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Q&A: Fidel Tukel!

By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing

Fidel Tukel is one of Australia’s biggest promoters and has recently secured the rights for his promotions to be televised on the Channel Ten network throughout Australia. Fightnews talks to Fidel and asks if IBF#11 featherweight Billy Dib, who will be boxing Kenichi Yamaguchi on July 9 at Luna Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia, has what it takes to win a major body world title, as well as WBA#9 light heavyweight Tim Bell, who’ll be boxing on a July 16 show in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Congratulations on the BHS Gym having secured the rights to have four promotions televised throughout Australia in July on Channel 10-HD free to air. This is the first live boxing from Australia that is going to be televised since channel 7 TV Ringside and channel 9 – TV Fight of the week from nearly 1969 – 1976. That is over thirty years ago. Did you approach Channel 10 for this to happen? Your thoughts on free to air boxing in Australia?

I was actually approached by 10 saying that they had heard great things about what I was doing for boxing and asked if I would like to be a part of it. Naturally I agreed to help and from there it has been a tidal wave of fun. It’s what boxing needed in this country, it is a dwindling sport and hopefully with the help of free ot air boxing back on the viewers televisions, boxing will become the sporting culture of our nation like it once was 20 to 30 years ago.

Your first promotion features former IBO world champion Billy Dib (22-1,11 KOs) against Kenichi Yamaguchi (15-1-2, 4 KOs) of Japan over twelve rounds for the WBO regional title at Luna Park on Sydney Harbour. What is your long range plan for Billy Dib? Is IBF champion Cristobel Cruz on your radar? Tell me about the Luna Park venue – what is the capacity?

Billy is just looking at this next fight to be honest. But yes, Cruz is on our radar, we all in Billys camp believe that Cruz is very beatable, but they are taking it step by step. Billy is a young boy with a mountain of talent and plenty of years left in him to win not just the IBF belt, but every other belt with it. But I know he is salivating over that red and gold belt, don’t you worry.

You have been a great supporter of Billy Dib. For his most recent bout in March 2009 when he captured the IBF Pan Pacific Youth title against Davey Browne in one of the best fights for 2009, you spared no expense when you arranged for his good friend and future Hall of Famer Shane Mosley to be at ringside. Tell me about Billy’s close relationship with Shane Mosley.

Like brothers. Shane honstly loves Billy like a younger brother. Everytime I talk to Shane the first thing he asks is “spoken to Billy?” Yes I’m good to Shane, thanks for asking! No, they have a great relationship and it shows when Shane is ringside for Billy, for he performs at a level you couldn’t imagine.

Dib was previously promoted by Golden Boy promotions and had some outstanding victories including wins over world title contender Roger Mtaga in Madison Square Garden in 2007. Do you regard this as his best ring performance? What other fights stand out in your mind?

Sorry to say, but winning that IBF Pan Pac Youth title off Davey Browne was his best performance by far. He looked that confident, that quick, that smart, that I could not stop laughing and screaming. Billy loves the Prince, they are close friends and to see him replicate the great one so easily, it was honey on the eyes.

On the undercard you top cruiserweight talent when OPBF champion Dominic Vea (10-1, 8 KOs) will clash with tough Anthony McCracken (10-2, 3 KOs) and Australian champion Daniel Ammann (15-2-1, 3 KOs) meets the unbeaten Jamie Withers. What are your thoughts on these two bouts?

With my man Mr Tauasa now out of the picture because of retirement, (we’ll see how long that lasts) the cruiserweight division has been left open for a new King. It is very ironic, all these guys have fought and only lost to each other (except Jamie who’s never lost), they all believe they got ripped off and want another crack at each other. Who knows, if all goes great with those two bouts then we might see another chapter of this round robin on the next series of “Superboxer”. It will be two great fights I am sure.

On July 16 in Melbourne, world rated WBA#9 light heavyweight Tim Bell (16-5-1, 13 KOs) will punch it out with Walter Pupua (11-3, 8 KOs). Bell has made challenges to former WBA light heavyweight champion Danny Green. Is the Green vs Bell a possible future show on channel 10 HD?

Hahaha. I can’t afford Danny (unless he wants to help, freebiez). Tim is WBA #8, Walter is WBO #15, the winner of this bout is to move into contention of either fighting: WBO boss Zsolt Erdei or new WBA champ Campillo. Both are very easily beaten champs, so who knows we could have a new light heavy champ in the not to distant future. Tim is tough, sometimes too tough, great fighter for the public on television, ugly bloke, but a great man. I hope it comes off for him, because he tries so hard. A great example for young boxers coming up in Australia.

135 pound boxer Jason Crowe from the BHS gym recently won the Australian lightweight title. Will Jason be in action soon? Tell me about his title win. Can he achieve international recognition?

Jason Crowe…What do you say? Besides, “get in the gym Crowie!” When I first opened BHS him and Lawrence were my first fighters. He is by far, the toughest, roughest and most grinding fighter I have ever met. He’s a bloody mongrel. I am so happy he won that Aussie title because he has been around for so long and it was his only goal to win that belt. He deserved every inch of that belt for it was a war against Sedat Tasci (a true warrior as well). Internationally? Get back to the gym first Crowie!

BHS gym 130 pound boxer Will Tomlinson captured the Australian title the same week as Crowe’s national title win. Tomlinson is regarded as one Australia’s hottest prospects. Can he go all the way the world title? Will he be in action soon?

In “Wild” Will we are looking at Australia’s mini version of Tyson. The kid can punch. I promise all boxing fans, he will not only win a title, but he will be a phenomenon. He has a long way to go, but I am as sure as the sky is blue that he will be a multiple world title winner, not just a challenger. He has a lot of doubters, but much more believers. He is presently in Miami after just leaving a camp with WBA champ Chris John, Willy Kickett and Jackson Asiku in Los Angeles, he is now in Miami sparring with WBA interem champ and olympic gold medallist Yurkis Gamboa. Ismael Salas is helping Will out while he is there and we should see some rapid improvement when he is back for his first fight since his trip which will be on August 14 in Blacktown RSL against Moses Seran on a Grange fight night.

If July channel 10 HD promotions are successful can we hope to see more later in the year?

They are going to be successful! We have already pencilled in the dates for the next 6 months. It will be televised once a month all around Australia so keep tuned for we could be in a city close to you in the not to distant future.

Please tell me about other July promotions that will be televised on channel 10 HD.

I have to correct you, the networks get a bit fiery when I keep getting this wrong, its ONE HD. Well on July 23 we have the rematch of Hoppa and Bob Mirovic, on the undercard to that is other great battles, especially the semi main event where up and coming light middleweight, King Davidson will battle Columbias x world champ, Gueleriimo Mosquera over 8 rounds. Then on the 30th, Sakio Bika will headline over 8 rounds against 14 –1 Roger Cantrell of the US. Other fighters on the card are the Spartan Warrior fighting Soloman Egberime for the Aussie light welter title and Victor Oganov and Zac Awad are also on the card. In August we are presently trying to take the Superboxer to the central coast and headline with Kali Meehan and Jamie Pittman. But this is still in the pipeworks, so stay tuned people.




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