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Articles of 2006

Klitschko Starches Brock At The Garden



NEW YORK – After boxing for six rounds as if he didn’t own a right hand, Wladimir Klitschko suddenly smelled blood – his own. And once he began to bludgeon Calvin Brock with the right, Saturday night’s fight at Madison Square Garden turned into the one-sided affair most had anticipated.

To his credit, Brock did his best – right up until he ran into that, you know, Stahlhammer thing. But Calvin had come into the fight billed as “the Boxing Banker.” Nobody ever claimed he was a banking boxer.

It took him a while to turn on the heat, but once he did, in relatively short order, Klitschko stopped Brock in the seventh round of their main event at the Garden, retaining his IBF heavyweight title.

For the first round the fight was looking as if it might prove to be the utter mismatch some had feared.  Only ten seconds had elapsed when Klitschko rocked Brock with a left hook, and half a minute later Brock fell to the floor – not from a punch, but possibly, one surmised at the time, out of sheer terror.

Having weathered the opening stanza, though, Brock became emboldened in the second, charging through Klitschko’s jab to press forward with a body attack. It was the most effective round for the Boxing Banker, who won the round on the scorecards of judges Don Ackermann and Peter Treveterra, as well as that of the Sweet Science.

Brock continued to go after Klitschko’s midsection in the third, which he won on one card (Luis Rivera’s). Klitschko was during the early going virtually a one-handed fighter, strangely reluctant to throw the right – although he did do some damage with the paw whenever the two were locked in clinches, a condition which arose often enough that referee Wayne Kelly expressed his displeasure to both combatants.

As the bout wore on Klitschko began to find his range with jabs and hooks, but when Brock was, to the surprise of many, possibly including himself, still there after five rounds, chants of “USA! USA” began to reverberate through the crowd.

Early in the sixth Brock tried to bull-rush Klitschko again, only to have Dr. Steelhammer grab him like an octopus and yank him forward in order to unload another short-armed combination at close quarters. The clumsy tactic instead produced a clash of heads, and Klitschko came away with blood streaming from a cut above his left eye.

Although Stitch Doran was able to patch the wound in the corner between rounds, Klitschko acknowledged that the presence of the cut had produced “a little sense of urgency” on his part.

Emanuel Steward apparently felt the same urgency. Lip-reading has never been our strong suit, but the Hall of Fame trainer appeared to tell Wladimir after the sixth to “quit f**ing around and go knock this guy out now.”

Klitschko, in any case, came out firing in the seventh, landing several crisp left-right combinations. Then midway through the round he unleashed a right-hand lead that staggered Brock in his tracks. Moving in for the kill, Klitschko caught Brock with another decent one-two, and then followed a stiff jab with a sweeping right that put him down.

Brock struggled to his feet by the count of eight, but appeared sufficiently unsteady on his feet that Kelly wrapped him in his arms and signaled the cessation of hostilities at 2:10 of the round.

Brock said later that he had seen the fateful punch coming.

“I just couldn’t get out of the way,” he ruefully admitted.

“I guess,” said Klitschko, “I should have tried that earlier.”

Although Brock’s supporters, as well as his newfound friends among the Garden audience, voiced their opinion that the stoppage had been precipitate, Kelly was well within his rights, and at the worst had only hastened an inevitable outcome.

“He beat the count, but his legs were wobbly and he wasn’t totally coherent,” said the referee later. “Under the circumstances I expected Klitschko would be throwing a lot of heavy punches and I didn’t think Brock could adequately defend himself.”

More significantly, noted Kelly, Brock himself did not utter a word of protest to contest a stoppage that had just handed him his first career loss.

“Wladimir fought a good fight,” said Brock. “He had a better jab than I thought he would. He’s very strong – and a good defensive fighter.”

“It wasn’t that easy,” said Klitschko, “but I was able to get into a rhythm as the fight wore on.”

CompuBox stats showed Klitschko landing 62 jabs to Brock’s 26. Brock had the edge in volume of power punches (51-28), but most of his were directed toward Klitschko’s body, and none of them came close in effect to the at least three right hands Klitschko landed in the pivotal seventh.

Klitschko raised his record to 47-3 with the win, while Brock fell to 29-1 in absorbing his first loss.

“I’ll be back,” promised Brock, who earned his first million-dollar payday.

So, promised the champion, will Klitschko. Asked what looms next on his dance card, he replied “I want to fight anybody who has a belt. It doesn’t matter which one.”

That must have sounded like music to Don King’s ears.

As a substantial contingent of Ukrainians and Kazakhstanis celebrated around the arena, Klitschko hoisted himself up on all four ring-posts to acknowledge their applause. He seemed happy enough with his performance, and he did fight well – even if he wasn’t in with much.

The dispassionate view would be that the jury is still out on Wladimir Klltschko. Even in a fight he essentially dominated, he seemed at times vulnerable, tentative, and, occasionally, just plain tired. (Klitschko was gasping air through his mouthpiece by the end of the third. It would have been interesting to see how his reserve might have held up had this one somehow lasted a few more rounds.)

