By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
IBF middleweight champion Daniel “Real Deale” Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) was Australia’s most impressive boxer for 2012 when he captured the WBA middleweight belt by defeating Felix Sturm (37-2-2, 16 KOs) in Germany on September 1st. Sturm had made 14 successful defenses of the title. Geale also defeated Osumanu Adama (20-2) in a March IBF title defense. On January 30 in Sydney, Geale will start a hot favourite to retain the championship when he defends against former WBA super middleweight champion Anthony “The Man” Mundine (44-4, 26 KOs) in a rematch. Mundine scored a controversial split twelve round decision over Geale in 2009. In his only 2012 outing, Mundine defeated former world champion Bronco McKart in seven rounds at the Palms casino in Las Vegas.
IBF #1 middleweight Sam “King” Soliman (42-11, 17 KOs) defeated Garth Wood (10-2-1) in February and on August 24 became the IBF mandatory contender to Daniel Geale when he clearly outscored Giovanni Lorenzo (31-4) over twelve. Soliman will now clash with Felix Sturm on February 1st with the winner to meet the winner of the Geale v Mundine in May.
IBF featherweight champion Billy “The Kid” Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) defended the championship successfully when he stopped tough Mexican Eduardo Escobedo (32-3) in seven rounds on March 7. Dib followed with a clear ten round points win over Mexico’s Juan Antonio Rodriguez in July. Billy is getting ready to make mandatory defense against Munoz early in 2013 and is now promoted by controversial rapper 50 Cent and managed by brother Emaid Dib.
IBO cruiserweight champion Danny “Green Machine” Green (33-5, 28 KOs) scored impressive five round knockout over former world title challenger Danny Santiago (31-5-1) of the USA in July. Green outscored former world rated heavyweight and cruiserweight Shane Cameron (29-2) in November to reclaim the IBO world tile in a bruising battle. Green remains one of Australia’s most popular boxers and at the age of 39 years has not officially retired.
IBF #12 Sakio “The Scorpion Bika (30-5-2, 21 KOs) scored a sensational ten round stoppage of Dyah Davis (21-2) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California, USA on June 2nd to capture the NABF and WBO Intercontinental super middleweight title in his only fight in 2012. Bika. Has performed well in world title bouts against Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe , Lucian Bute and Markus Beyer. He captured the USA Contender Series in 2007 by stopping Jason Codrington in the final. Bika recently challenged Danny Green and is prepared to fight at cruiserweight poundage.
IBO super featherweight champion Will “Wild Will” Tomlinson (20-0, 12 KOs) defended the title successfully against Daniel Ruiz. ( 27-4-1) by eighth round technical decision in May. Irving Berry (22-3-2) was easily outscored over twelve in November. Tomlinson could be challenging for WBC crown in 2013 it was reported.
Former WBC, IBF, WBC, IBO champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan ( 38-5-1, 27 KOs) lost to Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka (15-0) on points over twelve in a WBC bantamweight attempt in April but came back well in outscoring Luis Orlando De Valle (16-1) over ten rounds in September. Darchinyan is a free agent and no longer promoted by Gary Shaw.
WBO #15 middleweight Les “Lock & Load” Sherrington (30-6, 18 KOs) defeated Oscar Daniel Veliz ( 29-17-2) of Argentina over twelve in March and in July scored a convincing twelve round win over former IBF world champion Luis Ramon Campas (100-16-1) of Mexico. On November 30 Sherrington stopped Randy Suico (30-7-1) in eight rounds. Sherrington is trained by Brendon Smith and promoted by Joe Penissi
Australian based Filipino Jack “The Assassin” Asis (27-18-4, 14 KOs) outscored Chaiyong Sithsaithong (27-7-3) in March and in July stopped Japan’s Rysusei Yoshida (22-3) in seven rounds. Undefeated Thai , Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (12-0) was easily defeated on points in October. Asis is trained by Brendon Smith.
Former Australian lightweight champion Brett William Smith ( 15-1-1, 7 KOs) defeated Mick Shaw (27-16-4) in March to win the national title and was back in May stopping Brendan Batty in three rounds. Importation Chaiyong Sithsaithong (28-8-3) of Thailand was outpointed clearly over twelve rounds in August and Japan’s Ryusei Yoshida ( 22-4) was disqualified in eight rounds
Former WBO champion Michael “The Great” Katsidis (28-6, 23 KOs) was outscored by Albert Mensah (24-3-1) over twelve at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on April 13 in what was his only fight for the year.
