THE NEW MAN
Can Garth Wood back up his Mundine knockout
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS W What it takes to survive the cage
JAMES WHITE The voice of the fight game
YOUNG BOXING BLOOD Tomorrow’s stars prepare for Olympics
EXCLUSIVE WRAP-UP OF 2010 B Boxing
STRENGTH TRAINING TIPS FOR FIGHTERS
CORNERMAN AMATEUR BOXING RANKING INSIDE!
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Contents 4 - 13
George Kambosos gets an overhand right on Jack Michael in our top amateur fight of the year.
17 14 - 20
Daniel Geale and Roman Karmazin’s IBF World Title eliminator was one of the best fights of the year.
22 - 25
Fight announcer James White explains how he got into the business and why he loves it.
26 - 31
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
32 - 34
27 One of our favourite MMA fighters Hector Lombard had five wins from five fights in 2010.
Purchase any DVD from any fight that Cornerman has been at in 2010.
From the corner Well guys what a year! We were at fights pretty much every weekend last year and there were more events across MMA, pro and am boxing and kickboxing than we’ve seen in a very very long time. And it looks like it’s going to be even more hectic this year. We put this magazine together to wrap up all the Cornerman highlights of 2010 but also to give you a bit of a preview of what’s in store for 2011. We will continue to cover every amateur boxing event we can - via the website and videos - and we will update our list of NSW State Title and PCYC/Industrie Title holders (page 10 and 13) as challenges occur. There is plenty happening in amateur boxing as the state shapes up for Olympic selection trials. We expect to have quite a few blue singlets on the London team for 2012. Pro boxing just gets better and better. Everyone was hoping for it but no one was really expecting a knockout of Mundine in his fight against Wood. Can Wood do it again? Read our story on page 14 for our view. www.cornerman.com.au
Boxing may have been our bread and butter but we also hope to be at more MMA and kickboxing events this year as these ring sports are truly going from strength to strength. UFC might be bringing the crowds and the publicity but there are plenty of other championships and tournaments for the MMA fan. We spoke to Bernardo Trekko Magalhaes on page 28 for tips on how to survive the cage and fight announcer James White also shared his views on the sport on page 25. For each type of fighting sport we’ve put together a list of the top ten fights or the top ten fighters. But this is just our opinion - and we know we’re not always right - so if you think we’ve forgotten something please let us know! This, our inaugural issue, also includes some conditioning tips for every type of exercise fan, whether you’re training to fight, or just want to get fit. See page 30 for details. And if you want a copy of a particular fight on DVD don’t miss our DVD catalogue on pages 32 to 34. To start with Cornerman Magazine will be bi-annually but as we get larger we hope to come to you more frequently. You can check us daily at www.cornerman.com.au and don’t forget we’re always in your corner. Happy fighting! Team Cornerman For everyone that lives and breathes ring sports.
TOP 10 AMATEUR FIGHTS OF 2010 Last year was a massive year for amateur boxing. In addition to the state titles and Commonwealth selection trials, amateur fight nights were held almost every weekend. This is Cornerman’s pick of the top 10 fights of 2010.
George Kambosos -v- Jack Michael Umina PCYC December 4 At just 17 George Kambosos has had over 20 fights and already represented Australia at the World Youth Titles. Jack Michael is an Australian Champion and has trained at the Australian Institute of Sport. But both fighters had suffered losses in 2010. Kambosos was knocked out at the State of Origin battle (see fight six) and Michael lost his bid to be selected as part of the Commonwealth team on Valentine’s Day when he was beaten by Luke Boyd. Jack and George’s match-up was sure to be a battle to watch. Jack went into the first round fast and seemed to have the upper hand until half way through when Kambosos regained his composure and started picking off his opponent. The two boxers ramped up the pace in the second round. George’s punches may have been landing more frequently but Jack was still scoring with a big left hook shaking George. Although Jack changed his tactics, going in for the body shots in the second half of the fight, when he was on the ropes George pummeled him hard. A number of warnings for punching below the belt resulted in a point deduction to George’s corner. But by the third round, after Jack had received his second eight count, the fight was all but over, even with the point deduction. As the final bell rang Jack was struck to the ground by a big overhand right.
Jack Michael lands an uppercut flush on George Kambosos.
George retaliates with an overhand right on Jack to finish the bout.
unloaded on the ropes, however a hard left uppercut resulted in an eight count for him too in the second round and a quick inspection from the doctor for his bleeding nose. Although initially given the ok, the doctor stopped the fight a few seconds later after the referee’s second count on Khalad, for what appeared to be a broken nose, to make Val Borg the winner.
3 2 Khalad Ajaj -v- Val Borg Assyrian Domination April 30 These two fighters weren’t as experienced as Jack and George but showed some true grit and flare from their first round. Val, fighting out of St Mary’s gym, slipped Khalad’s punches well from the outset and managed to score points on the counter attack. But Khalad’s harder punches resulted in an eight count on Val in the first round after a big right hook sent him stumbling back. By then, a lot of damage had already been done to Khalad’s nose and the fight had already been stopped once to mop up the blood. Val was coming in and out nicely but was still getting marked. Khalad scored well when he got in close and
Tammy Taylor -v- Kaye Scott NSW Elite Commonwealth Trials February 14 Kaye Scott’s first fight in 2009 was one of the first female fights in decades after the NSW law was changed to allow women to fight. Tammy Taylor has been fighting since 2008, and represented Australia last year, traveling interstate to find matches. They faced each other for the second time on Valentine’s Day after a previous bout saw Kaye surprise everyone with a win. In their second fight Tammy managed to score points with a long jab but Kaye’s technique had come a long way in the few months she had been fighting. At the end of the second round Tammy appeared to be down a few points but realising this, the Penrith-based fighter boosted her volume into the final round in an effort to throw more point-scoring punches. The fight went to Tammy, but only just, after a 10-10 draw resulted in a count-back of 23-20.
Glover -v4: Laurence Mark Merchant NSW State Titles September 11 Bunder -v- Zac Dunn 5: Luke Commonwealth Trials February 14 Kambosos -v6: George Jack Nicols Blues versus Reds July 6 Port -v- D’Arcy George 7: David Souths Juniors May 4 Kuhn -v- Mick Axisa 8: Brodie Souths Juniors Title defense October 5 Lewis -v9: Daniel Kye McKenzie Souths Juniors Title defense October 5 Hindmarsh -v10: Ian Jordan Bunder NSW State Titles September 11 Watch all these fights on www.cornerman.com.au.
