Australian Boxing On Free To Air Television Was Hit & Miss
Australia had a landmark boxing card in Melbourne on Friday night. The card was put together by Australian legend and three time world champion Jeff Fenech. The card was broadcast live on free to air television through channel 9, which is extremely rare in Australia. The audience was huge with hundreds of thousands of sports fans tuning in, giving boxing the opportunity to transition casual fans to hardcore boxing fans. Let me go over how the fights went and how the production could have been improved.
Lucas Browne vs Julius Long: Not much was expected of this bout, with most expecting it not to last more than two rounds. Despite being critical of Browne on twitter, we now know he had a broken thumb from the first round onwards so he was really fighting one handed for large portions of the bout. Long had success in the first five rounds, however Browne continued to wear the American down in what should be described as a rusty performance. Browne will next likely fight for a version of the World Heavyweight championship, but his promoter Ricky Hatton needs to keep him active. Browne did what he had to do and got the win through a late stoppage and the fight actually was entertaining.
In disturbing news, the broadcast mentioned Browne's promoter Ricky Hatton had blocked him on twitter. This was an extremely odd thing to do, considering his fighter should be a huge investment for Hatton's promotional company.
Will Tomlinson fought Adones Aguelo next in another competitive and fun fight to watch. Aguelo had the superior power and Tomlinson adopted a counter punching strategy. However this bout wasn’t tough to score and Aguelo clearly won by a three or four round margin. Tomlinson was unable to keep up with Aguelo’s work rate and the Australian was hurt several times throughout the fight. Aguelo looked good and his performance was fantastic, this guy is completely under rated. In saying this though he was fighting in a foreign country and he knew he probably had to win by knock out to get the decision (such is the state of the game in Australia at the moment), but Aguelo didn’t push as hard as he should have towards the end of the fight. And Tomlinson essentially got the decision, which he didn’t deserve.
Jai Opetaia fought Kiwi Rob Manual. Manual actually came to fight and took it to Jai in the first round, however the Australian in his second professional fight was a class above and looked the goods. His technique is fantastic and he throws a nice leaping left uppercut/hook from a rare angle which has great power. I expect Jai will continue to develop into a potential Heavyweight contender, possibly cracking the top 10 at some stage in his career. He’s a cruiserweight at the moment but as his body develops he will have to make the step up in weight. Big things ahead for this guy.
A couple of areas where this production could have improved, focused on ring announcers. Either Ben Damon or Cody Kaye would have been much better options. The ring announcer was quite horrible and casual fans watching this would have cringed. When boxing gets on free to air television like this, it needs to be perfect after the recent drama. And Ben Damon or Cody Kaye needs to join the next production.