FOLEY DEFEATS MULIVAI FOR AUSSIE TITLE
By TOM WATT on May 9 2015
Whilst all eyes were fully focused on Mayweather Vs Pacquiao in Vegas last weekend, Kerry Foley and former Olympian, Dane Mulivai battled it out at the Eaton Hills Hotel for the vacant Australian Light Heavyweight Title in a fight that was far from the chess-match seen during MayPac.
It was Foley’s first time back in the ring since his loss in a rematch to New Zealand’s Robert Berridge in February 2014, injuries and cancellations have slowed Foley’s career but he was determined to put that all behind him by winning the coveted Aussie Title. Mulivai for his part was looking to bring home an Aussie title at his second time of asking having come up short against hot-prospect, Jake Carr in a Super-Middleweight Title fight in June last year.
As the fight began Mulivai started out behind his quick jab and stood in the centre of the ring as Foley circled and looked for ways to land his powerful right hand. Mulivai looked quick and sharp but as soon as the right hand from Foley landed you could see the hesitation start to creep in, a strong left hook the body later in the round was certainly felt by Mulivai and he began to try and fire back with his own power shots. Foley looked comfortable though and began to take control of the centre of the ring as the opening round drew to a close.
Rounds two, three and four were a similar story, Mulivai looked to utilise his speed and his jab whilst Foley looked to work the openings to land those thunderous power shots he has become known for. By the end of round 3 Mulivai was certainly aware of the power he was facing after a number of left hooks to the body and overhand rights landed in the round although he was landing his jab consistently and moving well so the fight was still very much in the balance.
Early in the fifth round Foley looked in some discomfort, reeling back after throwing a left hand and momentarily edged back towards his corner. Mulivai saw his chance to put on the pressure and began to come forward throwing combinations, Foley quickly recovered though and by the end of the round it he who was pressing the action and beginning to wear his opponent down.
The sixth round saw an explosion of action, first it was Foley who pressed forward throwing seemingly endless combinations of straight punches as Mulivai backed himself onto the ropes. Mulivai eventually fired back and caught Foley with a strong left hook that had the home crowd excited and he began to try and turn the screw. As he did though we witnessed Foley’s power come through – as Mulivai tried to put his own finish on proceedings some quick footwork and a combination of right hands to the body and then the head put the Queenslander off balance and as he tried to regain composure Foley was there to fire off a few haymakers and put him on the canvas although he was able to beat the count and get through the final seconds of the round.
As the seventh round began Mulivai got back to working behind the jab and built up some good momentum, as Foley tried to turn that momentum around Mulivai slipped his wild left hook but was unable to do anything about the stiff right that followed and the Queensland fighter was once again sat on the canvas right at the end of the round.
With the two knockdowns already to his name, Foley looked comfortable in the eighth and was happy to pot-shot Mulivai as he came in and tried to force the action. Foley had some success in the latter stages of the round and looked to have Mulivai in trouble but was adjudged to have pushed his man on his way to the canvas so it was rightfully ruled a slip. As the ninth round progressed Mulivai was landing with the jab but Foley looked unmoved by them and was able to outmaneuver and land the heavier shots. As the round ended the two were exchanging in the middle in the ring.
In the opening seconds of the final round Mulivai came out strong and threw a huge left hook that hit Foley’s guard and moving forward with more intent than he had done through the previous nine rounds, throwing combinations and stalking Foley down. As he did though Foley saw the gap and landed a crisp left uppercut to the body that forced Mulivai to take a knee immediately although the ref ruled it a low-blow and allowed Mulivai to recover. As the round wore on both competitors pushed themselves, both landing power-shots and getting the crowd on their feet for a grandstand finale to what had been a fantastic and entertaining battle between two hungry fighters.
With the knockdowns in the bag the result was beyond doubt and Foley celebrated as the final bell rung, it had been a long road to this Aussie Title fight and the relief was plain to see as his name was called as the winner and Australia’s new Light Heavyweight Champion.
Mulivai has already announced that he will retire from the sport but for Foley this win will open up opportunities to fight bigger names such as Blake Caparello, who is due to fight Affif Belghecham on the 6th of June. The main target for Foley is likely to be a rematch with Robert Berridge though and a chance to erase that defeat from early 2014, Berridge just beat Andy Robinson in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago for the vacant IBO Oceania Light-Heavyweight Title. A rematch between the two would certainly grab the attention of fans as their previous fights have been very close and exciting affairs. For now though Foley can enjoy the Title he has yearned for so long and can look ahead at a revitalised career.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
See Full List
When you step into the ring, you want to be at the peak of your fitness and ready for whatever your opponent is going to throw at you. Check out Endura’s comprehensive range of scientifically formulated sports nutrition to help you train longer, fight harder and recover quicker.