A BIG CHANGE FOR THE BETTER A revamped Boxing NSW will be able to offer more kids more training camps, international trips and equipment. Boxing NSW underwent a colossal year of change which started with a new board being sworn-in in March after Boxing Australia disaffiliated the previous one in late 2009. The disaffiliation was a result of years of infighting between Boxing NSW and the breakaway group the NSW Amateur Boxing League, which centered on complaints concerning former NSW chief administrator Arthur Tunstall. After a concerted effort to recruit new voting members to Boxing Australia, Boxing NSW members managed to form a board that gave them majority control. Steve Donkin was appointed as the new president in March, Mick Abra as vice president, Rick Anderson as secretary, Sam Madigan as treasurer, Paul Toweel as matchmaker and Polly Akauola as registrar. Only two members of the previous board are on the current board. Part of the new board’s mission was to transform the current state of amateur boxing in NSW, which many thought had fallen into disrepair. Another item on the agenda was the contentious issue of cross code fighting which was only finally resolved towards the end of the year when it was disallowed. In March the revamped organisation reported that it already had 780 registered boxers and it was also trying to introduce a computerised scoring system. By the end of the year close to 1000 boxers were registered with the organisation, along
with over 400 coaches. Trainer accreditation courses were held more frequently under the new reign and during the year 200 new trainers were accredited at six training days. Fourteen new officials, mainly referees, were also inducted. In an effort to produce a combined front the organisation has also been in ongoing talks with NSW Boxing League. “We tried very very hard. We just had rejection after rejection,” says Rick Anderson. The League, which is strong in some regional areas of the state, and reportedly has over 1000 members, continues to operate as a separate identity. However it doesn’t offer the same pathway to international competition. Boxers can only be selected to participate in AIBA pathway events - such as the Commonwealth and Olympic Games World Youth Titles if they are members of a Boxing Australia affiliated group. Having come into just $5000 in the kitty when the new board took over, NSW set about raising some serious funds, through events and promotions, in order to offer better opportunities to young NSW boxers. Almost 100 boxers got to wear the representative NSW state shirt this year and funds were set aside to send young boxers to overseas tournaments. NSW boxer Tammy Taylor received money to attend the Women’s World Titles in Barbados in September and towards the end of last year Sean Arnott was able to travel to New Caledonia to compete. Since March the group has raised over $130,000 of which $75,000 has
already been allocated to boxers for trips, equipment and training programs. “I thought with amateur boxing I could improve it but I can’t believe how big and successful it can be if you hold yourself together and do it for the kids,” says Rick. This year the association is looking at building a greater presence in regional areas like the South Coast towards Narooma and Bega. “We’re really keen to do more with the old Southern districts. They haven’t had a far dinkum tournament for two years,” says Rick. Boxing NSW has plenty on the cards for the year ahead. On a business trip to the US late last year Rick and president Steve Donkin were scoping out potential US Olympic trainers to bring to Australia to host coaching camps. “We’re looking at more options for kids to represent. We’re going to fund a lot more things. There will be greater city to country competition. We’re looking to NZ and maybe looking to Fiji - to try and hold some camps for kids,” says Rick. A revamped Boxing NSW may also mean a revamped uniform for judges and referees. The board is currently looking for a sponsor for a new line of colored clothing. “We believe it is time that we revolutionize the sport and move away from the bland dreary look of the white clothing,” the On the Ropes newsletter stated in September. But don’t panic - these may not be the last pictures of the judges in white. Boxing NSW has promised to keep their whites on hand for the ‘petrified of change purists.’
NSW amateur boxing judges in their whites. www.cornerman.com.au
BELIEVE IN THE OLYMPIC DREAM
Contact us if you want to register as an amateur boxer, promoter or coach. Secretary : Rick Anderson Phone: (02) 4578 4686 Mobile: 0415 652 969 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.nswaba.org.au
SPORT RELIES ON YOUNG BLOOD There is a new crop of young boxers emerging from local PCYCs around the state who just might be our next Olympic medalists, Penny Pryor finds. The Olympics are less than two years away and with selection trials for the Australian teams starting this year, all eyes are on the younger amateur talent coming through the ranks. The failure of our boys to get past the quarter finals at the Commonwealth Games last September, combined with the withdrawal of the Australian Institute of Sports in-house boxing program, means that the next lot of amateur boxing stars may need to be nurtured by the grass-roots organisations like the PCYCs which already do a fantastic job of developing youth programs. Some of these boys, and increasingly more girls, may be too young for the next Olympics but if they keep on their current trajectory they will definitely be at Rio in 2016. Kostya Tszyu’s eldest son Timophey Tszyu has attracted much attention but at just 16 (set to turn 17 late next year) the young boxer believes he may not make London. “I think it’s going to be too early for him,” his father, Kostya Tszyu said recently. Timophey is undefeated from 20 fights and has two Golden Glove championships. He fights much like his father, with impeccable footwork and a strong jab, but he is yet to develop the power that made his father unstoppable. He won the 64kg NSW State Title for his age group on points against Thomas Dean. His younger brother Nikita (12) also took up the sport last year and will have his first fight in Queensland this year, as it is still illegal for under 14s to fight in NSW. Timophey and Nikita are trained by Kostya’s brother-in-law Igor Goloubev out of Tszyu Academy in Rockdale. Training with them is George
THE REF’S CORNER Amateur boxing referee Steve Donkin’s day job is a pork salesman but since March he has been president of NSW Boxing. He took some time out to answer a few questions about his history as an official and refereeing amateur contests. long have you been an Q: How amateur referee for? A: 17 years.
Satali Tevi-Fuimaono at Golden Gloves in August.
Kambosos. He is a little older at 17 and has already competed in the World Youth Championships in Armenia in 2009. A winner at Golden Gloves and holder of a number of state titles in both the 54kg and 60kg divisions, his trainer rates him highly as well. In late 2010 he defeated Jack Michael in one of Cornerman’s fights of the year. Training out of Umina PCYC under former Australian Institute of Sport coach Joel Keegan is Satali Tevi-Fuimaono. At 13 he is more a prospect for Rio than London but has already developed a very focussed approach to his training. Satali, like any other under-14 boxer based in NSW, needs to travel interstate each time he wants to fight. He recently beat the Australian champion Alex Cooper in the under-15, 60kg division and he is also the current Golden Gloves champion. But for both those fights Satali and his family travelled to Caboolture Queensland and the ACT by mini-bus. “Financially it makes it extremely hard. The amount of time and planning that goes into securing fights that far off… and then a fight can fall through,” Keegan says.
Q: Have you refereed at an Olympics? in 2004 at the Athen’s A: Yes Olympics. Q: How many fights have you refereed in your career?
A: I don’t bother counting them. I
know I’ve done thousands and thousands.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career?
fight between super A: The heavyweights Italian Roberto Cammarelle and Nigerian Gbenga Oloukun at the 2004 Olympics. (Cammerelle went on to win bronze)
Q: What was your best fight of 2010? A: I think they’re all good to be
honest. There’s been a new guard of young guys coming through and a lot of the old guard are going professional or leaving the sport.
Q: What do amateur boxers need to know about point scoring?
A: A scoring punch has got to be
landed with the knuckle side of the fist on the target, which is the front or the side of the head, with the shoulder behind it. Same for body shots.
Q: What can boxers be fouled for? glove, low blow, holding, A: Open pushing, tripping, kneeing/kicking Timophey Tszyu (in blue) at the NSW State Titles in September. www.cornerman.com.au
or not stepping backwards when the referee says break.
NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL More corporate types shed their suits and entered the ring in 2010. Penny Pryor explores their motivation.
