STARS ALIGN FOR SYDNEY SHOW AT THE STAR
This coming weekend sees Sydney’s biggest fight card in quite some time as the famous Star Casino plays host to some of Australia’s hottest upcoming talent as well as former World Middleweight Champion, Sakio Bika. It’s not just the headliner that’s worth coming to see though, with the undercard offering some intriguing match-ups – we have detailed the top five fights of the night below:
Jack Brubaker (13-1-1) v Kris George (12-1-0) | Commonwealth Welterweight Title
A fight that has been bubbling away for quite some time and that has many fans and pundits sitting on the fence with regards to picking an eventual winner. George beat the previously undefeated Cameron Hammond in November last year to claim the highly-coveted Commonwealth Title and this fight with Brubaker will be his first defence. Both fighters are well aware of the stakes, as the Commonwealth strap opens up potential avenues to fight in the UK, a market where the sport is booming and purses are sky-rocketing, or could even see them in a position to challenge Australia’s current top-dog at Welterweight, the WBO Champion Jeff Horn.
However, regardless of the carrot being dangled in front of them beyond this fight, neither man can take a win on Sunday for granted. Both Brubaker and George made their pro debuts in 2012 and have only suffered one professional loss apiece, so statistically it is very hard to split them – Brubaker has completed 22 more rounds than his opponent (in one more fight) and both hold very similar KO percentages.
A very tough fight to call and fans can expect this one to go right down to the wire, this clash is most likely going to come down to a combination of tactics and determination. A loss isn’t the end of the line for either man, but a win is a huge step forward that could ultimately lead to career-high paydays and international exposure – plenty to fight for in this one.
Sakio Bika (33-7-3) v Gerard Ajetovic (31-16-1) | WBC International Silver Super-Middleweight Title
Sakio Bika should be no stranger to anyone that has watched the Super-Middleweight Division over the last 5-10 years, ‘The Scorpion’ has squared off with the very best of his generation including the likes of Andre Ward, Anthony Dirrell, Adonis Stevenson, Lucian Bute and Joe Calzaghe. Known for his relentless, come-forward style, Bika is unaware of how to be in a boring fight and now, in the latter years of his career, is hoping that securing the WBC Silver belt will propel him into a position to once again challenge for a World Title.
His opponent, Gerard aJetovic is a tough Serbian who, in his 16 losses to date has never been stopped and, coming in a few inches shorter than Bika, will be looking to fight on the inside, playing right into the hands of the Cameroon-born Australian. If Bika is able to inflict the Serb’s first ever KO defeat then it will send a strong message to the rest of the division and edge him ever-closer to that World Title fight he so desperately craves.
Darragh Foley (12-2-0) v Ryuji Hachimitsu Ikeda (12-3-2) | WBA Oceania Super Lightweight Title / Interim WBC Asian Title / WBO Oriental Super Lightweight Title
Foley is no stranger to anyone that has followed T2T Boxing and the charismatic Irishman is set for yet another tough test as he faces off with Japan’s Ryuji Ikeda for a multitude of Regional belts that will see the winner ranked among 3 of the major governing bodies (WBA, WBC and WBO). Anyone that has seen Foley fight will know he brings fire for as long as it lasts and is never involved in a dull affair. Foley produced one of the punches of the year so far when he knocked out Sonny Katiandagho with a thunderous left hand to win the fight, despite aggressive swelling around both eyes.
Foley is four from four since moving up to Super-Lightweight and is looking to continue his impressive form with a win this Sunday. Already ranked at number 13 with the WBA, victory would see the Bondi Boxing star’s stock rise even further and put him well on the road to chasing a World Title going into 2018. Currently sitting atop the Super-Lightweight pile in Australia, Foley will have to look abroad in order to rise further in the World rankings – although a familiar face in Michael Katsidis sits just behind him the domestic scene and would surely be a name ‘Super’ would want on his resume and an easy fight to sell to the fans.
Tim Tszyu (6-0-0) v Wade Ryan (15-6-0) | WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Super Welterweight Title
The son of Australian legend, Kosta, Tim Tszyu has done everything right in his career so far and has looked incrementally better every time he has stepped between the ropes. Tszyu’s first fight was a unanimous decision victory and since then he has finished all of his opponents inside the distance, not only that but he has taken his development on the road, picking up wins across the country and building his name and reputation as he goes.
Sunday will be Tszyu’s toughest test to date without doubt though as he faces off with the tough, Wade Ryan who himself has faced a number of Australia’s top talents and will looking to cause an upset at the Casino this weekend. However, if he is to do so, one would expect he has an uphill battle ahead of him, with only three knockout-wins in his fifteen victories, Ryan is not known as a puncher and may find himself facing an uphill battle if he is unable to get a foothold against the youthful and exuberant Tszyu early in the fight. However, there is no doubting the young southpaw from Gunnedah has the edge in terms of experience and he will be looking to use every ounce of that experience come Sunday.
Ben Savva (7-1-0) v Natthawut Arunsuk (11-7-1) | WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental Welterweight Title
Another regional Title fight on the show and another of Australia’s top emerging talents in Ben Savva. A latecomer to the professional game, Savva has wasted no time since turning pro in mid-2015. Despite a loss in his first fight against Richard Smith (3-0 at the time), Savva has gone on to impress in his subsequent seven fights and, should he look impressive this weekend, will be in line to potentially challenge the winner of the main event.
There’s no secret Savva has been linked with a potential Brubaker fight for some time and the Sydney-based Englishman is hungry to prove himself and collect more titles on the way with Sunday's fight with Arunsuk giving him the opportunity to do just that. Having sparred with the likes of Shane Mosely Jr and Jeff Horn, Savva is confident he can show the difference in levels this weekend when he faces an opponent who’s last appearance on Australian shores was a KO loss to BodyPunch Gym’s Ahmed Dib back in June 2016. If Savva is able to dispatch of him in similar fashion to secure the WBC Asia Continental Title, it will be difficult for the likes of Brubaker and George to avoid him, especially given the Brit’s strong fan-base.
If you are in Sydney and would like to come and enjoy one of the best Boxing cards seen in NSW for some time, tickets are available here