STARS WERE BORN, REPUTATIONS ENHANCED, FUNDS WERE RAISED AND TITLE CHALLENGERS EMERGED.
There was a bit of everything at TGW & Smithy Bring the Big Fights 17 on Saturday night. In front of a bumper crowd of 2000 spectators – among them boxing stars like Alex Leapai, Michael Katsidis, Jack Brubaker, Kris George, Jack Asis, Brent Rice and Corey McConnell, International surf star Dean Morrison, former state of origin rugby league star Chris Walker, local State member of parliament David Janetzki, Kostya Tszyu’s father Boris and countless leading businessmen.
There was just as much action in the ring as there was with the microphone. In the ring Rivan Cesaire enhanced his reputation as Australia’s pound for pound number one National title holder with a unanimous decision victory over Jamie Hilt.
Cesaire has now held the belt for three years and one month. In defeat, Hilt lost no admirers, in front of a huge supporter base the Toowoomba fighter gave the reigning champion a thorough test and a few anxious moments.
“We’re so proud of Jamie and his performance, trainer Craig Monagle said.
“Jamie proved he’s Australian title class with that performance against a very accomplished champion who’s only losses in the last four years have come at the hands of World class boxers Jeff Horn and Lenny Zapavigna.
One of the rising stars in World boxing Tim Tszyu made an emphatic statement in his Toowoomba debut. The twenty two year old Tszyu overcame a very game Chris Khan with a second round knock out.
“I would like to thank Toowoomba,” Tim Tszyu said
“Thanks for the support, I didn’t realise how many fans I had in Toowoomba.
“It’s a long hard career, but with fans such as you, we’re able to take my career to the next level – thank you and I’ll definitely be back in the future.”
In the other fights on the night Brent Moore and Maks Chylewski fought out a four round split draw.
Reigning Queensland light welterweight champion Steven Spark improved to 5-1 with a comprehensive round one knock out victory over Allessio Cassara. Spark showcased why he’s regarded as a star on the rise with a show stopping performance against a World credentialed opponent with years of international experience on the boxing, K1 and MMA circuit.
It was Spark’s fourth consecutive knock out victory since returning to the ring in 2016.
In the heavyweight bout Randall Rayment scored a unanimous points victory over Toowoomba’s Herman Ene-Purcell. The Sydney based visitor used his reach advantage and dictated the tempo of the six round contest.
The card also unearthed two new prospects, Gavan Hornery and Chris Brackin who both scored victories on debut.
Hornery showed his ring craft defeating a willing Kyle Teer on points while Chris Brackin scored a spectacular round one win over Chris Oliver.
This bout arguably stole the show, while it only lasted 1.30, it was jam packed with drama. Brackin showed his intent early launching a barrage of punches, Oliver fired back and caught Brackin off balance to score a knock down, this didn’t deter Brackin who rushed back in after the count and caught Oliver with another flurry sending him to the canvas where he would be counted out.
“There was some good performances from our fighters and the future is exciting,” Trainer Manager Brendon Smith said.
“I had assistant trainer Corban Kanoveilomani in the corner with me all night as well so he deserves a lot of credit for the boys performance as he’s put in a lot of work over the last three months.
“It’s a real team effort.
“Now we will give the boys a bit of time off and re-assess what’s next.”
There was also a very special draw card in the name of charity. Twelve jockeys from across Queensland competed in a three on three tag team challenge in aid of injured Toowoomba track work riders Wade Clasohm and Ben Saunders.
The team of Beau Appo, Josh Oliver and Brooke Stower was the winners and the donation buckets and auctions raised in excess of $10,000 for the Clasohm and Saunders families.
The other highlight of the night came from special guest Jack Brubaker. Cronulla based Brubaker travelled to the Garden City to support the Clasohm Saunders fundraiser, he along with Commonwealth champion Kris George and Australian champion Brent Rice were the judges for the tag team event.
Brubaker who is the OPBF welterweight champion and WBC youth world champion then dropped a bombshell challenging Kris George to a fight for the Commonwealth title.
“Kris is a great fighter and he’s done a lot of great things in the ring, I respectfully challenge him for his Commonwealth title, I want that fight and I believe it would be a great fight for Australian boxing,” Brubaker said.
Kris George responded by saying:
“I actually owe it to Jack, it was an injury to him that gave me the opportunity to fight Cameron Hammond and win the Commonwealth title.
“It makes sense, let’s see if we can make it happen.”
It’s now a case of watch this space, the Brubaker and George camps will now open discussions to see if they can agree on terms and make a George vs Brubaker Commonwealth title bout, a reality later in the year.