Last year was a big year for white collar boxing. Popular in the UK for almost a decade, it really made it’s mark in NSW in 2010. Cornerman was present at over half a dozen of these events in the state and expects a similar amount in 2011. Under the various guises of White Collar Boxing, Corporate Contender or Businessman’s Boxing fighters take on 12 weeks of intensive training to prepare themselves for the ring. Gloves are usually 16 ounces, bouts are for three rounds of two minutes and headgear is mandatory. As these events become more mainstream the venues they are held at become more upmarket. Corporate Contender started the year off at the outdoor Cabana Bar in St Leonards with 11 fights including three exhibitions. A few of the boxers had fought before but most of the corporate types were shedding their suits and trying it out in the ring for the first time. Stung by the fighting bug, many continued to fight through the year, while
others retired back to their office desks. Mid year saw White Collar Boxing hold a black-tie event at the Roundhouse at the University of NSW. In front of a well-dressed crowd of 400,
an investment adviser, accountant, police officer and copywriter took to the ring, along with 14 others, to battle it out over three rounds. The fighters said they took up white (continued next page)
Main event at Businessman’s Boxing at The Ivy.
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Two office workers exchange their white collars for boxing colours and enter the ring.
collar boxing for “the challenge” and to improve their fitness. It gave many the opportunity to display their competitive streak, usually limited to boardroom negotiations, in a physical environment. Some were surprised by how difficult it was to score points faced with oncoming punches but others showed the genesis of skills that could make them competitive boxers. A couple had been followed through their training by a news and current affairs program. In one of the better fights of the night, police officer Matt O’Brien was aggressive in the first round of his bout against investment adviser Neal Dooly but Neal came back in the second and third rounds to win the fight. Later in the evening quality assurance manager Marc Coughlan entered the ring with huge support from the crowd. He was just beaten by Matt Siddons, a partner at a digital developer. In a sure sign that the trend is taking off, www.cornerman.com.au
one of the most successful nights of the year was Businessman’s Boxing held at popular Sydney haunt The Ivy in the CBD in November. On a fight card of eight fights the supporters loudly declared their preferences for their favourite boxers. The most popular fight of the night was between Steve Jolly and Paul Willian. Steve had the crowd screaming his name as he entered the ring. Floating on the adrenaline he went hard in the first round but tired in the second and third letting a more composed Paul take the fight on a split decision. Also entering the ring for the first time on the night were Jenna Olovcic and Rochelle Berick in the 60kg women’s division. Both girls fathers were boxers and Jenna showed superior defensive slips and ducks, combined with a tight guard. She gradually wore her opponent down to take the fight on a points decision.
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NSW STATE TITLE HOLDERS
60kg Elite Novice
Sam Ruttyn 81kg Novice 4-7 fights
Sean Arnott 69kg Elite 15+
Andrew Cook 75kg Female 4-7 fights
Shelley Watts 75kg Elite 0-3 fights
Alex McClintoff 69kg Youth Open
69kg Elite Novice
Laurence Glover 70kg Junior 4-7 fights
Joseph Hartman 91kg Elite 0-3 fights
Peter Tomata 60kg Elite Open
Mick AxisaÂ 69kg Youth
Tom Rowe 91kg Elite 4-7 fights
Tyson Pedro 91kg Novice 0-3 fights
81kg Novice 0-3 fights
Todd Slaughter 64kg Elite 0-3 fights
Ian Bennett 91kg
Josh Francis 91kg Elite Open
SECOND PLACE HOLDERS:
60kg Elite Novice - Jerry Zapantis, 69kg Elite Novice - Nicola Katsellos, 69kg - Max Evans, 81kg Novice 0-3 fights - Tom Devjak, 81kg Novice, 3-7 fights - James Crichton, 60kg Female - Penny Pryor, 70kg Junior 3-7 fights - Mathew Ray, 69kg Youth - Michael Micaelf, 64kg Elite 0-3 fights, 69kg Elite 15+ - Zeb King, 75kg Elite 0-3 fights - Tom Reilly, 91kg Elite 0-3 fights, 91kg Elite 3-7 fights - Blake Brunton, 91kg - Guy Sinclair, 75kg Female 3-7 fights - Arlene Blencowe, 69kg Youth Open - Daniel Lewis, 60kg Elite Open - Ben Ryan, 91kg Novice o-3 fights - Matt Redman, 91kg Elite Open - Jamie Rae 10
TITLES SHOWCASE HIGH STANDARD OF BOXING
The introduction of belts for NSW State Title holders in 2010 attracted over 100 fighters to Brighton Fishos in early September. Over three days 77 bouts were fought in one of the biggest championship events in years. Timophey Tszyu may have been the popular drawcard at the titles, with his fight against Dean Thomas on Saturday night, but there were plenty of other good quality bouts. The first fight of the final session on the Sunday between Sam Ruttyn and Jerry Zapantis - for the 60 kg Elite Novice category - was a perfect example of the high standard of boxers present. Sam Ruttyn looked the tidier, more accomplished fighter from the beginning, with a flurry of punches having his opponent on the ropes into the first round. A big overhand right caught Jerry off guard as the judge stopped the fight for an eight count. Sam feinted with his jab, setting up his opponent and attacking when he found an opening. Three more eight counts in the last round saw the fight eventually stopped in favour of Sam but not without some valiant boxing from Jerry. In the 69kg division final Mick Axisa drew out his opponent Max Evans with his tight defence. Max threw plenty of punches but not too many penetrated as
Mick’s right and left hooks, thrown from his guard, appeared to come out of nowhere. Max scored with some nice body shots and kept the pace up to come back in the final round but Mick’s earlier scoring rounds gave him the overall fight. In the women’s 75kg division, Arlene Blencowe stepped up a division to fight Kaye Scott for the third time but still couldn’t get past the taller Kaye’s defence. George Kambosos has developed well as a fighter and his state final against Ben Ryan was a nice fight to watch. Ben was the 2009 state title holder and a bronze medal winner at the Arafura Games. George has represented Australia at the World Youth Titles. Ben appeared the more aggressive fighter from the first round, with harder scoring punches. But George’s quick footwork managed to keep him out of trouble until he’d worked out his opponent. By the second round George was in the lead but it was a tight contest with a split decision to George Kambosos. Arthur Tunstall made a guest appearance to present the belt.
Arlene Blencowe (l) and Kaye Scott (r)
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INDUSTRIE/PCYC TITLE SHOWDOWN The mid-year titles at Rockdale last year were one of the best weekends of amateur boxing in 2010. Penny Pryor reports on the highlights of the Sunday fights. Half way through last year the Industrie/PCYC boxing titles in July offered a fitting prelude to the NSW State championships that were held in September. Up-and-coming fighters Willis Meehan and Jai Opetaia from Umina PCYC had excellent fights, as did Australian champion Jack Michael and Timophey Tszyu.
