Nikita Tszyu has survived a massive upset bid with the towel saving Jack Brubaker, who was almost too tough for his own good.
The power of both men was on display in the opening round with Brubaker also connecting well on the highly-fancied Tszyu.
Tszyu landed two powerful shots near the end of the round but received a few good ones in return as Brubaker ensured he wouldn’t be easily bullied into submission, leaving “heaps of swelling” (per commentator Ben Damon) around the right eye of Tszyu.
Both Damon and the legendary Barry Michael believed Brubaker was quickly proving he wouldn’t be the easybeat many had predicted.
But two minutes into the second round a big right hand got through Brubaker’s defence leaving him wobbly, as Tszyu locked into the right timing against his tricky opponent.
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Brubaker landed a heavy right in the final seconds of the round before a return left rocked him.
“Brubaker landed some bombs, and he took some bombs, and he came running back in,” Michael said on commentary.
Blood began to pour from Brubaker’s damaged nose in round three though his right hand continued to impact Tszyu when it landed.
A devastating Tszyu flurry came with a minute left in the third with Brubaker up against the ropes but then a head clash left Tszyu on the canvas. It was ruled a knockdown. He was then heavily rocked again before Tszyu went for the clinch and saved his fight.
“He’s hurt. He’s in all sorts of trouble,” Michael proclaimed, as Tszyu escaped the round but only barely.
Tszyu stormed back into the fight with a strong flurry midway through the fourth with Brubaker throwing himself to the canvas, missing wildly.
Tszyu’s right eye was swelling larger and larger by the minute but he continued to show more power as his rebound from the wobbly third continued.
A vicious body shot left Brubaker on his feet with help from the ropes late in the fifth yet Brubaker kept talking to Tszyu, with Michael suggesting the fight was on the brink of being stopped.
“How does he stay up?! It’s implausible!” Damon proclaimed.
“Jack Brubaker is not of this world … I think he should’ve been pulled out at the end of that round.”
The commentators madly called for a stoppage, via the corner or the ref, but Brubaker was “too tough for his own good” as he stood bravely up against the onslaught.
However, Brubaker’s corner had seen enough and threw in the towel halfway through the sixth round as Tszyu soaked up the moment.
Damon labelled the bout as “pure butchery” against “a man who is not of this world,” praising Brubaker who evidently was saved from himself in a six-round battering.
– with Max Laughton
‘FRUSTRATED’ WILSON WINS AFTER RIVAL ‘RAN A MARATHON’
It was a frustrating fight but Liam Wilson got the win he needed as he cruised to a decision win over a game Carlos Alanis.
Wilson immediately took control of the centre of the ring against Alanis, who employed an unusually high guard, in the first round of their encounter.
The Australian then enjoyed his first real opening of the fight in the second round, sneaking a right hand in on Alanis.
Wilson then had to wear a couple of strong shots from Alanis midway through the third as he too began to find his range in the fight.
The fact only 37 of 173 punches thrown by Wilson had landed spoke to the sharp defensive moment on show by the Argentinian in the first three rounds.
Main Event’s Harry Garside felt the worrying ratio of punches thrown to those landed began to cause some “frustration” from Wilson in the fourth, especially since Alanis drew some blood from his rival’s nose.
Wilson certainly ramped up the insensity in the fifth and hit Alanis with a big right hand, although it only drew a shook of the head.
But there was no shake of the head when Wilson dropped him midway through the seventh round with a thunderous left rip to the body.
Once Alanis had copped the body shot, he hopped on his bike for the remainder of the fight in an effort to avoid further damage.
“He’s run a marathon,” Main Event’s Ben Damon said.
Garside added: “He’s in running mode.”
Ultimately Wilson got a comprehensive win on the scorecards, with two judges giving him a 100-89 decision while another scored it 98-91.
HEAVYWEIGHTS GO THE DISTANCE IN EIGHT-ROUND SLUGFEST
Kiki Leutele handed Toese Vousiutu the first loss of his career in a razor-thin decision victory.
After taking a measured approach in the first round, Vousiutu exploded at the start of the second and dropped Leutele at the start of the second, although the latter quickly rose to his feet and was OK to continue.
The tide slowly began to turn in favour of Leutele in the third round as he found success with the body shots.
Yet every time Leutele looked to have landed a big punch, Vousiutu ate it and threw back a number of bombs of his own.
There was a moment midway through the fight it appeared Vousiutu injured his right hand, robbing the hulking beast of his greatest weapon.
Remarkably, the two heavyweight sluggers went the full eight rounds and were throwing large punches right to the final bell.
