Why does Australian Boxing keep doing this?

First of all, I didn’t watch last nights card. The reasons were simple; the main event was a farce, there were numerous mismatches on the undercard and even in the better bouts of the undercard, the winners were all obvious before the bouts even took place. There was nothing I was going to miss by staying up to watch that card last night except for sleep.

The reason boxing will not grow out of being a niche sport in Australia is because it is marketed for the lowest common denominator rather than showcasing what’s good about our sport. By that I mean we don’t get to see the good, even match-ups on television that you can see on non-televised cards in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney throughout the year. That’s because everyone is so afraid to take a loss on their record that the TV slots on the big shows like this are wasted with safe matches. This leaves the casual fan bored because they aren’t getting what they came to see; a fight!
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The promoters and matchmakers make up for this by appealing to something these casual fans know; footy players. Instead of seeing a great domestic matchup like George Kambosos vs Brandon Ogilvie, Zac Dunn vs Les Sherrington, Wes Capper vs Wade Ryan or Dennis Hogan vs Samuel Colomban (all fights that headlined shows that were not shown live on nationwide TV in the last 12 months), we get safe match-ups with only one possible outcome (and no punter enjoys watching a contest they already know the outcome of) or we get the worst our country has to offer in the pro ranks, lower level professionals who box for some extra money as well as working full-time and they’re matched up against an in shape, athletic man who has the financial backing to hire the best coaches and the luxury of training full time. These men don’t stay in our sport, they just take the TV slots (and the money that could go to one of our prospects) and go back to playing footy, where they make more money than nearly all boxers in Australia do.

Another issue is that young professional fighters don’t get the chance to learn their trade because there’s a drought of smaller professional shows around Australia. There used to be fight clubs where guys could get even matchups anywhere throughout the country on a weekly basis and some of the profits would be split among the fighters for their purses. The boxers wouldn’t make much but they would stay active, they would learn their trade and work towards big money fights. But now every promoter needs to make thousands of dollars on every show and a fighter can’t get matched unless they sell five times their pay worth of tickets. If they can sell that much, they get matched against opponents who won’t beat them so they end up building a career out of not fighting anyone tough and again, don’t learn their trade and eventually they get exposed. The Catch 22 for the less popular fighters is that a fighter can’t sell that many tickets every time they fight if they can’t get the experience to become good at their craft. There are exceptions to this rule but it seems that the nice looking record and the potential for a huge fight down the track are more important than putting on good fights NOW.

The other problem is the boxing media won’t tell it like it is and call a spade a spade. Tonight’s card was shit. It’s good that the Moloney brothers and Trent Broadhurst got some TV time but not many are going to remember them or want to see them again because they weren’t tested in 50-50 match-ups. If this sort of thing was going on in the NRL, AFL or A-League there would be a riot but it’s boxing and no one cares about boxing.

If you’re disappointed with last nights fights then go to bed early tonight and wake up early tomorrow morning to catch Renold Quinlan’s IBO title fight with Chris Eubank jnr. Quinlan has been fighting the best guys throughout his 12 fight career (11-1, 7 KOs) and has appeared on a couple of Mundine’s undercards. He knocked Daniel Geale out in his last fight and isn’t the 12-1 underdog that he is being made out to be. Renold Quinlan won’t disappoint.

If you’re a casual fan and you were let down by tonight’s show, get to one of your local professional shows (there’s usually at least one a month in every major city) and check out some real boxing. The fights are much more evenly matched which makes for better boxing. It’s not as convenient as watching it on TV or at the local pub but watching a fight live in person beats watching it on TV. If you consider yourself more than a casual fan then get out and support your local shows and even bring some mates along. The more shows on out there the better our product will be when it’s on the big stage and the more likely it will be when it’s on the big stage.

Our sport is better than this.

All Retch and No Vomit; Previewing the Green-Mundine II card

While the focus of Australian boxing this weekend should be on the Renold Quinlan vs Chris Eubank jnr IBO super middleweight title fight in London on Sunday morning (a fight that neither Main Event or Fox Sports thought was worth televising) casual fans will be treated to the farce that is the Danny Green vs Anthony Mundine rematch. While there are some good names on the undercard, including the Moloney brothers (Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Andrew and his twin brother Jason), Trent Broadhurst and David Aloua, any legitimacy was taken out of the show when Quade Cooper was deemed worthy to take up a spot on the show.
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Anyway, this is an Australian boxing site and this is, apparently, one of the biggest cards in Australian history so I guess I’m obligated to preview it so from bottom to top, here’s how the card looks:

Shane Tuck vs Ivan Kolar
Kolar (1-5, 1 KO) is one of two South Australian’s fighting on the card so this could be an attempt to boost ticket sales. I’ve not seen him or his opponent Shane Tuck (0-1) and it’s unclear whether this fight will be televised or not.

