MacKenzie stops Emery in four, calls out Billy Dib

Former Australian junior lightweight champion Kye MacKenzie (16-1, 14 KO) stopped undefeated Dylan Emery (17-1, 10 KO)  to win the vacant Australian junior welterweight title on the NRL charity fight night.

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Both men went to work early with Emery attempting to crowd MacKenzie and land solid body shots to slow him down while MacKenzie looked for space to use his superior hand speed and score with combinations. MacKenzie took the first round with combinations although Emery had small success closing the distance and scoring to the body. Round two was fought at a higher pace with MacKenzie again doing the better work against the New Zealand born Emery. A clash of heads at the end of the round opened a cut on the corner of MacKenzie’s left eye. The blood was stopped between rounds but Emery had greater success in the third round. The fight was fought more in the phone booth although “Mr Frenzy” still scored with combinations.

The end came suddenly in the fourth when MacKenzie caught Emery coming in with a right uppercut and swarmed punches with both hands. Referee John Cauchi correctly called a knockdown as Emery fell headfirst into the ropes, which was the only thing holding him up. Emery took the eight count but MacKenzie again landed with both hands and again sent Emery reeling into the ropes and the referee halted the contest at 1:50 of the fourth round.

This is a big statement for MacKenzie, who has been largely inactive since losing an IBO world title fight to Jack Asis last year, coming up two weight classes above his normal weight division to win the Australian title. After the fight MacKenzie’s trainer called out Billy Dib, suggesting that MacKenzie will return to junior lightweight where Dib has fought his last few contests in the division including a stoppage loss to then WBC champion Takashi Miura.

Australian Boxing Preview (December 9-10, 2016)

It’s a big weekend of boxing action this weekend with the Joseph Parker-Andy Ruiz jnr WBO heavyweight title bout taking place in New Zealand and Anthony Joshua defending his IBF title against Eric Molina (previews to come) but there are also a number of shows on the domestic scene.

On Friday night there are two cards in New South Wales with former IBO junior lightweight title challenger Kye MacKenzie taking on Dylan Emery for the vacant Australian junior welterweight title at the Hordern Pavilion. In the other card on Friday night at North Sydney Leagues Club former NSW Welterweight champion Ben Savva fights for the OPBF welterweight title against Filipino Dennis Padua.

On Saturday night alongside the Parker-Ruiz card, which co-features Jeff Horn vs Ali Funeka, 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Andrew Moloney takes on Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz for a regional WBA title. On the undercard features Moloneys brother, Jason Moloney, a fellow undefeated bantamweight contender as well as the Balla brothers (Ibrahim and Qamil) and middleweight Michael Zerafa.

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Hordern Pavilion (Friday December 9)
Television- Fox Sports
While the poster above shows Paul Gallen vs Junior Paulo (which will likely be the televised main event) and the card also features other NRL stars, this is a boxing blog and will concentrate on the better matchups.

Kye MacKenzie vs Dylan Emery
(Vacant Australian junior welterweight title)
MacKenzie (15-1 , 13 KO) returns after a year long layoff and jumps right back into a tough fight, taking on Dylan Emery (17-0, 10 KO) for the vacant national title. While MacKenzie has spent the better part of his career fighting at junior lightweight, Emery has spent the majority of his career campaigning as a welterweight. Despite his wins over world rated Clive Atwell and local stars Matt Gartlett and Waylon Law, as well as his IBO world title fight loss to Jack Asis taking place at lower weight divisions, MacKenzie has had a number of fights at higher weights. Emery, on the other hand, hasn’t made junior welterweight since a 2014 stoppage over Ray Thompson.

This is quite a jump in class for Emery, who hasn’t been past six rounds in any of his 17 contests and has taken only slow steps up in competition during his career. Despite this, Emery is an effective body puncher who possesses a solid left hook and with his size matches up evenly with the ring rusty MacKenzie. MacKenzie should be the favourite due to his level of opposition and the fact that he has fought bigger guys before should somewhat negate Emery’s size advantage. If MacKenzie can overcome the ring rust he should prove too skillful for Emery.

Tommy Browne vs Samuel Colomban
(Six Rounds, junior middleweight)
Former WBA and WBC featherweight title challenger Tommy Browne (32-1-1 10 KO) continues his comeback in the higher weight divisions, taking on Cameroon’s 2006 Commonwealth Games representative, Melbourne-based Samuel Colomban (24-9, 11 KO) over six rounds. Both men have been in form with Browne winning the vacant NSW middleweight title with a decision over Irish veteran Joe Rea earlier this year and scoring a sixth round stoppage over Tasmanian Steve Maxwell on the Renold Quinlan vs Daniel Geale undercard. Colomban is coming off a loss to world rated Dennis Hogan but prior to that defeated Melbourne’s Ben Capps and dropped a close decision to undefeated Anthony Buttigieg.

This is an excellent piece of matchmaking. Both men are experienced, both men have fought a lot of the best fighters in their country and for once there isn’t some meaningless title on the line. Colomban will be the naturally bigger man however Browne is more experienced on the world scene, having gone 12 rounds with Injin Chi and 10 rounds with Chris John. I’m picking Browne to win a close decision but this is a good piece of matchmaking and should be an entertaining fight.

Also on the card outside of the NRL bouts, 2012 Olympian Jai Opetaia takes on Peter Brennan, a 40 fight veteran who has been in with some of the best cruiserweights in the country and  Irish-born Geroid Clancy takes on Thailabnd’s  Akrapong Nakthaem over six. The other bout in NSW on Friday night, headlining the North Sydney Leagues Club show, is Ben Savva (4-1, 0 KO) vs Dennis Padua (10-11-2, 5 KO) for the OPBF welterweight title. Savva is a skillful boxer who won the vacant NSW title in his last bout over Alex Ah Tong. Padua has never fought in Australia, but is coming off a 7th round KO win in his most recent fight for the Filipino title. This card is not being televised.

Melbourne Park Function Centre (Saturday December 10)3533
Television- Stream

Andrew Moloney vs Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz
(10 rounds, WBA regional title)
Having won the state and national titles, 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Andrew Moloney (10-0, 6 KO)continues his rise through the regional ranks, taking on the Argentine Ruiz (21-8, 10 KO). Ruiz is a former minor world title challenger, having lasted until the 10th round with current WBA junior bantamweight champion Luis Concepcion in 2013 for the WBC Silver Flyweight title. This is a good step-up for Moloney, who has steadily increased his competition since turning pro.

The undercard sees Andrew’s brother Jason (10-0, 9 KO) taking on Mexican Enrique Bernache (22-9 11 KO), also over ten rounds for a WBA regional title. On the undercard Michael Zerafa (20-2, 11 KO) continues his comeback after his stoppage loss to Peter Quillin last year, fighting Western Australia’s Renato Oliveria (9-0, 2 KO) over ten rounds for an IBF regional title. Ibrahim Balla (9-1, 6 KO) returns from his first professional loss over ten rounds with Indonesian Agus Kustiawan (17-5-1, 7 KO) and his brother Qamil Balla (9-0-1, 3 KO) battles another Indonesian Musa Letding (11-5-4, 6 KO), also over ten rounds.