Jackson Asiku & Craig Christian: Tim Barry
By Paul Upham: Perth based Ugandan boxer Jackson Asiku won the vacant IBO featherweight boxing world title with a brutal 8th round knockout win over Mexican Heriberto Ruiz on Friday November 6 at Parramatta Leagues Club in Sydney, NSW, headlining an Angelo Hyder Fight Night.
“I deserve it. I have worked for it,” said Asiku, with the new IBO belt draped over his shoulder. Ten years. I have been all over the world. People say there are no opportunities until I came to (trainer) Craig Christian. He is the man. He is the man.”
32 year-old Ruiz 42-9-2 (24) from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, had fought some of the biggest names in the lighter weight classes, including Eric Morel, Irene Pacheco, Rafael Marquez and Mauricio Pastrana. While did plenty of good work early in the fight, Asiku wore him down and hurt him at the end of round 7.
Now trained by Craig Christian, 31 year-old Asiku 26-3 (14) showed no signs of stamina problems evident from earlier in his career. Coming off a stoppage win over former world champion Gairy St Clair earlier this year, Asiku put on one of his most impressive performances.
The end came in round 8. An unrelenting Asiku battered Ruiz, finally dropping him to the canvas in the corner with a right hand.
Ruiz beat the count and fought on, but Asiku corned him again and rocked him with a series of right hands, knocking down for a second time.
Again, Ruiz beat the count and gallantly fought on, but Asiku was all over him and battered him on the ropes, until dropping him for a third time with a vicious right uppercut which knocked Ruiz’ mouthguard out of the ring.
The fight was stopped at the 2:56 minute mark by referee Brad Griffiths.
“I prepared for it,” said Asiku. “I knew Ruiz was very tough. We worked on it for three months. Craig took me to America and I sparred with (WBA world champion) Chris John. He told me it would work out and I paid him back.”
Asiku then issued a public challenge to former IBO junior lightweight world champion Billy Dib, who is a resident of Sydney.
“Billy Dib, bring it on,” declared Asiku. “It’s here. I’m giving it to you. You want it, yes?”
The card was televised live around Australia on Fox Sports 3. Andy Raymond and IBO cruiserweight world champion Danny Green were the commentators.