WBO #3 featherweight Joel Brunker (24-0, 14 KOs) scored a shutout eight round decision over Matt Powell (12-7-2) in March and in July battled experienced Mexican Edgar Riovalle (34-13-1) over eight rounds to score exciting win in Sydney.. Brunker travelled to the USA and stopped Carlos Fulgencio (19-8-1) in round one at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York. Referee Charlie Fitch crowning Brunker at 1.40. Brunker managed by Angelo Di Carlo and USA promoter is Gary Shaw. His next fight on January 30 on Mundine v Geale against Joksan Hernandez (22-5-1, 14 KOs)
IBF #7 lightweight Lenny “Zappa ” Zappavigna (27-2, 18 KOs) was back in the ring in April scoring a third round KO of overmatched Brad Milner (4-6-1) after losing to IBF champion Miguel Vasquez (27-4) and Ammeth Diaz in 2011. Australian based Filipino Joel Dela Cruz (17-13-2) was outscored over ten in June.Zappa now trained by former world rated 140 pounder Jeff “Flash” Malcolm..
WBO #8, WBA #15 140 pounder Chad ” Hollywood” Bennett (30-4-3, 21 KOs) stopped Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (26-9) in four rounds at Newcastle in February and four months later in one of his best wins scored eight round stoppage of James Armah (17-1) . In a rematch Bennett got the job done faster by dropping Armah for the full ten count in round four in October.Bennett will be in action again on January 26 in Las Vegas when he will clash with Ben Ankrah (16-11, 7KO)
Former IBF 140 pound champion Lovemore “Black Panther” Ndou (49-13-2, 31 KOs) returned to action against former IBF 130 pound champion Gairy “Black Superman” StClair (42-11-2) in August scoring a comfortable win on points..Ndou made successful debut in MMA stopping Aswin Cabiy in round one. Ndou dropped decisions to Kell Brook in 2011 and Saul Alvarez in 2010
Former WBO rated heavyweight Alex “Lionheart ” Leapai (25-4-3, 20 KOs) clashed with classy Kevin Johnson (25-1) in April at Ascot, Queensland in a bout scheduled for twelve. Johnson proved more than a match for Leapai stopping the Samoan born Aussie based heavyweight in nine rounds. Leapai holds wins over former world rated Travis Walker and Owen Beck.. He ais scheduled to fight Akmal Aslanov (13-5-1) in China
Don King Australian heavyweight Mark de Mori (20-1-2, 18 KOs) scored four round stoppage of American Rob Calloway (71-13-2) in March and in June stopped another American Troy Weida in three rounds. USA journeyman Damon Reed (46-16) was coming off losses to Hasim Rahman and James Toney when de Mori stopped him in five rounds at Broadbeach, Queensland on December 21.four good domestic matchups for de Mori would be Kali Meehan, Solomon Haumono, Alex Leapai or Lucas Browne.
Light heavyweight southpaw prospect Blake Caparello (14-0-1, 6 KOs) had a good year in defeating four imports with tough New Zealander Robert Berridge (15-0) being outscored over ten rounds and Americans Kevin Engel (18-5) and Aaron Pryor (16-6) being outpointed with Dante Craig (19-12-1) being stopped in two rounds.
WBC #15 cruiserweight Brad “Hollywood” Pitt (14-0, 11 KOs ) scored a six round points decision over Joel Casey (15-9-3) in May and in November blasted out Moses Sorovi ( 22-16-1) in two rounds..
WBA #9 super middleweight prospect Ben McCulloch ( 11-0, 8 KOs) scored a stoppage Atalili Fai in two rounds in February , Eddie Lenart in one round in June, Amir Randjar in August and Les Piper in nine rounds in October
Australian super middleweight champion Omar Shaick (11-2, 6 KOs) defeated Nigerian Friday Nwaiwu easily over ten rounds in March and was back in action in June scoring a shutout against Jeremy Allan. Shaick is promoted and managed by Angelo Di Carlo.
Former Australian champion Jarrod “Left Jab” Fletcher (13-1, 7 KOs) scored wins over Johannes Mwetupunga, Les Piper and world rated Robbie Bryant but lost to Englishman Billy Joe Saunders in middleweight Commonwealth title attempt
Australia’s leading promoters Bill Treacy, Green Machine Promotions, Tony Mundine, Angelo Di CarloJoe Penissi, , Barry Michael, Brian Amatruda, Dave Stanley, Adam Wilcock, Peter Maniatis, Paul Nasari, Jamie Myer, Billy Hussein, Daniel Sheridan, Murray Thomson, Brendon Smith.
Australia’s leading boxing trainers for 2012 were Graham Shaw, Craig Christian, Billy Hussein, Noel Thornberry , Barry Michael, Tony Mundine, Tony Del Vichio, George Reno, Lincoln Hudson, Angelo Hyder, Chris McCullen, Steve Deller, Michael Akawy, Dave Birchell, Arnel Barotillio.