Friday, November 20, 2015

Borg Defeats Manihuruk

Rising Jr. Welterweight prospect Valentine Borg scored a hard-fought eight round unanimous decision over veteran Roy Tua Manihuruk on Friday night at Club Punchbowl in Sydney, Australia.  In a very competitive fight Borg and Manihuruk threw punches with knockout intent from the opening bell. Borg generally was able to get his punches of first for the majority of the bout, but Manihuruk remained in the fight all the way through. After eight rounds of give and take battle Borg had done enough to earn the unanimous decision.

 Official scores were 80-72, 80-73, and 79-73 in favor of Borg.  Unofficially, I scored this fight a little closer than the official judges five rounds to three or 78-76 in favor of Borg.  This was a very competitive fight all the way through and both fighters seemed intent on ending the contest with one punch. Borg was a little more accurate with his offense and seemed to be the fighter getting the better of most of the exchanges.

Valentine Borg advances to 11-2, with 7 Knockouts. Roy Tua Manihuruk falls to 18-14-2, with 14 Knockouts.

Also on this card, in a bout for the New South Wales State Lightweight championship, champion Geroid Clancy survived a fourth round knockdown to retain his title with a convincing eight round unanimous decision over Brendan Saunders. Clancy out boxed Saunders throughout much of this fight with combination punching and lateral movement to avoid much of Saunders’ offense.

 Official scores were 79-73, 78-74, 79-75 all in favor of Clancy. Unofficially I scored this fight 78-74 in favor of Clancy. A boxer’s primary objective is to make their opponent miss and make them pay. With the exception of the knockdown in round four, Clancy landed the cleaner punches of the two and made Saunders miss frequently. This along with effective counter punching gave Clancy the edge.

Geroid Clancy advances to 5-2, with 1 Knockout. Brendan Saunders falls to 3-3-2, with 1 Knockout.

In a bout for the vacant New South Wales Welterweight championship Daniel Kennedy scored an eight round majority decision over Alex Ah Tong.  This was in this observer’s eyes one of the most competitive fights of the evening. A fight that was fought in spurts where it appeared both fighters were able to have periods of effectiveness throughout many of the rounds.

As the fight progressed, Kennedy was able to have success landing his right hand and that may well have earned him the decision on two scorecards. Official scores were 76-76, and 80-73, 79-74 in favor of Daniel Kennedy, Unofficially, I scored this fight even 76-76. From my perspective there simply was not much to separate the two fighters. Although Kennedy had clear success with his right hand during the course of this fight, Ah Tong was able to keep the fight close and seemed to answer back immediately when Kennedy would land his offense.

Daniel Kennedy advances to 3-0, with 0 Knockouts. Alex Ah Tong falls to 9-34-5, with 5 Knockouts.

In a bout for the vacant New South Wales Cruiserweight championship Paul Ogedengbe scored a first round knockout over Walter Pupu’a. Ogedengbe dropped Pupu’a with a body punch midway through the round and dropped Pupu’a for a second time moments later with a follow-up barrage. Although Pupu’a was able to get up from the second knockdown the bout was stopped by the referee.  Official time of the stoppage was 2:18 of round one.

Paul Ogedengbe advances to 4-0, with 4 Knockouts.  Walter Pupu’a falls to 12-35, with 8 Knockouts.

In a Heavyweight bout rising prospect Willie Nasio scored a third round stoppage of Clarence Tillman. Nasio controlled much of the fight with his jab. Nasio was able to hook off the jab and mix in some combinations, but wasn’t offered much resistance from Tillman who spent the majority of the fight on defense. The fight was stopped when Tillman’s corner threw in the towel in round three.  Official time of the stoppage was 1:39 of round three.

Willie Nasio advances to 8-1, with 7 Knockouts. Clarence Tillman falls to 11-25-2,  with 6 Knockouts.

In this Middleweight division Mark Lucas scored a four round unanimous decision over Joe Rea. Rea dropped Lucas with a left hook in the first round, but it was Lucas’ greater activity and accuracy with his offense that carried him to a convincing decision victory.  Official scores were 39-37, and 38-37 (on two scorecards) all in favor of Lucas. Unofficially I scored this bout 39-37 in favor of Lucas.

Sometimes it is as simple as who lands the cleaner, more effective punches. In this fight that fighter was Mark Lucas. Joe Rea simply was not able to execute much of his offense after scoring the knockdown in the first round.

Mark Lucas advances to 5-0, with 2 Knockouts. Joe Rea falls to 10-25-5, with 10 Knockouts.

Also in the Middleweight division, Zhang Yong scored a four round unanimous decision over Mark Gittins. In what was a difficult fight to score Yong’s cleaner punches were enough to earn him the decision over Gittins, who was making his professional debut after previously competing in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Official scores were 40-37 on all three scorecards in favor of Zhang Yong. Unofficially I scored this fight 39-37 in favor of Gittins. 

Although Yong was able to land the cleaner punches of the two, I felt Gittins won the last two rounds based on his aggression. It was never the less a competitive fight that I can see an argument for either fighter as having won it.

Zhang Yong advances to 5-4-1, with 1 Knockouts. Mark Gittins falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.

In the Lightweight division Haithem Laamouz scored a six round split decision over Issaka Issah. Much like the Kennedy-Ah Tong fight, the bout between Laamouz and Issah was very difficult to score. Laamouz put a lot of energy into virtually every punch he threw and was generally the more aggressive fighter, while Issah foscued on picking his spots and trying to be more accurate with his offense in a fight where there were several “Swing rounds” where an argument could be made for either fighter having won a round. Official scores were 59-56, Laamouz, 58-57 Issah, and 59-55 in favor of Laamouz giving him the victory.

Unofficially I scored this fight even 57-57. I felt Laamouz was able to win the first three rounds based on his ability to keep Issah on the defensive. Although he did not land with every punch he threw Laamouz’ aggression was enough to win those rounds, in my opinion. In the second half of the fight, Issah’s accurate punching and combinations were the key factor in my eyes.

Haithem Laamouz advances to 5-0, with 1Knockout. Issaka Issah falls to 2-4, with 0 Knockouts.

In the Welterweight division, Mitchell Dawson scored the first victory of his career with a clear four round unanimous decision over Barry Toomey. Dawson dropped Toomey, who was making his professional debut with a combination in round one and was able to win every round on the scorecards based on clean punching and effective aggression. Official scores were 40-36, and 40-35 (on two scorecards) in favor of Dawson. Unofficially I scored this 40-35 in favor of Mitchell Dawson.

Mitchell Dawson advances to 1-1-1, with 0 Knockouts. Barry Toomey falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.

This card presented a look at fighters who range from emerging prospects to fighters in the very beginning of their careers.  Although time will tell if any of these fighters will eventually become contenders on the regional or world levels of the sport, for some of the emerging prospects such as Valentine Borg, Daniel Kennedy, and Haithem Laamouz, the fights they participated in on this card should and likely will be viewed as important steps in each fighter’s respective development. It will be interesting to see how each progresses from here.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

This card was promoted by Paul Nasari’s Neutral Corner Fight Promotions and broadcast worldwide by GFL: Go Fight Live Combat Sports. For more information on Neutral Corner Fight Promotions please visit the following addresses: or For more information about GFL: Go Fight Live Combat Sports please visit: www.GFL.TV

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