Dib hooks Yamaguchi: Tim Barry
By Paul Upham: Billy “The Kid” Dib won the interim WBO Asia Pacific featherweight title with a controversial 1st round knockout win over Japan’s Kenichi Yamaguchi on Thursday night at the Big Top Arena in Luna Park, Sydney. The match headlined the first of the new Superboxer cards promoted by Fidel Tukel and televised live around Australia on Network Ten’s 24 hour free-to-air sports channel ONE.
23 year-old Dib 23-1 (12) is a former IBO junior lightweight world champion who is looking to re-establish his career momentum after a disappointing loss to WBO featherweight world champion Steven Luevano last year.
29 year-old Yamaguchi 15-2-2 (4) from Osaka charged across the ring at Dib at the opening bell, missing with a wild right hand. The visiting boxer brought a flashy, non-stop style to the match and flayed wildly in the opening seconds.
Dib was bulldozed down and slipped to the canvas in an awkward exchange. The Australian then hit the canvas for real from a right hand over the top, but beat the count with poise.
“I don’t really know what happened to be honest with you,” Dib said later. “One second I was moving away and the next second I was hit with a knee in the face. I took my time trying to recover. These are the times that you go through adversity and you have to pull out of it. He caught me with a good shot and I had to dig down.”
Dib then moved cautiously on the outside as he cleared his head, trying to disrupt the rhythm of his opponent. Yamaguchi was warned for lifting Dib up in the air in a clinch.
In the final ten seconds of the round, Dib moved forward and knocked Yamaguchi to the canvas with a double left hand, right hand combination.
Yamaguchi was on one knee and in the split second that he attempted to regain his feet, Dib landed a follow-up left hook to the jaw. Yamaguchi was stunned and regained his feet on unsteady legs as referee Les Fear called the wobbly Japanese boxer towards him - the referee finally ruling that Yamaguchi was unable to continue at the 2:59 minute mark of round 1.
“The shot was in the moment,” said Dib, explaining the reflex punch. “Things like that happen.”
Yamaguchi immediately protested the loss by pushing the referee in the chest. The furious boxer then got in the face of Dib, who pushed him away, resulting in a few seconds of chaos in the ring as a number of bodies jostled each other.
Calm was quickly restored and Dib was announced as the official winner. Yamaguchi and his team had already left the ring in disgust.
While the referee may or may not have seen the illegal punch from Dib, Yamaguchi and his team will argue passionately that the reason he was on such unsteady legs during the final ten count was due to the extra left hook he received to the jaw.
The main support saw a spirited battle where the dominance swung both ways, 28 year-old Dominic Vea 11-1 (9) stopping 26 year-old Anthony McCracken 10-3 (3) by 7th round TKO at cruiserweight.
McCracken was knocked back onto the ropes midway through round 1 by a strong straight right hand. McCracken was hammered up against the ropes in round 2, as Vea attacked furiously.
McCracken worked hard to get back into the match in the middle rounds, but went down in round 7 from a Vea body shot. Beat count. The Wagga Wagga based boxer beat the count, but was soon down again from a right hand. Beating the count again, McCracken finally went down for a third time from a body shot and referee Garry Dean stop the contest at the 2:39 minute mark.
“He shocked me,” admitted Vea. “I didn’t know he was that tough. I hit him with some big shots and he just kept coming. Don’t worry mate, he’ll be back.”
“That’s why they call me the bull,” explained McCracken, “because I have a coconut for a head. That was my toughest fight by far. I just let him get in too many body shots.”
A six round cruiserweight rematch between Daniel Ammann 15-2-2 (3) and Jamie Withers 11-0-1 (3) ended as a technical draw after only one minute in round 1. Withers swung his right elbow in close cut Ammann badly on and above the right eyebrow. Referee Les Fear stopped the action and Dr Alex Lewis ruled that Amman was unable to continue.
The announcement of a technical draw brought loud boos from the crowd.
“I have to apologise to Jamie and the crowd, it was obviously unintentional,” said Withers.
“These things happen in boxing,” said Ammann. “I am sure he is a disappointed as I am.”
25 year-old Sydney light heavyweight prospect Michael Bolling 7-0 (6) won a unanimous six round points decision over 26 year-old Samoan champion Tagolisimi Letoa 10-2 (5).
It was a battle of the southpaws and Bolling started strong in round 1, but got caught in round 2 with two strong left hands which slowed the Australian down. There were few lulls in the action as both men traded willingly, pleasing the crowd.
Bolling regained his composure in round 3 and took control of the fight. A three punch combination rocked Letoa on the ropes in round 4 and Bolling followed up with some impressive bodywork. Letoa was under fire in round 5 and spat his mouthpiece out three times, costing him a point on the final occasion by referee Garry Dean.
Letoa was hurt again with left hands in the first minute of round 6 and Bolling came close to stopping him in the final seconds.
Judges scored the fight for Bolling 59-54, 58-55 and 59-54.
“He got me a few times and rocked me, but I came back and hit him with the goods,” said Bolling, after the win. “I have been pretty proud to be chosen to fight on the card.”
Date: Thursday July 9, 2009
Venue: Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney
Billy Dib w.ko.1 Kenichi Yamaguchi
WBO Asia Pacific featherweight title
Dominic Vea w.tko.7 Anthony McCracken, cruiserweight
Daniel Ammann td.1 Jamie Withers, cruiserweight
Michael Bolling w.ud.6 Tagolisimi Letoa, light heavyweight
59-54, 58-55, 59-54
Alex Ahtong w.ko.2 Anthony Brownlie, welterweight
Photo by Tim Barry - www.TimBarry.WetPaint.com