By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
Photos: Peter McDermont
In a nationally Foxtel-televised bout, Australian light middleweight Tim Tszyu (12-0, 10 KOs) stopped former Commonwealth Champion Denton Vassell (25-5, 11 KOs) in round two of the main event twelve round WBA Oceana title bout at the Hordern Pavillion, Sydney, NSW, Australia with a sold out attendance of five thousand fans on Friday.
Tszyu was the aggressor from the opening bell and connected with solid combinations that had the Englishmen on the backmove. Tszyu dropped Vassell in round two and the referee crowned the Australian after he had his opponent in trouble on the ropes. Tim is the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu and looks destined for international recognition in 2019.
In other action, Rugby League football heavyweight star Paul Gallen (9-0, 5 KOs) stopped former 2008 Australian champion John Hopoate (12-6, 11 KOs) in round two of a scheduled six. Gallen,225 pounds, controlled the action in round one and in round two trapped Hopoate, 247, in a corner and connected with a barrage of solid punches to the head that dropped his opponent and the referee waved the fight off.”
When I knew I had him I looked at the ref to stop punching, I had to do what I had to do,” Gallen said. “I feel like I’m getting better, I’m looking forward to getting back to the footy, I’ll maybe have one more fight at the end of the year. Hoppa is known as a bad guy but I know the bloke, he’s made mistakes but he’s only ever been a gentleman to me. The last couple of weeks have got personal but I’m happy to shake his hand now, I’ve only got respect for him.”
Former Commonwealth title challenger Rocky Jerkic (17-1,13KO’s) edged Mark Lucas (9-1,3KO’s) by split decision in a action eight round contest. Jerkic,162 pounds, dropped Lucas,160 pounds, in round four and traded heavy blows throughout all of the eight rounds. In the final round Jerkic visibly hurt Lucas when he connected with a solid left hook and he was on unsteady legs at the conclusion. Jerkic won by scores 77-75, 78-73 and 76-78
Rugby League football star Heavyweight Justin Hodges (1-0,1KO) stopped Rob Baron (0-1) in round one of a scheduled four round bout. Hodges,230 pounds, had his opponent in trouble early connecting with hard blows to the head which dropped Baron,202 pounds, three times for a automatic stoppage at 1.15. “I was nervous once I got into the ring,’’ Hodges said.
“He got me once on the chin and I thought `holy hell we’re in for a fight’. My plan went out the window.”Then, I caught him and hurt him and I wanted to get him out of there as quick as I could before he got his second wind.
In other action, super middleweight prospect Cesar Mateo Tapia(9-0,5KO’s) outscored Adam Copeland (4-1,2KO’s) over eight rounds. Tapia gained control of the contest in round one and in round two dropped Copeland who came back to hold his own in the middle rounds but it was Tapia who was in control at the final bell to win by scores 77-75,80-72,79-72.
Former WBA rated light welterweight Darragh Foley (16-3-1,8KO’s) outscored Wellem Reyk (19-19-4) over four rounds by scores of 40-36,40-36,40-36. Foley was coming off a ten round points loss to Akeem Eniss-Brown in December.
Welterweight Ben Savva (10-1,3KO’s) clearly outpointed Luke Travers (4-12-2) over four rounds. Scores 40-35,40-35,40-35.
Unbeaten Light-heavyweight Issac Hardman (3-0,3KO’s) knocked out debutant Pouono Lopeti (0-1) in 0.49 of round one.
Promoter Matt Rose
Matchmaker Stuart Duncan