The finals day at Rockdale PCYC on Sunday July 18 started with a very good battle between Adam Al Zahari and Willy Moala in the 60kg division. Adam was the stronger fighter and the aggressor from the start but Willy put in a good show too. Lighter on his feet and quick at ducking punches and moving in on the counter attack, Adam’s hits had a bigger impact on Willy. The power paid off
Chad Hoskins and Dean Parker-Boaz in their final.
for Adam, who won the fight. Jack Michael was next up, facing Paul Angyal. Jack adopted a different approach to this fight than some of his others, focussing on blocking, slipping and combinations rather than stepping in and out. His harder punches found their target more often, to give him an obvious victory after the fight was stopped when he opened up a cut on Paul’s head in the third round. Timophey Tszyu also fought on the day. His opponent was Nathan Webber in the 64kg division. Tim is renowned for his strong jab and good evasive techniques. That jab sent Nathan’s head back a few times in the first and second rounds but Nathan also rocked Tim with a solid left hook in the second round. Tszyu reciprocated with a big left hook on Nathan in the third round and rushed in to follow up with a body shot, but was stopped by the referee. Tim then won on a unanimous points decision. Willis Meehan’s fight with Luke Pettit in the 75kg division was another highlight of the day. Luke may have been the stronger puncher but Willis’s superior ring skills, and ability to turn and manipulate his opponent, enabled him to score more points, even on the back foot. In the third round Willis looked like he was tiring but managed to dig deep to finish the round with some point scoring flurries to win the fight. In the heavier 81kg division Luke Storey beat Michael Mazany. The fight was only Luke’s first but he displayed some very advanced skills and technique.
WOMEN’S WORLD TITLES NSW boxer Tammy Taylor made it onto the Australian team for the women’s world amateur boxing titles and learnt a lot from the experience. Australia sent a a team of eight women boxers, three coaches and a team manager to the women’s world amateur boxing championships in September in Barbados. In total there were 306 female entries for the competition from 72 countries. NSW boxer Tammy Taylor represented the 75kg division for Australia and says the standard of competition was extremely high. “It was the best from every single country in every division,” she said. There were 27 boxers in Tammy’s division in which she drew a former World’s finalist and Bulgarian champion
who had also recently beaten the world champion Anna Laurell. She had a record of over 100 fights compared to Tammy’s 13. After a difficult first few rounds the Australian managed to bring the score up to 7-9 in the third, much to the surprise of her opponent and many in the crowd. The Bulgarian came back in the fourth to win the fight 12-8. “Being able to represent Australia at that level was an absolute honour and the best experience of my life. I cant wait to do it again. I learned so much, you can’t even pay for an experience like that,” Tammy says. “Also it was an honour to meet and train with Katie Taylor (three times world champion and face of woman’s boxing). Living and breathing boxing for two weeks straight was a dream.”
The finalists and semi-finalists of each division were asked to trial new competition skirts and dresses which the AIBA wants them to wear in bouts to distinguish them from men. Many of the women are concerned they will be made compulsory in the future which will deny them the choice of choosing what to wear during fights.
Tammy (in red) powers up for a shot. 12
INDUSTRIE TITLE HOLDERS 60kg
Adam Al Zahari 64kg
Chad Hoskins 75kg
Jack Michael 69kg
Jay Anderson 75kg
Timophey Tszyu 69kg
Zeb King 81kg
Serge Halis 69kg
Daniel Lewis 91kg
Paul Duckworth 75kg
Willis Meehan 91kg
SECOND PLACE HOLDERS: 60kg - Willy Moala, 60kg - Paul Angyal, 64kg - Nathan Webber, 64kg - Chris Britton, 64kg - Andrew Phelps, 64kg - Dean Parker-Boaz, 69kg - Timothy Luc, 69kg - Trent Allen, 69kg - Curtis Cooper, 75kg - Luke Pettit, 75kg - Dâ€™Arcy George, 75kg - Steve Ma, 81kg - Michael Mazany, 91kg - Shane Turner, 91kg - Graham Mowbray
THE RISE OF GARTH WOOD Nobody expected a knockout victory by Garth Wood over Anthony Mundine in December last year, except the victor’s camp. Elyas Khaliqi explains how the former football player did it - and how he just might do it again. Garth Wood has suffered his share of lows, but the last eighteen months have seen the Petersham fighter rise to prominence, taking out ‘The Contender Australia’ series and then shocking the Australian public with his knockout victory over Anthony Mundine. Wood previously played rugby league for South Sydney and Balmain in the NRL before making a successful transition to boxing in 2007. Sporting ability is obviously in the Wood genes, as brother Nathan plays rugby league and father Barry is also a former rugby league player. Before ‘The Contender Australia’ began, very few people chose Wood to take out the 14 man tournament. Most people thought that one of the more credentialed fighters like Nadar Hamdan, Victor Oganov, Junior Talipeau or Kariz Kariuki would win. Going into the 14
tournament, Wood had fought four times for three wins and a knockout loss in his second fight. Wood had a confidence about him during ‘The Contender Australia’ and his determination and self belief served him well. Wood suffered a cut over his left eye during sparring for his first fight with Israel Kani, who he defeated by second round knockout. He then beat Victor Oganov. One of the pre tournament favorites, Kariz Kariuki, now stood between Wood and a big money shot at Anthony ‘The Man’ Mundine. Wood defeated the crafty Kenyan born Kariuki by a seven round split decision. The cut suffered during sparring opened during the fight, but Wood again showed his strong will and ability to stick to a game plan and denied Kariuki any momentum throughout the fight. Wood used his swarming style to great effect and landed numerous overhand rights. With the win over Kariuki, Garth Wood became the winner of ‘The Contender Australia’ and the recipient of a guaranteed fight with Mundine. Injuries to both Mundine and Wood and Mundine’s foray into the junior middleweight division meant that Wood had to bide his time before he got a
chance to step in the ring with Mundine. Wood stayed busy fighting a technical draw with William Hadlow and knockout victories over Ryan Coppick and Elvin Marburn. The Mundine versus Wood fight was finally set for 12th December at the Acer Arena. Mundine announced that he was going to grant Wood his shot and then head to the US to win the junior middleweight world title. Wood was given little chance of pulling off an upset, with many believing that Mundine would be too experienced and skillful. The Mundine camp had initially wanted Wood to come in at the junior middleweight limit, which Wood refused. With a cash incentive, Wood agreed to meet Mundine at the middleweight limit. Mundine continued his usual rhetoric during the press conferences leading into the fight, while Wood continually reminded ‘The Man’ of his knockout loss to German Sven Ottke and promised he would do the same. Mundine controlled the early part of the fight but Wood made it harder and harder for Mundine to fight his usual fight. Wood continued to apply pressure and going into the fifth round, neither fighter had any real ascendency. The excitement and the elation shown by Wood after the knockout blow was a reflection of how far he has come in such a short space of time. Wood’s corner was ecstatic after they realised that Mundine had actually fallen for the count. Jeff Fenech later claimed that he earned a nice sum of money after betting on a Wood’s knockout victory. Mundine was gracious in defeat and didn’t discredit Wood, admitting that he’d been caught with a good shot. Wood has stated that he wants to work towards a world title in 2011 but a rematch with Mundine makes the most sense financially. Mundine has asked for the rematch, citing lack of motivation as a reason for the shock loss and has vowed that the result would be entirely different if they fought again. Wood, meanwhile doesn’t see why he couldn’t repeat the upset win. Judging by the comments from most people, the Australian public would definitely have more interest in a return bout, in the hope that Wood can shut Mundine up once and for all. There haven’t been many greater upsets in Australian boxing than Wood defeating Mundine. Wood would once again start as the underdog in a rematch but can we count Garth Wood out again? Hasn’t he shown with victories over Oganov, Kariuki and now Mundine that he has the determination and the style to put fighters out of their game plan? Bet against him at your peril. The time is now for Wood to make a real run in his career. What Wood does from here is up to him and his management but should Wood do the unthinkable, and defeat ‘The Man’ again, he will set himself up for some big fights down the track and he will forever remain in Australian boxing folklore. www.cornerman.com.au
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TOP TEN FIGHTS OF 2010
Garth Wood’s knockout of Anthony Mundine wasn’t the only quality fight in 2010. There were plenty of match-ups that had viewers and spectators jumping out of their seats. Here are Cornerman’s picks for the best ten of 2010.
