Tourism minister Kate Jones, and from left Glenn Rushton, Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan
Tourism minister Kate Jones, and from left Glenn Rushton, Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan

Historic fight night set for Queensland

JEFF Horn and his long-time sparring partner Dennis Hogan are set to fight on a huge and historic night of boxing featuring two world title fights in Queensland in the new year.

Their trainer Glenn Rushton has spoken with Queensland's Tourism Industry Development minister Kate Jones about a dual world title event and says he is encouraged by the positive feedback..

The Queensland Government has already sponsored Horn to the tune of $6.5 million for his fights with Manny Pacquiao and Anthony Mundine, claiming a significant boost to tourism because of the huge crowds those fights attracted.

Rushton is keen for Horn to face lanky and unbeaten WBA junior-middleweight (70kg) champion Brian Castano of Argentina and Hogan to face the unbeaten WBO titleholder Jamie Munguia of Mexico.

"It is something that has never been done in Australian boxing,'' Rushton said, "to have two fighters from the same gym fighting for world titles at the same weight. I spoke to Kate Jones about it and she was keen on the idea.''

 

Tourism minister Kate Jones, and from left Glenn Rushton, Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan.
Tourism minister Kate Jones, and from left Glenn Rushton, Jeff Horn and Dennis Hogan.

 

Hogan, 33, is the No. 1 contender for Munguia's title. He survived some rocky moments to win a 12-round points decision over Jamie Weetch at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday night to confirm his world title shot.

Perth-based Weetch, 29, who was shot and stabbed during his days amid gang violence in his native Wales, brought some heavy artillery into the ring and covered himself in glory in defeat.

Although he was on the wrong end of a lopsided decision, he showed that Hogan will have to tighten his defence if is to be any chance against the ferocious Munguia.

Although he had only half of Hogan's big-time experience, Weetch took the fight to the Irish-born favourite, rocking him with big rights in the opening round and again in Round 3 when he stunned Hogan and sent him stumbling into the ropes.

At the bell to end Round 5, as the two playfully tapped each other several times, Weetch dropped Hogan with a right hand to the body, though he did not receive a caution from referee Steve Marshall.

In the end Hogan's class proved too much as he kept Weetch at bay for most of the remaining rounds to win the decision 117-111, 118-110 and 119-109.

"He gave me a great fight,'' said Hogan, who has 28 wins and a draw from 30 fights. "Thank you very much to the very tough Jamie Weetch. I'm now the mandatory contender to fight for the world title and I hope we can bring Munguia to Brisbane for the fight.''

Weetch suffered his third loss in 15 fights but never stopped trying to land his haymakers until the final bell.

Earlier, the Gold Coast's slick world No. 5 super-middleweight (76kg) Rohan Murdock dominated Argentina's world No. 11 Rolando Mansilla to win a 10-round decision and the vacant World Boxing Organisation Oriental title.

Murdock was in charge all the way but had to deal with some spirited, though sporadic fightbacks from the diehard South American, particularly in Round 5 when Mansilla landed a huge left hook and right hand.

Two judges scored it to Murdock 99-91 while the third gave the local hero every round - 100-90.

Murdock now has 24 wins in 25 fights and is likely to be elevated to the No.2 position in the world ratings behind Mexico's WBO world champ Gilberto Ramirez.

 

 

Mansilla lost for the sixth time in 21 starts but he was not disgraced, putting up a brave, whole-hearted effort against a fighter who towered over him.

"Mansilla gave me a very tough fight,'' Murdock said, "but I'm ready to fight for the world title now.''

Meanwhile, in a toe-to-toe women's brawl that left both fighters covered in blood, Queensland's Deanha "Deedee'' Hobbs won an eight-round war with fierce Kiwi slugger Baby Nansen.

In sights that thrilled fans and would have made critics of the fight game cringe, Australia's female boxer of the year survived a bloody nose in the closing stages of the fight to win a unanimous eight-round decision over the tough Kiwi who bled profusely from a cut above her right eye.

For the last five years, Hobbs, the undefeated two-time Australian champion from Jimboomba, has worked at Centenary Auto Wreckers in Seventeen Mile Rocks, ripping cars to pieces.

And on Saturday night she lived up to her reputation as Australia's most destructive fighter, surviving some huge overhand rights from Nansen early to win the decision 77-75, 77-76 and 77-75.

"It was a great fight could have gone either way,'' said Hobbs, 30. "I wanted a war and I got one. Thank you Baby Nansen.''

Earlier this year Nansen boxed at the spiritual home of the fight game, Madison Square Garden in New York but she said fighting Hobbs was the highlight of her career.

"I was very honoured to share the ring with Deedee Hobbs because she will be a world champion one day,'' Nansen said.

"She hit me with some bombs.''

Former world champ Jeff Horn sitting ringside described the fight as a "cracker''.

"They certainly put on show that's for sure,'' Horn said. "They are both great fighters with huge hearts.''

The fight was even at the midway point but in Round 6 Nansen slammed a right into Hobbs' nose and it erupted with blood.

That only spurred the 59kg Queensland slugger to roar back and Nansen was bleeding profusely from the cut over her eye early in Round 7.

Now rated number 8 in the world, Hobbs is unbeaten in eight pro fights after a stellar amateur career that saw her win 40 of 48 starts and score victories over both of this year's Australian Commonwealth Games gold medallists Skye Nicolson and Anja Stridsman.

On Saturday she claimed the vacant World Boxing Organisation Asia Pacific female super-featherweight title.

In her previous two pro fights, Hobbs boxed superbly to beat Mixed Martial Arts star Arlene Blencowe and the previously undefeated Aimee Addis.

Nansen lost for the fourth time in 12 starts.

While Hobbs shows no mercy to opponents, she spends her spare time caring for injured wildlife and her own menagerie of dogs, cats and horses on her two-hectare property.



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