With her father watching from ringside, Laila Ali posted a fourth-round TKO over a game but outclassed Shelley Burton to retain her WBC women’s super-middleweight title. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. rescued Burton with two seconds left in the fourth after Ali had followed a roundhouse right with a left-right combination, with a cowering Burton turning her back to her attacker.

Burton (8-3), who suffered a likely broken nose in the fight, complained that the stoppage was premature, but, Ali pointed out correctly, “she turned her back. In this business that’s an automatic stoppage.”

In an IBF-mandated lightweight title eliminator that matched a pair of former world featherweight champions with an aggregate 150 pro fights’ worth of experience, 39-year-old Kevin Kelly returned to the scene of some of his greatest triumphs only to come away on the wrong end of a majority decision against  well-traveled Mexican Manuel Medina.

Medina (67-16) won the last round on all three cards to outpoint Kelley (59-8-2). The winner eked out a 115-113 edge on the cards of Steve Epstein and John Mackaie, while Steve Weisfeld scored it even. The victory in the IBF-mandated eliminator earned Medina a crack at South African Malcolm Klassen.

Kelley claimed that Medina had been guilty of several head-butts, and conceded that the Mexican’s style was even more awkward than he had anticipated.

Irish middleweight Andy Lee remained undefeated at 6-0, pitching a 60-54 shutout on all three cards (Glenn Feldman, Ron McNair, Tom Schreck) to capture a unanimous decision over Bayonne (NJ) vet Dennis Sharpe (17-3-3). Lee used a strong right jab to subdue Sharpe for most of the bout, but incurred a gash along his right eyebrow in the fifth round, which hampered his ability to see in the final stanza.

“I didn’t box well,” was Lee’s self-critical assessment. “It was difficult, because whenever I tried to engage him he’d just move away.”

“[Sharpe] was a difficult opponent, because he fought so cautiously,” said trainer/manager Emanuel Steward in Lee’s defense. “He was going to make sure he didn’t get knocked out.”

Lee had been scheduled to fight again on December 16 in, but Steward said on Saturday night the cut will likely forestall that plan.

In an all-Bronx junior welterweight battle, Frankie Figueroa knocked Joey Rios from the ranks of the unbeaten in winning a majority decision in defense of his New York state title.

There were no knockdowns, but Figueroa was the aggressor for most of the night, and managed to dislodge Rios’ mouthpiece in the seventh round. Figueroa carried the night on the cards of judges McNair (97-94) and Schreck (96-94), while Billy Costello scored it even at 95-95. Rios is now 14-1.

“I’m the best in the Bronx and the best in New York City,” said Figueroa (14-2), who was cheered on by a substantial rooting section. “I talked the talk and now I walked the walk. This was a big win for me. It probably means I won’t have to borrow any more money.”

Former Boston College defensive lineman Derrick Rossy outpointed Shannon Miller in a bloodbath to retain his New York State heavyweight championship. Rossy suffered a cut above his left eye (from an accidental head-butt, ruled referee Charlie Fitch), which kept cutman George Mitchell busy for the rest of the night. Miller had been busted up below his left eye earlier in the fight, and Rossy regularly tenderized the wound thereafter.

“He was tough as nails,” said Rossy of his opponent. “I’d intended to box, but I got drawn into Miller’s tough-man style. He was tougher than I expected.”

Rossy (15-0) won all ten rounds on the cards of Feldman and McNair (100-90), while Schreck gave Miller the fifth and eighth in scoring it 98-92. Miller’s record fell to 14-3 with the loss.

In an earlier bout, Brooklyn light-heavyweight Reggie LaCrete made a successful pro debut, winning on a TKO when opponent Denys Lozada (2-1) retired at the end of the third.

The happiest guys, or at least the happiest non-Ukrainians, in New York Saturday night had to be Vinny Maddalone and Marcus McGee. The card was to have included eight bouts, but with one prelim going the 12-round distance and two others going ten, the swing bout between those two heavyweights never made it into the ring, meaning that Maddalone and McGee each collected a paycheck without even having to get hit.

* * *

NOVEMBER 11, 2006

HEAVYWEIGHTS: Wladimir Klitschko, 241, Kiev, Ukraine TKO’d Calvin Brock, 224½, Charlotte, N.C. (7) (Retains IBF title)

Derrick Rossy, 245, Medford, NY dec. Shannon Miller, 227½, Troy, NY (10) (Retains New York State title)

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Laila Ali, 166½, Los Angeles, Calif. TKO’d Shelly Burton, 164, Kalispell, Mont. (4) (Retains WBC Women’s title)

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS: Reggie LaCrete, 174½, Brooklyn, NY TKO’d Denys Lozada, 172½, Nanuet, NY (3)

MIDDLEWEIGHTS: Andy Lee, 160, Limerick, Ireland dec. Dennis Sharpe, 162½, Bayonne, NJ (6)

JUNIOR WELTERS: Frankie Figueroa, 139½, Bronx, NY dec. Joey Rios, 138¾, Bronx, NY (10) (Retains New York state title)

JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHTS: Manuel Medina, 129¾, Nayariet, Mexico dec. Kevin Kelley, 129½, Flushing, NY (12) (IBF eliminator)

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch



Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia



There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9


Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4


Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10


Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1


Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak



LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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