Daniel Geale vs Roman Karmazin, Sydney Olympic Park October 31 Grange Global Promotions did an excellent job getting Roman Karmazin to travel to Australia to fight for the IBF World Title eliminator. The internationally televised event allowed Geale to showcase his constantly improving skills to a worldwide audience. Geale didn’t disappoint with a very impressive twelfth round stoppage. Geale looked sharp from the outset and Karmazin used his vast experience to land his own shots and remain competitive for the first seven rounds. Geale lifted the tempo of the fight from there on, landing more often with excellent combination and counter punching and avoiding Karmazin’s shots with good movement and great footwork. The crafty Russian looked worse round by round as Geale’s shots started taking their effect. Geale continued to land telling blows on Karmazin in round eleven and after more punishment in round twelve, culminating in a series of big punches flush on Karmazin’s chin, referee Pat Russel stepped in to save Karmazin from further puninshment. Geale dominated a very worthy opponent. Despite Karmazin being 37 years old going into the fight, he had fought Geale’s next likely opponent IBF Middleweight champion Sebastian Sylvester - to a draw in his previous bout. Geale looked great in front of his home crowd in such an important fight, and showed with this performance
that he has the tools to capture the IBF middleweight in 2011. This fight goes into the top ten because of a very impressive performance by one of our best fighters, in a very meaningful fight, against a great opponent, in a great promotion!
head back with combinations and Giltrow also hit Chernous with some solid shots. Chernous bloodied Giltrow’s nose and the champ showed great heart to hear out the final bell. It was a solid win for Chernous over a game opponent. After the fight Chernous’ trainer Ivan Rukavina promised that he would take his charge all the way to a world title. Chernous will look to stay busy next year as he works his way up the world rankings.
2 3 Victor Chernous vs James J Giltrow, Hurstville NSW August 13
Victor ‘The Hurricane’ Chernous captured the Australian welterweight championship after defeating former champ James J Giltrow(11-2) in August at the Hurstville Civic Centre. The judges awarded Chernous a unanimous decision win. In what was an all action affair, Chernous was the deserved winner with the more telling blows and effective counterpunching. The fight was fought at a very fast pace with little interference from the referee. Both fighters started out cautiously with Giltrow being the aggressor and Chernous fighting off the back foot. The champion stole a few early rounds with a higher work rate but as the bout progressed Chernous’ crisper, cleaner punches started to land with greater frequency. Giltrow managed to keep backing Chernous up and land his fair share of blows. Chernous showed good technique, great hand speed and good footwork throughout the fight and almost had Giltrow out on his feet in rounds nine and ten. On both occasions though, Giltrow came back and traded shots with Chernous. To the delight of the crowd, both fighters exchanged on numerous occasions. Chernous repeatedly knocked Giltrow’s
Nadar Hamdan vs Junior Talipeau, Wollongong NSW January 11 The much-talked about rematch between Nadar Hamdan and Junior Talipeau lived up to all the hype with Hamdan storming out of the ring after the judges announced Talipeau as the winner. No love was lost as the pair battled it out in a fast-paced bout. But it was a close decision with two judges scoring it for Talipeau at 78-74 and 77-76 and one for Namden 77-76.
Bolling vs 4: Michael Victor Oganov Lilyfield NSW April 8 Darchinyan vs 5: Vic Eric Barcelona Parramatta NSW May 20 Mundine vs 6: Anthony Garth Wood Sydney Acer Arena December 8 Leapai vs Owen Beck 7: Alex Southport Queensland August 12 Leapai vs Travis Walker 8: Alex Brisbane Entertainment Centre June 30 Green vs BJ Flores 9: Danny Challenge Stadium WA November 17
Talipeau vs 10: Junior Shannon Taylor Sydney Olympic Park October 31 Watch more professional fights at www.cornerman.com.au. If you disagree with our top ten let us know. Daniel Geale gets the deciding punch on Roman Karmazin. www.cornerman.com.au
THE PRO REF’S CORNER Les Fear is a former boxer and leading referee. He took some time out to talk to Elyas Khaliqi.
Q:Les, you were a pro boxer yourself, can you tell us a little about your career? A: I turned pro in 1990 and I had eight fights altogether. I fought guys like Paul
Nasari and Kevin Kelly. I fought for three state titles, but my pro career didn’t go as I wanted it to and I gave it away after some personal problems.
Q:Did you have any amateur fights? had 94 amateur fights under my belt. I held a state title and two A: Inational titles. I represented Australia at the Kings Cup in Bangkok and won a bronze medal, and I won a silver medal at the Presidents Cup in Jakarta.
Q:How did you get into judging and refereeing fights? A: After I retired, I stayed out of the fight scene for about eight years and I saw referee Greg Griffiths refereeing on TV one night and I said to myself, geez I wouldn’t mind having a go at that! So I went from there.
you think Australian boxing is in a healthy state at Q:Do the moment?
I don’t think it is actually. The disappointing A: No thing is there aren’t many amateur fighters coming through the ranks at the moment. There are not too many people turning pro.
Q:What do you like to do away from the fight scene? A: I play the guitar. I play baseball on the weekends and just hang out with the boys really.
is your advice for any aspiring referees out Q:What there? A: If you want to referee go to a gym and referee the
An unedited transcript of this interview is available at cornerman.com.au
FEMALE PROFESSIONAL BOXING MAKES THE GRADE After years on the fringes the sport is finally starting to get the respect it deserves, Penny Pryor writes. Women’s professional boxing received a big boost last year as more bouts were televised and lightweight Erin McGowan beat Britain’s Lyndsey Scragg for the WBO women’s lightweight belt. It was the first time women had been allowed to fight for the title belt and it was the first female fight sanctioned by the WBO in Australia. The 10-round fight saw Erin dominate from the beginning. Her opponent had a record of 10 wins and three losses to McGowan’s 14 wins (7KO). Lyndsey had only seen a few videos of Erin on YouTube and had come to Australia fairly confident she would be taking the title belt home. Erin’s WBO fight unfortunately did not get a Main Event billing but bantamweight Susie ‘Q’ Ramadan had her fight against New Zealander Michelle Preston included on the Mundine vs Wood undercard. It was the third time Susie had fought Michelle and both fighters had improved since their last meeting in March 2009. Susie’s exceptional technical skills, tidy defence and unflinching approach saw her dominate the entire fight. 18
She eventually wore her opponent down to take out a unanimous points decision win. Susie’s evasive slips and weaves, combined with very effective counterpunching, was a pleasure to watch. Commentator of the bout and former world champion Barry Michael also displayed a renewed respect for the sport of women’s boxing after watching the fight. Susie’s record is now 19-0 and her next goal is expected to be the vacant IBF World Title. The sport has also seen it’s fair share of controversy this year. Inexperienced water skier and model Lauryn Eagle received Main Event billing for her second fight and a controversial majority draw decision for her third which many said should have gone to her opponent Eileen Forest. Her debut has given the sport plenty of publicity but perhaps not
the publicity it needs. Boxing promoter Mike Altamura, who promoted Erin’s WBO fight in Perth says the sport, just like male boxing, really needs good-quality fights to be televised. “It’s disappointing if a lot of people see that as a reflection of where the sport is today,” Altamura says of Eagle’s televised bouts.
