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Mundine Tastes Canvas En Route to TKO Victory
Jan 20, 2004 By Anthony Cocks
Last night in front of a sparse crowd at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre Anthony Mundine made a successful first defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Middleweight Title, although the fight wasn't without its dramas.
Mundine, now 20-1, 15 KO’s, was expected to outclass Japanese veteran Yoshinora Nishizawa and indeed the early action indicated that this was going to be the case.
But Nishizawa apparently hadn't read the script. In the second round the 38 year old trailhorse dropped Mundine to the seat of his pants with a well timed counter right hand. It was the first time Mundine had tasted the canvas since his crushing defeat to longtime IBF Super Middleweight Kingpin Sven Ottke. The punch didn't hurt Mundine, but it certainly got his attention.
Mundine upped the tempo in the third, but many of his punches missed their mark. A right hand from Mundine dropped Nishizawa in the fourth.
The end came in the fifth after Nishizawa was dropped for a second time in the round. With the challenger bleeding from the nose, but clearly unhurt, referee John Coyle called a halt to the action with 0:43 seconds remaining in the round. Nishizawa's record falls to 24-14-5, 12 KO’s.
Noted names to attend the promotion included actors Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, singers Jimmy Barnes, Jon Stevens and Sophie Monk along with a host of sporting celebrities.
In the most entertaining fight of the night Australian junior welterweight champion Jason Arena successfully defended his title against Fabrice Hona in a hard fought battle. Hona used his height and reach advantage well to frustrate the Australian champ in the early going, while Arena patiently stalked his foe and tried to work his way inside. The end result was a majority decision win for Arena by scores of 59-56, 56-57 and 59-55. Arena ups his record 10-0-1, 7 KO’s while Hona drops to 2-8-1.
Also on the undercard Kiwi heavyweight Shane Cameron scored a TKO victory over the always smiling Richard Kemp after dropping him three times in the second round.
Australian welterweight champion Solomon Egbermine, 12-1, 6 KO’s, started slowly against Gary Comer, 7-4-1, 1 KO, before picking up the pace in the middle rounds and hurting Comer with body shots and straight right hands. Comer looked to be on his last legs at several stages in the fight, but it took until the 9th round before an unanswered barrage left the referee with no choice, but to wave it off.
In a one-sided affair at junior welterweight Edgar Wymarra ran out an easy win against overmatched Brendan Batty by scores of 60-51, 60-52 and 60-48 over six rounds. Batty fought with his usual enthusiasm, but his lack of punching power once again proved his downfall. It is difficult to fathom what Batty's corner hoped to achieve by sending their fighter out to contest the sixth round. Wymarra ups his record to 9-4, 2 KO’s while Batty drops to 4-14, 4 KO’s.
Light heavyweight Dave Dowden earned a split decision over Anthony Courtney by scores of 58-56, 56-57 and 58-57. Dowden repeatedly beat Courtney to the punch and finished off most of the exchanges. The only real damage Dowden sustained was in the last :30 seconds of the round when a nasty hematoma formed above his left eye that was reminiscent of the obscene lump Hasim Rahman suffered in his fight against Evander Holyfield. Dowden's record improves to 4-6-1, 2 KO’s while Courtney falls to 6-10-1, 3 KO’s.
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