Super featherweight contender Paul ‘Showtime’ Fleming 26-0 (17) returned to action with an eight-round unanimous decision win over former two-time world champion Panya Uthok 52-6 (35) of Thailand at the Emporium in Bankstown, Sydney on Friday night.
The 30-year-old southpaw showed no signs of ring rust despite a year on the sidelines, pitching a virtual shutout to win by scores of 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73 in the main event of MJA Platinum’s inaugural promotion ‘Inception’.
“We knew he was going to come in tough and put on a hard show,” said Fleming. “I think I controlled the fight. I hurt my right hand in about the fourth or fifth and then I hurt my left hand in the sixth or seventh.
“Uthok came in with his head down and I was bouncing shots off his forehead. Anyone who knows boxing knows that’s one of hardest parts of the body to hit so both my hands are busted up.”
The classy boxer-puncher knows that now is the time for him to capitalise on his unlimited potential.
“I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs. My age says 30 but I still feel like I’m 22,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to 2019. Mike Altamura has got some big things planned and I just can’t wait to get back in the ring and show the world what I’ve got.”
The Top Rank-promoted fighter is aiming for a world title shot in 2019 with WBO 130-pound champion Masayuki Ito 24-1-1 (12) of Japan firmly in his sights.
Former featherweight world title challenger Luke ‘Action’ Jackson 17-1 (7) got back in the winner’s circle with a comprehensive eight-round points victory over Indonesian veteran Rivo Rengkung 37-29-6 (14) in a 130-pound contest.
In his first fight back after his brave stand against Carl Frampton in Belfast in August, Jackson had Rengkung on the deck in the seventh round to claim the victory by scores of 79-72 on all three judges’ cards.
Despite injuring his right hand early in the fight Jackson floored Rengkung with a flurry of punches in the penultimate round and had him out of his feet when the final bell rang to end the contest.
“With only one hand it was hard. I didn’t want to throw the right hand and let him know that it was sore,” said Jackson.
“I didn’t really let it go until the sixth but when I did I dropped him shortly after that.”
In a battle between two bombers ‘Gelignite’ Jack Brubaker 15-2-1 (7) scored a hard-fought eight-round points victory over heavy-handed Indonesian Larry Siwu 27-12 (23) at junior middleweight.
The tough and gritty contest saw both men trade in the trenches to the roar of the enthusiastic crowd but it was the 27-year-old Cronulla prospect who consistently landed the cleaner shots to run away with the win by scores of 79-74 and 77-75 twice. `
“I knew he was a big puncher and I could feel from the opening bell that he was very strong,” said Brubaker. “He had a big overhand right and he was pretty awkward but we got the win and we’re looking forward to bigger challenges in the new year.”
In other results talented prospect Youssef Dib 11-0 (5) took just two rounds to turn back the challenge of Ty Gilchrist 6-8-1 (2) in a welterweight bout scheduled for four rounds.
The 26-year-old Dib, brother of former world champion Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib, forced the Queensland veteran to retire on his stool at the end of the second stanza.
Entertaining junior welterweight Dylan Emery 20-1 (13) stopped Indonesian Bima Prakosa 1-5 (1) in the third frame of a four-rounder in his first fight in more than a year.
The Australian-based Kiwi’s only loss was to world-rated lightweight Kye MacKenzie 20-2 (17) in a competitive four-round brawl for the national crown two years ago.
Lauryn Eagle 20-4-1 (12) logged her twelfth straight win with a third-round stoppage of Thailand’s Ratsadaporn Khiaosopa 0-11 in a four-round fight.
In an upset Ray Ingram 2-11-1 outpointed Bobby Antonakos 11-4-1 (3) over four rounds at junior middleweight by scores of 39-37 and 40-36 twice.
Former Australian title challenger Antonakos was having his first fight back after almost a decade out of the ring.
At cruiserweight Ben Sila 4-0 (1) stopped Stuart Stokes 0-8-2 in the second round of a four-round bout with the corner throwing in the towel after a body shot.
Exciting junior middleweight prospect Alex ‘Sweet Hands’ Hanan lifted his record to 9-0 (5) with a four-round unanimous decision over Jessie Nikora 2-2.
In a light heavyweight contest Humzah Khalid 3-0 (2) stopped Zac Cotton 0-2-1 in the second round of a four-round bout.
Super bantamweight Shwan Kader 2-1 was upset by Dedi Elite 1-1 (1) when he was his corner threw in the towel in the third frame of a four-rounder.