Australian boxing ends the year on a high after September lull

From left, George Kambosos Jr, Shannon O'Connell and Dennis Hogan will all take to the ring to round out 2021. (Photos: George Kambosos/Twitter, Shannon O'Connell/Instagram, Annette Dew/Instagram)

Australian boxing fans, get ready! After a quiet period, the domestic scene is set to pick up in the final months of 2021.

From World title fights to returning undefeated prospects, there is a plethora of top quality fights in the works over the next two months to keep an eye on.

Here is The Inner Sanctum’s round up of what you should be keeping an eye on over the next few weeks.

Kambosos Jr still awaiting his shot

Controversy appears to be the order of the day for the upcoming unified World Lightweight title fight between Sydney’s George Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) and champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs).

Since defeating Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) in October 2020, Lopez has had great difficulty making his first title defence become a reality.

To this point, event postponements, cancellations and COVID-19 complications have prevented a meeting with Kambosos Jr from taking place.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, June 19 (US times), the fight was put on hold due to Lopez’s contraction of COVID. Since then, there have been multiple changes in scheduling.

Most recently set for Monday, October 4 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre, negotiations are taking place to move the bout yet again.

Lopez and his team have now agreed to an October 16 showdown at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre.

This is only tentative though. Contracts with both fighters and venues are among the many pieces that will have to fall into place for all of this to happen.

The idea behind the October move was caused by clashes with Monday Night Football. Both of Team Lopez and promoter Triller believe the NFL has potential to draw a greater share of the audience on the night.

Kambosos Jr is yet to sign off on any changes and remains in his Sydney camp, alongside sparring partner and former World title challenger, Lenny Zappavigna (38-4, 28 KOs).

All eyes turn to the Gold Coast

Back on home shores, some of the brightest prospects in Australian boxing will converge on the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Saturday, October 23 for Tasman Fighters second ‘Gold Coast Fight Night.’

In the feature bout on the card, the Queen of Australian boxing, ‘Shotgun’ Shannon O’Connell (21-6, 10 KOs) will meet 2018 Commonwealth games representative Taylah Robertson (3-0, 1 KO).

The 10 round affair will be an incredible test for Robertson, who is taking a serious step up in competition.

No stranger to going the distance, O’Connell will have a significant edge in experience over Robertson, who has only fought 15 rounds in her short career to date.

Also featuring on the card will be the highly touted and undefeated Dana Coolwell (6-0, 4 KOs).

Making a jump up in weight, he will fight for his second professional title when he meets fellow unbeaten fighter, Jacob Wylie (4-0, 4 KOs) for the ANBF Australasian Lightweight title.

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Fight of the night honours may come from the Light Heavyweight division however. Both looking to bounce back from defeat, Conor Wallace (7-1, 5 KOs) and Jackson King (4-3, 3 KOs) will do battle in what promises to be treat for fans.

Returning at the event, impressive Heavyweight Teremoana Jnr (1-0, 1 KO) will meet debutant Daniel Joyce, while Ethan Law (5-0, 4 KOs) takes on Luke Woods (6-4, 2 KOs) over 8 rounds at Super Welterweight.

For the full card, click here.

Sky’s the (No) Limit

It has been a little over a week since No Limit Boxing confirmed that Tim Tszyu (19-0, 15 KOs) will meet Japan’s Takeshi Inoue (17-1-1, 10 KOs) on Wednesday, November 17.

In that time, the Gold Coast Convention Centre has been confirmed as the host venue for the event.

The undercard is also beginning to fill out, with a number of bouts announced over the past few days.

Returning from defeat at the hands of Tszyu in March is former World title challenger Dennis ‘The Hurricane’ Hogan (28-4-1, 7 KOs).

Originally scheduled to face Tysinn Best in July, Hogan was forced out of the contest with a torn meniscus.

Rather than reschedule, he will now compete against fellow veteran, Tommy Browne (42-7-2, 18 KOs) over six rounds at Super Welterweight.

Also taking his place on the card will be elusive Super Welterweight Joel Camilleri (20-6, 8 KOs).

Riding a wave of momentum on the back of capturing the WBC Australasia title in May, ‘CamaKO’ will look to make it four wins on the trot when he collides with Perth’s Wes Capper (22-4-1, 13 KOs).

Given that both fighters have only having defeat by decision, the contest promises to be eight rounds of back and forth action.

Rounding out the announcements is another Super Welterweight fight that has Australian boxing fans incredibly excited.

IBO Inter-Continental title honours will be on the line when fan favourite Wade Ryan (19-9, 7 KOs) meets Ben Mahoney (11-0, 6 KOs).

Unbeaten since 2019, the resurgent Ryan will have his hands full against Mahoney, who has now crossed over to boxing from Muay Thai full time and holds a flawless record thus far.

Tszyu v Inoue will be available to purchase on Main Event and Kayo.

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About Liahm O'Brien 66 Articles
Liahm is a features writer based in Burnie, Tasmania. His writing focuses on the human side of combat sports, painting a full picture of the athletes we see from the stands or on our tv screens. In 2017, he was published in The Footy Almanac.

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