Dunn becomes the first man to win the Commonwealth Super Middleweight Title in Melbourne since Rod Carr in 1989, and George becomes the first Australian to win the Commonwealth Welterweight title since 2001. In an exclusive interview with Dunn’s manager Barry Michael, Australian Boxing Central quizzed the former world champ on what it meant for the team to win the prestigious Commonwealth title, and what he thought of the performance as a whole.
Barry: “It’s great to get the Commonwealth title. In the old days you’d win the Commonwealth, then the world title. We’re very proud to win the title against a top quality opponent. The Poms are quality at that level. We’re pretty happy with his boxing, and his defense, especially. We’re just gonna keep pushing forward.”
When asked about Dunn’s upcoming scheduled fight date on March 3rd, 2017, and potential names for an opponent, Michael stated the following-
“We’re going to the WBC convention. Hopefully that throws up a challenger. We want a world title eliminator. It looks like the WBC World Title will be tied up for a while with Badou Jack vs James DeGale. We’d like to get the WBA champion, Tyron Zeuge. We also believe Gilberto Ramirez (WBO World Champion) is a little bit overrated. Paul Smith is one we’d jump at straight away.”
Dunn, as mentioned previously is scheduled to make his next appearance on March 3rd, 2017, where it is expected he will be joined on the card by Czar Amonsot, who recorded a victory of his own on the same card on Friday night. Amonsot knocked out the previously undefeated Thailand boxer Yutthapol Sudnongbua (23-0 heading in to the bout) in round seven- picking up the interim WBA Oceania Super Lightweight Title.
Also on the Melbourne card, Blake Caparello, a domestic rival to Zac Dunn, blasted Bolivian Ricky Torrez out in round one. In victory, Caparello told the crowd they’d just watched the best super middleweight in Australia- no doubt a jab at the headlining Zac Dunn. Asked about his quick and dominant victory over Torrez, Caparello stated the following-
“I was happy to get the quick victory. There was no statement to be made. If you put me in the ring with that level of fighter I can get rid of them early too.”
When asked about his post-fight comments, and whether there’s any domestic opponents he’d consider for his next fight, including Dunn or IBO Super Middleweight title holder Renold Quinlan, Caparello stated that
“The world stage is my priority. No disrespect to these guys but I've paid my dues at the Australian level and I've always fought whoever the best in Australia was from the start of my career. I'm on another level to them and my team’s phone is never ringing. I'm focused on the world stage. I've got a point to prove after my 2 losses overseas to world class opposition. My team have been working on a lot of things with myself and with another 6-12 months I'll be more than ready to conquer. I'm in no rush I'm only 30.”
In Toowoomba on Friday night, 27-year old Kris George overcame the underdog tag to outbox former Olympian Cameron Hammond, dropping him in round six, and winning a clear decision with scorecards that read 117-111, 119-109, and 116-111. George would realise his dream of lifting a Commonwealth title belt in front of his adoring hometown fans in the boxing community of Toowoomba, QLD. We caught up with Kris George after the big victory, and he had the following to say-
George: “It's pretty crazy mate it's been really slowly sinking in I still don't think it has fully yet but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome and it really verified a lot of things for me and proved that hard work pays off! The exciting part of this title is that it is so highly regarded in the U.K. And that it can open some big doors for me but right now I'm just soaking up the win and looking forward to relaxing with the family over Christmas.”
Asked about whether he’d be watching Jeff Horn vs Ali Funeka, and if he’d be interested in a bout against highly rated fellow Australian Welterweight Jeff Horn, George stated the following.
“Sure I'll be watching, I watch all Jeff' fights, I've followed him for a long time he's probably my favourite Aussie fighter - I have a lot of respect for him! The Horn fight has always interested me. In this game you have to fight the best to be the best, but obviously the fight has to make sense for both of us. It would be good to see Australia get behind a fight with me and Jeff, two quiet and humble fighters, instead of the usual loud confidence that seems to attract the publicity. I guess time will tell where things go!”
In the semi-main event of the evening Brent Rice and Matt Casboult met to contest the Australian Super Featherweight title, a belt won in previous years by Kye MacKenzie, Billel Dib and “Wild Will” Tomlinson, among others. Rice would prove slightly too good for Casboult on the night, winning by majority decision, and lifting the Australian title in front of his hometown crowd.
All articles featured on the Australian Boxing Central website are written by Tai Tuiniua, and all interviews are conducted by Mark Franklin, unless stated otherwise.