My name is Paul Grima and I am the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory representative for the World Kickboxing Association. I have been involved with martial arts, kickboxing and muay thai for 37 years, as a former amateur and professional champion, trainer of amateur and professional champions, former professional and current amateur ring official, amateur and professional promoter of the sport and representative of an internationally established sanctioning body as well as supplying the combat industry a competition boxing ring hire service. In New South Wales the two longest serving bonafide worldwide sanctioning bodies that are in competition with each other are the World Kickboxing Association (W.K.A.) and the International Sports Kickboxing Association (I.S.K.A.). Our history shows that safety and fair competition have always been a main concern for both our organizations. Because of a personal agreement the W.K.A. and I.S.K.A. have incorporated many of the guideline differences between the two organizations to ensure the safety of all amateur fighters. We have a shared medical policy that protects amateur fighters from possible injuries and ensures fighters must have completed a compulsory annual medical, which includes serology testing for HIV and all forms of hepatitis. May I also add that this is probably the only place in the world within our industry where this type of arrangement exists between two competitive organizations to benefit all aspects of the sport! I will continue to contribute to Cornerman magazine to keep everyone interested in what is happening in the state of New South Wales with the kickboxing and muay thai industry with promotion dates and results, as well as seminar and accreditation courses that may be happening in the future. DATE 11/02 19/02 05/03 12/03 12/03 25/03 16/04 08/05 TBC/05 21/05 02/07 06/08 12/08 03/09 01/10 16/10 29/10 05/11 26/11 02/12
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SANCTION ISKA ISKA WKA WKA ISKA WKA WKA WKA WKA ISKA ISKA WKA WKA ISKA ISKA WKA WKA ISKA WKA WKA
BRAIN SPRAY OF THE DAY..
THE BEST FIGHTERS OF 2010 Cornerman has come up with its own list of the top 10 kickboxers for 2010. Our selection is based not only on performance but also on courage and determination.
1:Michael Badato Michael gets our vote for top fighter for his epic battles with Jason Scerri. Both fights were action packed and ‘edge of the seat’ viewing. The rematch didn’t last longer than one round with a destructive head kick to Jason Scerri. We hope to see more of the same in the near future. Michael is one ‘bad ass’.
tournament in June, and earned himself the WKN Muay Thai World Title in the process.
5: Jason Scerri 6: John Wayne Parr 7: Steve McKinnon
2:Bruce ‘The Preacher’ Macfie
A very explosive heavyweight. We believe he mixes cement powder with his weetbix. A very ‘hard’ man.
Any guy that beats John Wayne Parr deserves recognition. The Preacher managed to secure a split decision in what was an all out war at Evolution 21.
8: Eric Nosa 9: Micky ‘Tomohawk’ Thompson
Keep an eye out for this guy. Watching him in the ring is like watching a swan on water. Real class. We at Cornerman expect good things from Luis in the new year.
4:Nathan ‘Carnage’ Corbett The best elbows in the business. Nathan hasn’t had a very busy year but when he fought he really upheld his nickname of ‘Carnage’. Following a very disappointing no contest ruling at the Champion of Champions tournament held in Jamaica (mid 2009) he went along to destroy his opponents at the A1 Last Man Standing 22
Tomohawk deserves to be in the top 10 for his sheer courage for stepping up and fighting Yud Ruwai who has had over 200 fights. The fight was a close one and was ruled a split decision victory to Ruwai.
Bruce ‘The Preacher’ Macfie
10: Steve Moxon
If you feel differently about the top ten kickboxers of 2010, or would like to offer your own list, visit our forum at www.cornerman.com.au.
Michael Badato (l) and Jason Scerri (r) www.cornerman.com.au
SCORING TIPS Cornerman spoke to kickboxer and amateur judge Andrew ‘Fairy Floss’ Webb for the lowdown on how fights are judged. Scoring in any kind of martial arts - be that boxing, kickboxing, muay thai or MMA - is an art in itself. Many inexperienced fighters enter the ring with a limited understanding of what will score them points and win them fights. Andrew Webb is 22 and has been kickboxing for seven years and judging for four years. He tries to get to as many WKA fights as a judge as he can. “It’s good fun. You get paid to watch fights but it’s also about supporting the sport,” he says. SCORING ROUNDS The WKA scores kickboxing fights on a ten point system. That means the winner of each round is given a score of ten points. Usually rounds are scored
10-9 to the winner but if someone gets a standing eight count a 10-8 count can also happen. Like professional boxing, someone can come back from a standing eight count if they do the same to their opponent. Fights can be stopped if a kickboxer is outclassed or for technical knockouts. SCORING PUNCHES Knees and elbows score higher than kicks and punches. Good combinations will score well along with superior grappling techniques. Knees score better the higher they are. Depending on someone’s technique, ribs or noses can be broken with knees to the upper body or head. “I was scoring a fight recently and one girl was kneeing to the stomach. The other girl was kneeing in the thigh and leg area but she was better in the hold,” Andrew says.
FALLING Fighters are not supposed to score if they both go down together. If the aggressor remains standing, and the fall was not a result of tripping, he or she will score. FOULS Point deductions for fouls are rare. In his four years as a judge Andrew has only seen it once. JUDGE TRAINING A one-day training course is followed by some practice judging. Judges are then required to shadow judge other judges at fights where their scores are compared to the official scores. If they pass those tests then they are accredited by the WKA. Three judges score each fight.
Call us on (02) 9715 2083 and get started NOW or email us at email@example.com for more information 20/118 Queens Rd Five Dock, NSW www.joesboxing.com.au
THE MASTER MAKES IT DOWNUNDER Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez has been practicing martial arts for five decades and is responsible for bringing the sport of full contact karate to the US in the 1970s. He has an unbeaten record from almost 200 fights across disciplines and has acted in fight movies with Jackie Chan. He has developed his own form of martial arts - Ukidokan Karate which is a combination of nine different styles. Ukidokan focusses on internal training and is a “way of life” that incorporates Ukidokan karate, Ukidokan kickboxing and Ukidokan boxing. BoxingWorks trainer Nadine Champion is Australia’s only practicing Ukidokan teacher. She is a level five kickboxing teacher and a level one karate teacher. In December last year she organised a seminar with Benny ‘The Jet’ for interested students of martial arts.
Benny ‘The Jet’ goes through the motions with students.
Explaining the secrets of martial arts.