David Aloua vs Filipi Fonoti Masoe
Aloua (11-2, 8 KOs) previously lost a national cruiserweight challenge to Daniel Ammann on the undercard of the Geale vs Mundine rematch in a competitive fight before scoring a huge upset win over Brad Pitt on the Mundine-Clottey undercard, handing the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist his only professional defeat. He was then upset by Anthony McCracken in New Zealand in a bout for the OPBF cruiserweight title and hasn’t fought since. That was almost two and a half years ago so the lack of ring time means that this is a mere tuneup fight. Aloua’s opponent Masoe (3-11, 1 KO) will have a bit of a size advantage having campaigned at heavyweight in recent bouts. It’s unclear whether this is a cruiserweight contest or a heavyweight contest but Aloua shouldn’t have too much trouble in his comeback bout.

Quade Cooper vs Jack McInnes
The one good thing about this match-up is that it decided my plans for Friday night. I was unsure whether or not to brave the local pub to watch this card or if I should stay home and insert razor blades underneath my fingernails but this fight taking place on what will be one of the most watched domestic boxing cards in recent memory will make the latter a less painful experience. This fight has no right to be on this card or any televised boxing card anywhere in the world. This fight shows that the promoters do not care about Australian boxing or the future of the sport in this country. Instead of showcasing some good domestic fights like ones you might find on the non televised shows in Sydney or Melbourne, we get to see a Rugby player box.

His opponent, Jack McInnes (0-2) has lost both of his professional boxing bouts against much harder opposition than Cooper (Ammann and Mark Flannagan) both by first round stoppage (something that mainstream media haven’t included when they talk about Cooper’s fight). I’m hoping this bout isn’t televised but I dare say it will be the feature undercard bout. If this is the case it would be an ideal time in the evening to either stock up on drinks before the main fight or empty your bladder so you don’t have to rush it between rounds of a later fight.

Tim Tszyu vs Mark Dalby
This is a fight that I hope makes the televised card because Tim Tszyu (1-0), son of Kostya, could be a real prospect. His opponent Mark Dalby (4-12, 1 KO) has been in with some good fighters like Anthony Buttigiedg, Gunnar Jackson and Ben Capps so this is a good test for the 22 year old Tszyu. Tszyu looked good in his pro debut in December, winning every round against Zoran Cassady in front of a good crown at Moore Park. He was very patient and used an active left hand to disrupt his opponent’s defence, much like his father, but at this stage doesn’t show the murderous punching power that his former undisputed junior welterweight champion father showed.

Jason Moloney vs Marco Demecillo
The larger of the Moloney twins Jason (11-0, 10 KOs) continues to gradually step up in competition, facing Filipino Demecillo (22-6-1, 17 KOs). There is no regional title or anything on the line so it is unclear how many rounds this bout will be contested over. Demecillo has lost the three bouts he has contested outside of his native Philippines, including a 12 round decision to TJ Doheny in Sydney in 2015. Importing the opponents is a trait that is often criticised in Australian boxing circles but with the talent pool so shallow in the lower weight classes it should be forgiven with the Moloney brothers as long as they step up in class, as Jason is doing here.

Andrew Moloney vs Renoel Pael
Andrew’s (11-0, 7 KOs) opponent Pael (21-4-1, 11 KOs) is also a good step up. Pael is the reigning Filipino Junior Bantamweight champion so despite giving up a slight size advantage (Moloney competes at bantamweight) he will come to fight. Pael has also lost three of the four bouts he has fought overseas but has challenged for the OPBF title and has never been stopped.

Trent Broadhurst vs Nader Hamdan
While I favour the younger, bigger man in Broadhurst in this fight, this is the best domestic matchup on the card (including the main event). Hamdan, who at his best was a junior middleweight or a middleweight, showed his chin is solid even in the higher weight classes with points losses to Jayde Mitchell and Damien Hooper in his last two bouts. The one stoppage loss in his career came against Arthur Abraham, who has held world titles in two weight divisions. Broadhurst has won his last 12 bouts, including seven stoppages, since his lone loss to Kiwi Robert Berridge in 2011. He has served as the main sparring partner for Mundine in this contest so you know he’s going to be sharp against Hamdan. Broadhust should have too much firepower for Hamdan but Nader always comes to fight and he will likely see the final bell with his endurance and experience.

