Fenech vs Nelson: The Final Round
By David Douse at Ringside (June 26, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
The true boxing aficionado would have found little to savour in Tuesday night's senior circuit curiosity show between two formerly wonderful fighters who now, with the inevitable passage of time, could only ever offer glimpses of what they had previously been. In what is probably best described as a reasonably lively and extended sparring session, both fighters showed their heart and spirit but also clearly showcased just how ruthlessly Father Time erodes the once highly polished and gleaming skills of a ring artist like Nelson, and the previously tigerish ferocity of the Marrickville Mauler.

The more casual fight fans who came only to see blood and, hopefully, their hero standing victorious over an outstretched foe, would have departed happy with a majority points decision for Jeff Fenech in the belief that redemption was somehow his, but the reality is that this far down the track from a controversial draw in the first fight and such a comprehensive and decisive knockout loss in the second, that no result at all has any real meaning in the historical context of who was the better fighter overall.

To give each his due, however, Fenech looked physically impressive and well conditioned and Nelson, although noticeably softer, was still well able to match Fenech's pace and, after a slow first round, things became a little more lively as the rounds went by with each fighter having moments of success. Fenech bullying Nelson across the ring into the corners and Nelson, in turn, popping through occasional counters to remind Fenech of what might come to pass if he should drop his guard. One particularly snappy right hand front Nelson did get Fenech's attention in the middle of the eighth round and Fenech earned the displeasure of the crowd for choosing to dance and evade rather than engage from that point on. Overall it was actually a rather scrappy contest with lots of holding and with each man badly missing shots that surely would have found a home in days gone by.

Fortunately, by the time the bell rang to conclude the final stanza neither man had sustained any damage of the worrying kind and that, together with the mutual affection and respect evidenced between these two ring legends, was perhaps the best result of all.

In terms of a real boxing match, hot super featherweight prospect ‘Cool’ Willie Kickett took a unanimous and clear-cut points win over former IBF world champion Gairy ‘Superman’ St. Clair. In only his 11th professional fight Kickett showed excellent skills and, most impressively, an exceptional degree of ring maturity in passing his stiffest test to date. The win was no walk in the park for Kickett, with St Clair pressing hard in every round, but Kickett's educated punching, fluid footwork, and seamless switching from orthodox to southpaw saw him control the action for the bulk of the fight. This was undoubtedly the fight of the night (the main event’s curiosity value notwithstanding) on what was otherwise an uninspiring undercard.
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