong’s Kane McKay for the vacant title before the Junkyard Dog suffered a rib injury sparring Tim Bell and was forced to withdraw – was elated with the victory.

“It feels great mate, I feel on top of the world, so to say – top of Australia,” said Micevic. “It was a tough ten rounds because I’ve never done ten rounds, so it’s going into unknown territory, you know. Sort of disappointed about the last round, it took a bit of gloss of it. I thought I won every other round pretty much.”

On the undercard cruiserweight Anthony McCracken 9-2 (3) made his heavyweight debut a successful one, defeating Kim Heta 8-2 (6) by unanimous decision over six rounds.

At light heavyweight Charles Njock 2-5-1 unexpectedly quit on his stool after four rounds of a scheduled eight against Kashif Mumtaz 3-6-1 (2) of New Zealand via Pakistan despite not appearing to be in any real trouble.

Eric Anaba 2-5-3 was unlucky not to win a points decision against Johnny Sherferaw 6-3-1 (4). Anaba was the aggressor and appeared to be in control throughout, but the fight was scored a draw.

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