Michael Zerafa has said all week that he doesn’t take Danilo Creati lightly, that he isn’t looking to the future with a title fight against boxing legend Gennady Golovkin on the horizon.
But the rising Australian boxing star first had to prove it – and he did – by overcoming Creati
by unanimous decision (98-93, 99-91, 98-92).
It was a pivotal victory for Zerafa, as Ben Damon explained in commentary, with so much at stake based on how Wednesday’s fight unfolded.
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Zerafa v Creati – Full Fight Highlights | 04:01
“He is ranked No. 1 in the world at middleweight with the WBA and No. 2 with the IBF. He’s ready for something big but a loss here against Danilo Creati and it’s all over,” Damon said.
Both fighters were just trying to feel each other out in the first round, with Creati going to his right hand but unable to connect as Zerafa was moving well in the ring.
This continued into round two, with Creati the more active of the two according to Jeff Fenech, although he still didn’t land anything of note as the Aussie evaded him.
“Creati showed a bit of aggression. Not much has happened so far,” Fenech said.
“Not many punches landed. Creati threw a few punches, he threw six to eight in a row, which is more than they threw in the round.
With so much at stake, even if it was enough to get the win, Fenech was left crying for more Zerafa, saying it wasn’t the “statement” he was expecting.
“I know it’s important to win, but isn’t it important to win impressively, especially with something on the horizon,” Fenech said.
“Don’t you want to show the world that I’m ready for this?” This is certainly not the statement I expected from Michael Zerafa.
Damon, meanwhile, described it as “weird” as two fighters who had said a lot during the week failed to show the same intensity and fire when it mattered most.
Fenech went so far as to suggest that if Golovkin was watching from home, he would hardly be worried about what he saw.
“He doesn’t do much to show people he’s got something great,” Fenech said.
“He can fight too! I’ve seen him on occasion and said, ‘Wow, this kid is going to be special’ and he goes from that high level to that again…which to me is unacceptable.
The crowd even started to turn on Zerafa in the final rounds, actively chanting for Creati, although nothing notable happened to dramatically turn the fight in his favor.
Zerafa began to increase the aggression in the ninth round, much to Fenech’s annoyance, starting to work his jab and then looking for good hands.
“It’s his most compelling round,” Fenech said.
“It’s a round he clearly won.”
‘GLAD IT’S OVER’: GAL’S ADMISSION AFTER FINAL VICTORY OVER HODGES
Paul Gallen ended his decorated sports career with an overall win, beating Justin Hodges in a unanimous decision victory on Wednesday night (60-54 (x2), 59-55).
“It was good,” Gallen said after the fight.
“I had to do what I had to do. I didn’t take any risks, I just used my left hand as much as possible. Few people are lucky enough to get a win, but luckily I have to do it tonight.
“He broke my heart many times [on the field] so it’s good to get one. He’s a warrior.
Although it was another dominating win for Gallen, who finished with a 16-2-1 record, he admitted he had had enough.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” Gallen said.
“I’ve had enough, 41 years in 42 years. I can just feel it in sparring and training, I just slow down. With all due respect to Hodgo, 12 months ago I probably would have won a little more convincingly.
“But everything slows down at some point and I think it’s hit me and it’s time to pull the pin.”
KNOCKDOWN CONTROVERSY AS EX-NRL STAR WIN PRO DEBUT
Meanwhile, Siosiua Taukeiaho picked up a unanimous decision victory (39-36, 40-35, 40-35) over Jaiman Lowe on his professional debut, although he was controversially credited with a knockdown whose Jeff Fenech was far from convinced.
All the pressure was on Taukeiaho and any expectation of a quick finish turned out to be wishful thinking, with Lowe doing well to keep his distance and avoid any real damage in the opening two rounds.
Neither fighter was able to land any noticeable punches, though Taukeiaho did score a knockdown in the second round, although Jeff Fenech didn’t necessarily agree with the decision.
“Definitely not a punch that knocked him down,” Fenech said.
“Just unbalanced. Certainly not a reversal.
Taukeiaho lands SKETCHY knockdown | 00:54
Taukeiaho told Ben Damon after the fight that he would welcome the chance to fight in the off-season rugby league should the opportunity continue to present itself.
“It was good,” he said.
