With the added star power provided by Paul Gallen’s main event return against Kris Terzievski, several fighters capitalised on the added exposure at No Limit Boxing’s ‘King of the Castle’ event in Newcastle.
Whether they be vying for regional titles and World rankings, or still developing as professionals, fans were again treated to a glimpse into the future by some of Australia’s brightest prospects.
In the aftermath then, a number of topics for debate emerged. Without further ado, here are the biggest talking points from the blockbuster event.
Terzievski terrific despite late Gallen rally
Kris Terzievski (11-1-1, 8 KOs) could have been excused for feeling any nerves heading into his main event meeting with cross sport star Paul Gallen (12-2-1, 7 KOs).
After all, he had, to that point, not fought outside of his native Melbourne throughout his six year professional career. Nor had he competed on a stage as big as a No Limit pay-per-view, against one of Australia’s biggest box office drawcards.
The added pressure did not seem to phase Terzievski in the slightest though, boxing beautifully to record a comfortable unanimous decision win (97-92 x 3).
As the early stages of the bout played out, it became clear that Terzievski’s gameplan was to keep Gallen from finding comfort on the inside. As such, he continued to punch from distance, with several jabs and damaging southpaw left hands to the body finding their mark.
This trend continued through to the later rounds and by the time the bell sounded to start the ninth, it was clear that only one man could be leading on the scorecards. The severity of the blows Gallen had recieved leading only to admiration for the heart and toughness on display.
That said, these characteristics that almost flipped the contest on it’s head.
A final rally, in which the 40 year old landed several short right hands, hurt a visibly tired Terzievski. Now sensing an opening, Gallen stalked with intentions of landing a knockout blow. When the penultimate round concluded, the chance of an unlikely victory had increased significantly.
Terzievski had other ideas however. Capitalising on a second wind, the Victorian utilised slick defensive movement to hold out until the final bell.
In victory, the 32 year old secured his biggest win to date, as well as the Australian and Australasian Heavyweight titles.
Moreover, he has fully insterted himself into the top tier of the division on the domestic scene. With a bout between Justis Huni (5-0, 4 KOs) and Joe Goodall (8-0-1, 7 KOs) set for June, a logical move might be to match Terzievski with the winner.
Power of Tszyu an undeniable weapon
The biggest punchers in boxing generally get tagged with the term ‘fight changing power.’ Time and again, these fighters prove that win one blow, the course of a bout can be altered.
The youngest member of the Tszyu boxing dynasty, Nikita (2-0, 2 KOs), can be well and truly added to this category.
Defeating Mason Smith (5-1, 2 KOs) via first round TKO in the co-main event, Tszyu again showcased the sheer brute force behind his punches. Whether it be a jab or a hard left, everything thrown by the 24 year old has, almost unfairly, got an extra pop to it.
Fighting with a serious amount of courage, Smith willingly engaged from the opening bell and landed his own southpaw straight lefts. His defence was no match for what he recieved in return, however.
A jarring right uppercut at the halfway point of the opening round sent Smith to the floor. Immediately after, Tszyu went about establishing distance and began to dish out more punishment with a series of one-two combinations.
Seeing Smith on wobbly legs, referee Will Soulos soon stepped in and called a halt to proceedings.
Now boasting two knockouts in as many fights, the boxing public has rightly warmed to the raw talent on display. They will also wait with bated breath, anticipating his next outing.
Garside and McFerran highlight the best of boxing
Defending his Australian Lightweight title for the first time, Harry Garside (3-0, 2 KOs) proved that he is embracing the transition from the amateur to professional game.
Specifically, the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist showed a killer instinct in his seventh round TKO win over Tasmania’s Layton McFerran.
After outworking his opponent in the first half of the fight, Garside took things to another level in the sixth round. Recognising that his hand and foot speed was superior of the pair, the champion went in search of a stoppage.
What resulted was a significant differential favouring Garside in the punch count across the three minutes.
McFerran continued to move forward gallantly, but the volume of punches coming his way did not subside. After seeing the clear disparity first-hand, referee Brad Vocale stopped the fight late in the seventh.
While it didn’t appear that the Launceston product was significantly hurt from the exchanges, the winner of the bout, to that point, was clear cut.
In all, both men should be applauded for their conduct. Feeling that he should have been allowed to go on, McFerran recognised the class of his opponent all the same. Always humble, Garside replied with praise for the toughness of his challenger.
At it’s core, the bout should be seen as an advertisement for boxing’s purest underlying element – respect. Two combatants enter, one has their hand raised, each show admiration for their opposition aftwards.
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Goodman rises from the canvas to pass international test
Entering 2022, the hype surrounding Super Bantamweight Sam Goodman (11-0, 6 KOs) could not have been higher.
Heading into his first outing for the year, the Joel Keegan trained standout had been almost untouchable. The only questions asked of him centred on how he would respond when faced with adversity.
After 10 rounds with Japan’s Fumiya Fuse (11-2, 1 KO), we got our answer. Dropped by a sharp counter left hand in the third, Goodman bounced back to win a unanimous decision (98-91 x 3).
The wide margins on the scorecards do not reflect the nature of the action, however.
Throughout the first seven rounds, the pair won their share of single punch exchanges. This meant that the decision as to who should be awarded a majority of the points seemed to be up in the air.
As a result, Goodman took his game to another level in the final three stanzas, throwing hard combinations to both body and head on the inside as he marched to the finish line.
Granted it was not the type of dominant performance that we have seen in the past, the 23 year old’s ability to find another gear in a razor thin bout is promising.
Now the holder of the IBF Intercontinental and WBO Oriental titles, Goodman will look to plot his climb through the World rankings in coming months.
Bad blood gives way to six sensational rounds
After a war of words in the build up, Hassan Hamdan (5-0, 1 KO) and Trent Girdham (3-1) created fireworks across six highly entertaining rounds.
Ultimately, the bout would go the way of the highly touted Hamdan, but the 24 year old would be made to earn every ounce of the unanimous decision win (57-56, 58-55 x 2).
A well placed right hook scored a knockdown for Girdham in the opening round. From here, the southpaw continued to pressure across the next three minutes, as he backed Hamdan up against the ropes.
Sensing the bout slipping away, the Jeff Fenech trained fighter made the necessary adjustments thereafter. Attacking in calculated and smart fashion, Hamdan found a home for hard rips to the body and his straight right hand to the head.
Overall, the performance is a nod to the resilience of the Welterweight prospect, who remained composed after the early test.
Conversely, Girdham did not lose stock in the outing. Although the decision did not go his way, the Western Sydney product proved that his future is also one worth paying attention to.
In the face of such fire, he continued to return with vigour. Despite wearing his share of hard shots in the second half of the bout, the MMA convert continued to march forward.
A downside reared it’s head after the decision was read, as both corner’s clashed briefly. The animosity kicked off as Girdham stormed from the ring in disagreement with the decision.
The pair did eventually embrace backstage however, putting aside their differences in recognition of their phenomenal fight.
For all of the results from No Limit Boxing’s ‘King of the Castle’ event, click here.
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