John "Hoppa" Hopoate
By Paul Upham: Four time Australian heavyweight champion “Big” Bob Mirovic promised SecondsOut this week that he will knock John Hopoate out cold or make him quit during their SuperBoxer rematch on Thursday night July 23 at the AIS Arena in Canberra. Hopoate says he has heard it all before.
“That’s what he said for our first fight as well,” Hopoate stated on Wednesday. “Bob is doing a lot of talking like he does. He always tries to big note himself. But no one knows who he is. I am just going to do my talking in the ring.”
34 year-old “Hoppa” Hopoate 11-3 (11) defeated Mirovic by 9th round TKO to win the Australian heavyweight title on September 10 last year at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. It was a thrilling battle, made even more remarkable when it was later revealed that Mirovic had snapped a bone in his right arm during round 6.
“It is going to be a tough fight,” said Hopoate. “He’s still seething from the last time we fought. He thinks I cheated and broke his arm on purpose. I don’t know where that all comes from. Whatever he is dirty about, all of the talk is done. He has bagged me. But I stopped him in our last fight and I think he is dirty about that.”
Hopoate is fighting for the first time since his disappointing 2nd round knockout loss to Oliver McCall in Las Vegas on May 22.
“It was part of the learning process,” explained Hopoate. “Things didn’t go the way we had planned over there. It is a learning curve. If I had fought my second round like I fought my first round, I could be holding that belt, but it wasn’t meant to be. Oliver fought awesome, but I’m ready to go again.”
The former rugby league star will be defending his Australian heavyweight title against 43 year-old Mirovic 29-20-2 (20), who is attempting to become a five-time national champion
“Training has been good,” said Hopoate. “I have been enjoying it and doing a lot of skill work for this fight. I want to show that my skills have improved a hell of a lot since the last time we fought.”
The Hopoate-Mirovic rematch is promoted by Fidel Tukal’s Empire Boxing and televised live around Australia on ONE HD. The Channel 10 television event will commence at 9:00pm AEST and will be hosted by Greg Rust and renowned boxing trainer Johnny Lewis, along with commentators Matthew Brooks, Paul Kent and Daryl Beattie.
Date: Thursday July 23, 2009
Location: AIS Arena, Bruce, Canberra, ACT
John Hopoate vs. Bob Mirovic, 10rds
Australian heavyweight title
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