Ultimately it was the 202 punches landed by Leutele that edged the decision in a thrilling bout with two giving it to him 76-75 while one judge awarded it 78-73 in Vousiutu’s favour.
OLYMPIAN EXACTS SWEET REVENGE IN FINAL FIGHT
Revenge has never tasted so sweet for Luke Jackson after he overcame Tyson Lantry in an unanimous decision victory.
Jackson dropped a controversial decision loss to Lantry in December 2020 which sent him spiralling out of control outside of the boxing ring.
However, the Olympian overcame his arch nemesis almost three years later and put their feud to bed once and for all.
Jackson attacked Landry’s body early with a flurry of punches which the latter answered with a number of hopeful overhand rights.
Landry was briefly rocked by a perfect one-two from Jackson in the third and continued to cop big shots from his rival throughout.
It ultimately proved to be a clinic from Jackson, beating Lantry on all three scorecards (60-54 x 2, 59-55).
Speaking after the fight, the Tasmanian all but confirmed he would hang up the gloves for good as he looks forward to the next stage in life.
“Yeah, look, that’s it,” Jackson said in his post-fight interview.
“I’ve boxed for 22 years, I’ve lost to two people as a pro.
“I want to be a dad, that’s my next goal in life, to be a father, to be a good man.”
HUSSAIN EDGES OUT RIVAL IN FIGHT OF THE YEAR CONTENDER
Benjamin Hussain has pulled off the biggest win over his career by emerging victorious over Koen Mazoudier in a sure-fire fight of the year contender.
The two had traded plenty of verbal jabs in the build-up to their fight and they wasted little time in delivering physical ones.
Mazoudier unleashed a series of uppercuts on Hussain that snapped the latter’s head back, but Hussain answered with some big body shots in a frenetic first round.
Hussain continued to work away at Mazoudier’s body throughout as the two rarely took a backwards step, if at all.
The statistics after six rounds of action proved as much with Hussain firing off a staggering 113 body shots while Mazoudier found the head of his rival 100 times.
Hussain and Mazoudier somehow continued the relentless pace much to the bafflement of Ben Damon, Barry Michael and Harry Garside on the Main Event commentary panel.
In the end it was Hussain who edged out the victory, with the judges awarding him the majority decision (96-94 x 2), although one scored it a draw (95-95).
NIKITA MAKES ROCKSTAR ARRIVAL
Nikita Tszyu is a star and doesn’t he know it.
He rocked up to the Hordern Pavilion in a giant red Dodge ute and had his door opened by his manager Glen Jennings.
Tszyu was sporting a black hoodie and a pair of sunglasses as he looked cool, calm and collected for the main event against Jack Brubaker.
TWO FIGHTS IN TWO WEEKS? NO PROBLEM …
Ralph Etienne has earned his second win in as many weeks, stopping a game Amaeze Enyi in the second round.
Enyi went to work early and used every inch of his 10cm reach advantage to his benefit.
The debutant was light on his feet and found a home for a solid right hook to the body often in the first while also firing off a jab through the middle.
Yet Etienne slowly found his groove in the second and looked to cut off Enyi around the ring.
He continued to ramp up the intensity and it eventually paid off, forcing the referee to wave off the contest in the second round as Etienne secured his second victory in the space of 14 days.
LAKE MACQUARIE PRODUCT MAKES DOMINANT RETURN
Amber Amelia has made a winning return to the ring, outpointing Erini Ramirez to claim a gritty unanimous decision victory.
Amelia, who was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome only a few months ago, came firing out of the blocks in the first round.
She looked to throw punches in bunches against Ramirez and often found a way through the latter’s guard.
Ramirez began the second round strongly and connected with some strong counters from range, but Amelia fired back with her quick-fire combos.
Amelia sustained a small cut above her left eye in the third but did little to halt her advances.
The two continued to swing until the final bell, but ultimately it was Amelia who prevailed as two judges scored it 39-37 while another scored it 40-36 in her favour.
Nikita Tszyu def Jack Brubaker via TKO in Round 6
Liam Wilson def Carlos Alanis via UD (100-89 x 2, 98-91)
Toese Vousiutu def by Kiki Toa Leutele via MD (76-75 x 2, 73-78)
Luke Jackson def Tyson Lantry via UD (60-54 x 2, 59-55)
Koen Mazoudier def by Ben Hussain via MD (95-95, 94-96 x 2)
Ralph Etienne def Amaeze Enyi via TKO in Round 2
Amber Amelia def Erini Ramirez via UD (40-36, 39-37 x 2)
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