Waters battles Tagi on the inside
By Paul Upham in Cronulla: Boxer/promoter Ryan Waters continued his winning run in defending his WBO Oriental junior middleweight boxing title with a 4th round TKO victory over Fijian Opeti Tagi on Friday night November 6 at the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club in Sydney, NSW.
Headlining his own promotional card, Waters 18-2-1 (11) was hit by straight punches early in round 1, before he found his distance and put some pressure on. Tagi hit the canvas from a clash of heads, but was then hurt by a right hand before the bell.
27 year-old Tagi 13-5 (6) started fast in round 2, throwing a series of flurries. Waters simply walked through them and hurt the taller Tagi with harder shots. Tagi was knocked down in the final seconds of the round, but was able to beat the count.
31 year-old Waters was clipped by a right hook in the opening seconds of round 3, which put him on the back foot momentarily. Tagi hit the canvas for the second time from a right hook to the body. Beating the count, the visitor struggled to the bell as Waters tried to finish him off.
Punching more fluently than in recent fights, WBO No.9 rated Waters dropped Tagi again early in round 4. With Tagi in no condition to continue, the fight was stopped by the referee upon the doctor’s instructions at the 47 second mark.
“Tagi was a good opponent with a good record,” said Waters. “I knew that he was coming here to win. I worked hard in the gym and I think it is starting to pay off now. I was better than my last performance and I was happy with the way I boxed tonight.”
In conjunction with his wife Cherie, Waters continues to put on some of the more entertaining local boxing promotions in Sydney and while he plans to continue to fight in Cronulla, he has begun to receive offers from abroad.
“We have had some offers from overseas to fight,” said Waters. “They are starting to come in. So early next year, there is the chance at perhaps an interim world title. I will just stay fit over Christmas and look for a big year in 2010.”
Tagi uses his jab
In the main support bout, local crowd favourite Michael Bolling 9-0 (8) defeated late Pakistan born replacement Kashif Mumtaz by 5th round TKO. Mumtaz was gradually worn down as the rounds went on, but showed plenty of heart in trying to take the fight back to southpaw Bolling, whenever he was hurt.
In round 3, Mumtaz was knocked down twice, the first from a straight left hand to the chin, the second from a fast combination with his back on the ropes.
25 year-old Bolling now looks forward towards a shot at the Australian middleweight title against the undefeated Serge Yannick 4-0 (3) on December 18 at the Cronulla Leagues Club.
Also on the card, the David Birchell trained prospect Kurt Bahram 8-0 (3) won a unanimous six round points decision over a very tough Aaron Ross. Judges scored the fight for 25 year-old Bahram 58-56, 58-56 and 59-51.
WBO Oriental junior middleweight champion Ryan Waters
Date: Friday November 6, 2009
Location: Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club, NSW, Australia
Ryan Waters w.tko.4 Opeti Tagi
WBO Oriental junior middleweight title
Michael Bolling w.tko.5 Kashif Mumtaz - super middleweight
Kurt Bahram w.ud.6 Aaron Ross - super middleweight
Brett William Smith w.ud.4 Jerry Spanidis - junior welterweight
Photos by Paul Upham / SecondsOut.com