Danny Green vs Anthony Mundine
This fight is just strange and wouldn’t be taking place if either man could make any money fighting anyone else. While both men have been charging ridiculous amounts for pay per view over the years for what were essentially mismatches (Main Event, Australia’s only pay per view channel, is charging $59.95 for this fight, they charged $39.95 for the recent Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev bout), their drawing power has decreased as they have aged.

A rematch could have taken place sometime in the last ten years but Mundine went down to middleweight (to avoid facing Mikkel Kessler) before then going to junior middleweight (to avoid facing a young Gennady Golovkin) before going back to middleweight (to avoid facing Austin Trout) before heading back to junior middleweight after losing a one sided decision to Daniel Geale. Since then he defeated an over the hill Shane Mosley before bring battered over 12 rounds by Joshua Clottey. A win over little known Sergey Rabchenko (who was dubbed by the promoters as the new GGG despite never having defeated a world class fighter) revived his career before Charles Hatley put an end to Mundine as a contender for any world title in November 2015.

Green went up in weight after his one sided loss to Mundine in 2006, winning the WBA light heavyweight title before retiring and coming back to win the IBO cruiserweight title. Green defended his “cruiserweight” title at the catchweight of 84kg (the cruiserweight limit is 91kg) against inactive former contenders all the while his team claimed that he could knock out the Klitschko brothers and verbalising other ridiculous ideas like when he challenged Brock Lesnar to a caged fight where the amateur wrestling, UFC and WWE star wasn’t going to be allowed to wrestle him. He finally moved up to the full cruiserweight limit where he scored probably the most credible win of his career over BJ Flores before an aging Antonio Tarver and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk knocked him out in consecutive fights. A win over Shane Cameron in 2012 was his last bout before coming back for the chance to even the score with Mundine. He has won two bouts by ten round decision in two years, the last over Australian fringe contender Kane Watts.

The big obstacle in making this fight was of course the weight. They’ve agreed on 83kg, which Green may struggle to make but Mundine will come in well under. The weight difference on fight night could be over 10kgs in favour of Green. The year off will do Mundine some good as he has had time to recover from the beatings he took in his last three contests. Whether he has enough speed to overcome the massive size advantage is the story of this fight. The only real question that will be answered by Friday’s fight is whether Danny Green could ever beat Mundine. If he loses on Friday with the weight advantage that he has then it’s safe to say he couldn’t.

There have been numerous attempts to up the hype and the sales of this fight as this will be the last attempt at a payday for both men. Mundine has stated that he won’t stand for the national anthem. In every other country I’ve seen boxing televised from the national anthems are played before the fighters enter the ring and there are usually clips of the fighters warming up while the anthem is played so this is just another ridiculous attempt to add hype where there isn’t any.

Whatever other tricks are used between now and Friday night to increase sales are irrelevant because on Friday night the shells of these two men are going to get into the ring and we will see how old and faded both of them are which SHOULD signal the end of either man’s drawing power. I don’t really care who wins this contest, it’s a meaningless contest between two men, neither of who is rightfully rated among Australia’s greatest fighters and anyone who says that they are is insulting Australia’s boxing history. The bout means nothing and the real winner of this contest will be Australian Boxing as our sport has been held under the thumb of these two for long enough.

Moloney brothers to feature on Green-Mundine undercard

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2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Andrew Moloney, along with his twin brother Jason, will feature on the undercard of the Danny Green vs Anthony Mundine rematch in Adelaide on the 3rd of February.

Andrew, undefeated in his first eleven professional contests including seven knockouts, will take current Filipino junior bantamweight champion Renoel Pael. Pael, who has previously held the Filipino bantamweight title also, has won 21 contests from 26 including a draw however he has lost on every occasion he has fought outside of the Philippines including three of his last five bouts but he has never been stopped.

Jason also boxes a Filipino opponent, Marco Demecillo, who has recorded 22 wins from 29 bouts in his professional career. Demecillo headlined a show in Punchbowl in 2015 where he lost every round to Irish born TJ Doheny but lasted the 12 rounds in a contests for the PABA junior featherweight title. Demecillo has 17 knockouts from his 22 wins and has fought ten rounds or more on a number of occasions.

So far the undercard is shaping up to be semi decent with Trent Broadhurst vs Nader Hamdan also announced for the undercard. A few more domestic matchups would be great but it will be good for a larger audience to be able to get a look at the Moloney twins as they are two of Australia’s best prospects.