Demonstrating a kickboxing move. 24
FOR THE LOVE OF IT Fight announcer James White looks much younger than his 50 years but has been in the game for almost 20. He tells Cornerman how he got into the business and why he prides himself on not discriminating between the events he works at. James has had a few amateur fights himself, but his entry into the announcing game came via a very roundabout way. He says he was watching a kickboxing fight in 1991 between Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis and he was not very impressed with the guy who was doing the announcing. “He didn’t look up from his piece of paper once and I just thought I could do that,” he says. He must have been thinking out loud as promoter Steve Jez was sitting nearby and offered him a job at his next show for $250. James hasn’t looked back since. During the day he is an aircraft services officer with Qantas but come the weekend and he is sure to be found at a fight somewhere. He does at least 50 fights a year across all codes - pro and am boxing, kickboxing and MMA. “I just wanted to grab a microphone and talk,” he says. But there is one moment when James didn’t have a thing to say - at Impact FC Sydney, which was being televised around the world. “I went blank. That’s a rarity. I’ve always got something to say. I’m glad I’m 50 and I can handle it. If I was younger I don’t know if I would have been able to,” he says. Involved with promoting mixed martial arts from the beginning, he is concerned that it is getting a bad wrap.
“A lot of the trainers - the legitimate gitimate ones - the ones that have training ing schools and brought these kids up, they ey look after them,” he says. But MMA may have an advantage antage over boxing if it follows the popular pular UFC and focusses on even matches s rather than unfair or uneven bouts - which is the scourge of professional boxing. g. “They’re always told that winning nning is everything, second is loser. They shouldn’t promote it like that. Everyone’s a winner. Most of these guys should hould be given a rousing applause. It takes courage to be able to jump in that ring,” he says. “A lot of people, they just see ee the brutality and that’s it. But it’s alll abou about ut llilife. ife fe. e. It’s more than throwing punches. life.” es. It’s life e.” .” James has even officiated at wedding weddings ngs gs of boxers. Having followed some me fighters r rs throughout their career, and announced nnounced d many of their fights, he becomes mes a ffriend riend to them. If you really get to know someone when meone w hen hen they’re up against the wall then watching n watch hing someone box will definitely reveal veal theirr true colours, and offer plenty of wedd wedding dd ddin din ing material. But it’s the camaraderie of the sport he spor ortt or that he really loves. That after rounds of of punching, kicking or grappling, ghters g, fighte ers rs can still go up to each other att the end off do a fight and hug.
WORLD MUAYTHAI COUNCIL NSW PROMOTIONS 2011 PROMOTER Reinhardt Tim Fisher Tony Favuzzi Steve Guianane Jason Lapin Anthony Tony Favuzzi Reinhardt Source: WMC
GYM Fullforce Bulldog Parramatta Taipan Bulldog Balmain Jabout High Impact Taipan Fullforce
DATE 12/02/2011 05/03/2011 19/03/2011 09/04/2011 23/04/2011 30/04/2011 21/05/2011 04/06/2011
PROMOTER Tim Fisher Jason Lapin Maydad Tony Favuzzi Steve Guianane Reinhardt Jason Lapin Tim Fisher
GYM Bulldog Parramatta Jabout Bondi Muaythai Taipan Bulldog Balmain Fullforce Jabout Bulldog Parramatta
DATE 25/06/2011 09-16/07/2011 30/07/2011 20/08/2011 10/09/2011 08/10/2011 22/10/2011 12/11/2011
TOP TEN MMA FIGHTERS
Mixed martial arts became even more popular in 2010. Here are Cornerman’s top ten fighters for the year and the ones you should watch out for in 2011.
1: George Sotiropoulos (14-2): 3-0
The UFC fighter made huge strides toward a title shot by keeping his undefeated UFC record intact. The Serra trained lightweight finished his 2010 schedule with a win over the tough Kurt Pelligrino and continues to show the world the talent Australia can produce.
2: Hector Lombard (27-2): 5-0 The Cuban born Judoka had another impressive year in which he fought once in Australia and then furthered his international career with four wins in the United States. The CFC and Bellator Middleweight champion continues to dispatch challenger after challenger and he doesn’t look like slowing anytime soon.
3:Kyle Noke (18-4): 2-0 The former Crocodile Hunter bodyguard enjoyed a successful year after being chosen as a contestant on the popular Ultimate Fighter reality show. Although he didn’t win the show he proved his skill and determination with convincing wins inside the octagon.
4:Robert Whittaker (5-0): 3-0. The young CFC standout had a break through year in 2010. His undefeated streak continued with two submission victories and one by knockout. The lightweight from Menai, NSW has a very bright future ahead.
5:Peter Graham (4-5): 4-2 The former K-1 legend had a big turn around in the past 12 months. He started his MMA career with a 0-3 record but stormed back with some impressive victories, non more so than his December win against Aleksander Emelianenko via TKO - leg kicks (see page 31 for a profile).
‘The Tooth Fairy’ Bradney 7:Jai (10-5-1): 4-3
Australia continues to produce top lightweights and ‘The Tooth Fairy’ definitely falls into this category. A very busy year saw him fight seven times without one of those fights going to the judges. His penchant for trying to finish the fight makes him one of the most exciting fighters to watch and definitely someone to look out for. ‘The Hunter’ Pang 8:Adrian (17-7-2): 2-1-1 The Queenslander finished the year off strong after starting with a draw and a loss. A first round TKO and a solid decision win showed why the submission ace has been one of the top lightweights for the past few years. Brian ‘Bad Boy’ Ebersole 9:(42-15): 1-0 Although he only fought once this year at the Impact FC event he managed to defeat former UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton and extend his winning streak to five. With a record like his you can expect him to be very active in 2011.
10: Rob Hill (7-4-1): 0-1 The 25-year-old Sydney-sider suffered another setback with a decision loss in his lone fight in 2010. After a tremendous start to his career he has reached a plateau. Hopefully he can bounce back in the near future. If you don’t agree with our top ten and would like to offer your own list, let us know at www.cornerman.com.au.
6: James Te Huna (12-4): 1-0 It was a fantastic start to the year for the Penrith based New Zealander. He won his UFC debut against the highly touted Igor Pokrajac but broke his arm in the process. This kept him out for the rest of the year but 2011 will see him in the Octagon once more and give him a chance to solidify his position as one of Australia’s MMA standouts. 27
S L L I K S L A V I V R U S
Bernardo â€˜Trekkoâ€™ Magalhaes is a BJJ and MMA fighter. He came to Australia three and a half years ago to concentrate on competing. He explains to Cornerman what it takes to survive the cage. Mixed martial arts, or cage fighting, received a big boost last year when the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first Australian show in February. More shows are scheduled for 2011 and a reality show could be on the cards.
It also received it’s fair share of criticism when it hit our shores, with many labeling it “the world’s most violent sport”. But is it really that horrific. The UFC reports less fatalities than professional boxing. And the sport is popular among Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors due to their grappling skills, which give them an advantage on the ground. BJJ is all about being able to dominate an opponent, regardless of size, with superior holds and grips.
HOW TO TRAIN Bernardo has been training BJJ for 15 years and this year will be his sixth year as a black belt. He has been training MMA for three and a half years. “I never had a fight in brazil. I never had time to train properly over there to fight,” he says. “When I came to Australia that was pretty much my main reason to come here - just to forget a little bit about money for a bit and just focus on training.” He trains each of the components of the sport - wrestling, kickboxing, boxing and groundwork (grappling) - equally across 12 sessions a week. He has even had an amateur boxing fight as part of his training, which he won. He got into the sport via friends who were involved in Brazil. Many of their first
fights were underground, but it was all good experience.
