Herminator battles Whitehead for Aussie heavyweight title chance

TGW & Smithy 05/10/2016

HERMAN ENE-PURCELL HAS HIS EYES ON THE PRIZE. The prize being the Australian heavyweight title. On October 22 the Herminator faces the biggest challenge of his career taking on proven fellow Aussie heavyweight Justin Whitehead in a six round Australian title eliminator.

Whitehead is currently the number 2 ranked heavyweight in the country with Ene-Purcell number 10.

While his focus is solely on preparing for Whitehead, Ene-Purcell will have one eye on this Friday night’s fight at the Gold Coast when current Australian heavyweight champion Willie Nasio defends his title against Hunter Sam.

The winner of the Ene-Purcell Whitehead bout is in line to meet the winner of the Nasio vs Sam clash.

“Of course my sole focus is on Justin Whitehead, but without a doubt I will have my eyes on Friday night’s Australian title fight between Willie Nasio and Hunter Sam,” Ene-Purcell said.

“My fight with Justin Whitehead is an Australian title eliminator so if I want a shot at the belt I need to win this fight on October 22.

“If I can win that – then I can concentrate on either Willie Nasio or Hunter Sam.

“First things first I need to beat Justin Whitehead before I worry about anything else around me.”

Ene-Purcell will be a considerable under dog when he takes on Justin Whitehead. Whitehead, who has a career record of six wins and one loss, has a stellar resume in both the pro’s and amateurs.

He’s a former Commonwealth games bronze medalist and in the pro ranks is a former Australian heavyweight champion and former WBF International and Asia Pacific title holder.

“He’s ranked number two in Australia for a reason,” Ene-Purcell said. “He’s two and I’m ten so I understand why I’m the under dog.

“He’s only had the one loss and among his six wins is a National title and two regional titles.

“He also boasts a victory over Soloman Haunmono who recently fought Joseph Parker.

“However fights aren’t won on paper, they’re won in the ring so to me all of those stats mean nothing when we climb between those ropes.

“I have massive respect for Justin Whitehead but I do believe I can beat him.

“It’s no easy task and It’s going to be a hell of a fight but I’m quietly confident if I do everything to the best of my ability this is a bout I can win.”

It will cap off a busy 2016 for Ene-Purcell who has already fought four times this calendar year.

He kicked off 2016 with a rematch against Paul Gallen, before turning plenty of heads in New Zealand with a win over Tom Heads in April, followed by a points decision over Moses Havea in May in Toowoomba before heading to China in June where he starred on a dual world title card defeating Korean champion Jong Suk-Lee.

“It’s been a big year for the Herminator, building to this point where we are now in an Australian title eliminator,” Ene-Purcell’s trainer/manager Brendon Smith said.

“You need to remember Herman is still very young, he’s just twenty one and he’s still learning.

“He’s had no amateur background, yet he’s been able to fight all over the World and now be in a position to contend for titles.

“This fight with Justin Whitehead is our biggest to date.

“We have our eyes on the Australian heavyweight title and also the World Youth title.

“They’re big goals and we need to beat Justin Whitehead to move a step closer to those goals.

“The next six months Herman has the potential to take off. He’s already fought in New Zealand once and China twice in the last 18 months.

“There are more opportunities waiting in the wings, especially in China where he’s on his way to becoming a household name.

“To keep moving in the direction we want – we need a win over Justin Whitehead at Rumours on October 22.

“It’s a tough fight and Herman needs to be at his best.

“Justin is the number two ranked heavyweight in the country and Herman is number 10, how do you climb the ladder?

“You beat the blokes above you and that’s what we’re planning on doing against Justin Whitehead on October 22.”