By Craig Watt
On Wednesday March 11th Garrie Fransico of Grange School Boxing puts on perhaps one of the highest calibre Australian boxing promotions in the last five years with four major bouts that can be seen on Main Events PPV from 7pm AEDT. Each bout is well matched and worthy of main event status in a night of boxing at the impressive Campbelltown Convention Entertainment Centre in Sydney. This is the first of three scheduled PPV events that are planned for 2009 under the guidance of Grange School Boxing. Unbeaten IBO Middleweight champion Daniel Geale (20-0, 12 KO’s) headlines the show in an intriguing match against Canadian veteran Ian MacKillop (25-10-3, 14 KO’s) who has a sixth round stoppage win over WBA#10 ranked middleweight Shannon Taylor in July 2006, in Taylor’s hometown of Wollongong.
It is important for the impressive Geale to look good as he has recently inked a bout with WBA#1 ranked middleweight Anthony Mundine in May. Any slip up against the rugged Canadian could prove costly for the former amateur star who won the Gold medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. MacKillop has shown that he is capable of causing an upset on Australian soil with his unexpected win over Shannan Taylor which adds some intrigue to the bout.
The 28 year old Geale has impressed many people in his rise through the middleweight ranks and is on the cusp of achieving widespread recognition with his impressive performances in his unbeaten twenty fight career to date. He is currently ranked WBC#12, IBF#14 and WBO#5 at middleweight in addition to being IBO champion, which he won in December 2007 with an impressive points victory of fellow Australian Daniel Dawson, who entered the bout with himself unbeaten in 29 fights.
The second fight on the card as the main support is the eagerly anticipated bout between unbeaten prospect Lenny Zappavigna (17-0, 13 KO’s) defending his IBF Pan Pacific light welterweight title over 12 rounds against the former I.B.F and I.B.O. Super featherweight World Champion Gairy St Clair (41-8-2, 18 KO’s). The 34 year old St Clair has fought the likes of Cassius Baloyi, Malcom Klassen and Amir Khan and should provide an interesting benchmark of the potential of Zappavigna, who is seen by many as a future world champion.
In his unbeaten career to date, the 21 year old Zappavigna who fights out of Sydney has developed well after winning the bronze medal in the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In only his fifth professional fight he won the Australian Lightweight Title with a third round stoppage of Shane Kelly and has already won the IBF Pan Pacific jr-welterweight title and the WBO Asia Pacific lightweight title, all within his 17 professional starts. In a match up of “Prospect V Veteran” this could prove to be the fight of the night.
Worthy of a main event for knockout potential, veteran Australian Heavyweight Colin Wilson (34-24, 20 KO’s) takes on unbeaten Solomon Haumono who is unbeaten in fifteen fights, with fourteen wins by inside the distance stoppage. Wilson is the current OPBF and 4 times Australian Champion, a man recognized as a genuine tough guy amongst the ranks boasts an opponent list that looks like the who’s who of the heavyweight division over the past 15 years.
With former world champion Kostya Tszyu’s master trainer Johnny Lewis in his corner, Haumono, born in Auckland, New Zealand is guaranteed to have the right fight strategy accompanying a 93% knockout ratio. He is seen as a future boxer who can rise through the heavyweight world rankings in 2009.
IBF#14 featherweight Billy Dib (23-1, 11KO’s) returns to the ring following his unsuccessful challenge to Steve Luevano for the WBO title in October 2008, taking on unbeaten Davey Browne (15-0-1, 4KO’s) in Sydney on March 11th. This is an exciting clash of two of Australia’s most promising Featherweights and is pencilled for the interim World Youth Featherweight Title and the IBF Pan Pacific Youth Title.
The 23 year old Dib has boxed in higher class and won the IBO Featherweight Title in July 2008 with a unanimous twelve round decision over Zolani Marali when he rose off the canvas in the third round to win by decision. He has since been stripped of the IBO title but is considered one of Australia’s brightest boxing prospects.This should prove to be one of Australia’s most exciting fights of 2009.
Overall the bill provides some exciting new prospects mixed with some seasoned veterans that should be exciting to the watching fans. The fight can be seen on PPV via Main Events in Australia and starts at 7pm AEDT.