“It was quite difficult to get him, thanks to Jaiman for the opportunity. Of course, I didn’t take it lightly. Of course, it will bring power.
TAYLOR LEADS TELFORD IN ‘INCREDIBLE’ THRILLER
Joel Taylor and Ty Telford went back and forth in what Ben Damon described as the “fight of the year”, with the former picking up the win by TKO and the vacant Australian welterweight title.
Telford looked to be well in the lead early on before Taylor started to land some power shots in the second round in what was a taste of the seesaw action that was to come.
“After what he went through in the beginning, to go through the way he did,” Jeff Fenech said in a comment.
“Telford was winning the war, then Taylor came back with fairness and precision,” added Ben Damon.
Telford continued to find plenty of success with strong right hands before Taylor landed half a dozen good shots, including a left hand that had Telford faltering, at least temporarily.
“It was a much better round for Taylor,” Fenech said of round four.
The two fighters continued to trade blows, with Telford staring at the edge of the abyss before suddenly gaining momentum as it became nearly impossible to predict where the fight would go next.
“It’s absolutely insane action that we’ve seen,” Damon said.
“Joel Taylor, great times, he hurt Telford. He got a reprieve thanks to the mouthpiece and then he came back. Left hooks and right hands as well. Then after those moments, Taylor came back.
“I think we see the fight of the year here.”
In the end though, the Telford corner would unfortunately end the fight prematurely after the 25-year-old complained that he couldn’t see anything out of his eye.
“Incredible,” Fenech said while Damon declared it “the arrival of a young star.”
“He’s meant to be something special,” Damon added.
NRL BEAST COPS REALITY CHECK IN PRO DEBUT
Rabbitohs striker Daniel Suluka-Fifita’s professional boxing debut didn’t go as planned, largely beaten by Bryce Jones in a unanimous decision loss (39-37 x3).
Suluka-Fifita, who was highly regarded as one of the NRL’s top boxing prospects, was quite busy in the opening round, working Jones’ body.
Newcastle heavyweight Jones, however, began to find plenty of success with his big overhand right, forcing Suluka-Fifita to the ropes in the first round.
The Rabbitohs beast didn’t back down, but as he swung with intent, it was Jones who landed and also caused a lot of damage.
Suluka-Fifita withstood the shoot-off well and sent it to a third round, after appearing to be in serious trouble in the latter stages of round two.
Ultimately though, Suluka-Fifita needed something decisive in the final round and couldn’t find it, with Jones claiming victory after landing 78 of his 217 punches to Suluka-Fifita’s 37 of 11.
Suluka-Fifita survives 2nd round BEAT | 01:12
“He’s sold out,” Jeff Horn said in a comment.
“I can’t even walk to the corner. Just more landed by Jones, all the bigger shots. Fifita started very strong but the accumulation of punches from Jones wore him down. Jones kept coming and wore him down. Just clean jabs landed from Jones, backing him up.
FULL BATTLE CARD RESULTS
Michael Zerafa defeats. Danilo Creati via unanimous decision (98-93, 99-91, 98-92) – middleweight
Paul Gallen beats. Justin Hodges II via unanimous decision (60-54 x2, 59-55) — heavyweight
Paul Aokuso defeats. David Zegarra via knockout (second round) – light-heavyweight
Siosiua Taukeiaho defeated. Jaiman Lowe via unanimous decision ((39-36, 40-35 x2) – heavyweight
Joel Taylor beats. Ty Telford via TKO (corner stoppage) – welterweight
Liam Talivaa defeats. Louis Marsters by unanimous decision (40-35 x3) — heavyweight
Koen Mazoudier defeated. Wade Ryan via unanimous decision (77-76, 77-75, 77-75) — super welterweight
Shanell Dargan vs. Chandni Mehra ends in a draw (39-37, 37-39, 38-38) – featherweight
Bryce Jones beats. Daniel Suluka-Fifita (39-37 x3) — heavyweight
Tommy Browne beats. Jorge Kapeen via unanimous decision (59-55, 60-54, 59-55) – super welterweight
Deanha Hobbs beats. Tywarna Campbell by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) — super featherweight
George Peterson vs. Gary Phillips ends in a draw (39-37, 37-39, 38-38) – heavyweight
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Source : BBNWORLDNEWS