HOW TO PREPARE Like any good athlete, Bernardo studies his opponents for their strengths and weaknesses prior to a bout and builds his fight plan around that. When he was starting out he was not so careful and would take any fight he could. But now he is more discerning and is able to research opponents better on the internet.
HOW TO SURVIVE - AND WIN Bernardo’s record is 11-1-0 - one knockdown, two submissions and eight point decisions. His only loss was a second round stoppage back in February 2009 to Rob Hill, whom he has since beaten. “It’s good if you can win by knockdown or submission. I really believe that BJJ was created for the little guy so he can beat the bigger guy. So the first idea is surviving - so you don’t get hit, so you don’t end up the fight with injuries, but that’s not always possible.” He always enters the cage with the goal of stopping the fight but if that doesn’t eventuate, he focuses on remaining the aggressor throughout to enable a judges decision in his favour. Because of his advanced BJJ skills,
Bernardo often finds himself fighting opponents with less experience on the ground. “I’m pushing to take them down and stay on the ground and spend more time there but I don’t care if I have to stand up and just punch it up - you see what’s better,” he says.
HOW TO FIGHT CRITICISM Bernardo has a few words for people who are quick to jump to conclusions about the sport. “They should research more, look at more fights, understand what the fighter is doing, understand the position and what’s going on,” he says. Once the viewer has a better understanding of what MMA entails, and realises there is much more to it than just whacking someone in the head, they should be able to enjoy it more. An open mind is key. The sport is growing in Australia but there is still plenty of opportunism at the grass-roots level with a lot of prospective contestants not realising the extent of training required. Reputable professional promoters, UFC aside, are also rare. Many see the chance to make money quickly and put novice fighters in the ring. “That’s not good for the sport, not good for the fighters, they should encourage them first,” Bernardo says.
under the right conditions Matt Spooner has been training athletes and fighters for 20 years and gave Cornerman some tips on what you need to be focussing on - whether you’re planning to fight, want to get fit, or just get better at your chosen sport. Training for fitness, fun or a fight is never as simple as joining a gym or a club. Even if you want to concentrate on building muscle for body building, training any muscle in isolation is not a good idea as it has been proven to cause injuries. All good fighters of any discipline will tell you not to go near the pinloaded machines that are lined up in some commercial gyms, and for real conditioning to seek the advice of a qualified trainer. Matt says you can never be too strong, you can never be too powerful, and you can never be too fast, regardless of what sport you chose. He has trained many fighters and sporting teams including the Kangaroos, NRL West Tigers and Sydney Roosters rugby teams and the Australian and NSW Waratah rugby union teams.
from gymnastics and power lifting. “We use a lot of gymnastics type movements and when an athlete gets
strong and stable through their core that’s when they want to start doing dynamic movements through their core,” Matt says.
EXAMPLES OF POWER TRAINING EXERCISES • • • •
Olympic Ring Dip A Olympic Ring Dip B
Olympic lifting - clean and jerk (see picture) and snatch Plyometrics Russian kettle bells swings, snatch etc Dynamic core exercises Windscreen wiper (see picture)
STRENGTH VERSUS POWER Strength and power are two key components of any conditioning program but how much time you devote to either will depend on your level and your strengths and weaknesses. Strength training is moving a weight relatively slowly - as in the bench press or a deadlift. Power training is moving a lighter weight but as fast as possible. “Both [strength and power] have a benefit and as far as injuries go you want an athlete to get relatively strong before they start to move things quickly. If you’re moving things quickly there’s a lot higher chance of getting injured,” Matt says. Studies have shown that once an athlete is up to speed, power training will increase their strength faster than strength training alone. And fighters must not make the mistake of doing more strength training than they need to when it is power training they should be focusing on.
EXAMPLES OF BASIC STRENGTH TRAINING EXERCISES • • • •
Squat Deadlift Overhead press Chin-up/pull up
CORE STRENGTH TRAINING • • • •
Plank (static holds for time) L-sit (see picture) V-sit Olympic ring dip (see picture)
The priority of core conditioning is stabilisation, especially for injury prevention. Most of the above movements come 30
TIPS FOR FIGHTERS Athletes need to balance out their body with pushing and pulling movements. “Too many athletes do too much pushing movements and not enough pulling movements They end up with imbalances in their knees, back and lower shoulders,” Matt says. Fighters who are punching a lot need to work on preventing rotator cuff injuries with postural exercises like the YWTL circuit. This involves lying on your stomach on a bench or a swiss ball while lifting your upper body in the shapes of a Y, W, T and L. Search Youtube for a demonstration. Also plyometric training is very important for fighters as it teaches them how to land. It will improve their explosive strength but will also help prevent ankle and knee injury.
Matt Spooner can be contacted at www.elitestrengthconditioning.com.au www.cornerman.com.au
TOE TO TOE WITH THE CHIEF Peter ‘The Chief’ Graham’s win over Aleksander Emelianenko in Russia last year put the MMA fighter seriously back in the ranks of fighters to watch. Earlier in 2010 Hakan Saglam had the pleasure of interviewing his hero. Since we spoke to him he’s had six MMA fights (4-2) and an ISKA title fight against Doug Viney which he won. Cornerman plans on catching up with Peter when he returns to Australia later this year so monitor www.cornerman.com.au for updates.
CM. Is there anyone in particular who you would like to fight? THE CHIEF. You know I’d like to see some of the younger guys have a crack at me. When I was first starting to come out my fourth pro fight was up against Stan ‘The Man’ Longinidis. What better way to make a name for yourself than to knock the old guy off the top. CM. What about Paul Slowenski. Why do you guys hate each other so much? THE CHIEF. Yeah you’re right there’s no love lost between me and Paul. You know what I really just don’t like his attitude. We’re all in the same sport together. You need to show a bit of respect to each other. He talks it up like he’s number one. I mean he’s beaten me once but that was after one of the toughest fights I’ve ever had. It was after the famous Badri Hari fight. CM. That was an awesome fight. THE CHIEF. Yeah that was a great fight and he (Paul) beat me after that. Now I’ve been chasing him for a rematch. CM. Is there any likelihood of that? THE CHIEF. Yeah absolutely. I’ve spoken with his promoters and everything, unfortunately when he fought Thor recently, he injured his shoulder and knee so bad that he needs an operation on them both and you know it takes time to heal so who knows if it’s going to happen. CM: How do you maintain such a positive attitude? THE CHIEF. Mate it’s not hard to stay positive when you love what you do. I’ve always loved being around fighters, young fighters, you know even old fighters still having a crack at it. BoxingWorks is an awesome environment to be in as well. Larry Papadopoulos is like an MMA legend in Australia. So I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for. For a full version of this interview go to www.cornerman.com.au. Result Opponent Win Aleksander Emelianenko Win Yusuke Kawaguchi Win Carter Williams Loss Jim York Loss Dion Staring Win Felise Leniu Loss Rolles Gracie Loss Moise Rimbon Loss Kazuyuki Fujita Source: Sherdog
Event and method Draka - Governor's Cup 2010 - TKO XMMA - Xtreme MMA 3 - TKO XMMA 2 - ANZ vs. USA - TKO Impact FC 2 - Submission Fury 1 - Clash of the Titans -Submission RPA - Return Of The Chief - TKO AOW 14 - Ground Zero - Submission Sengoku - Fourth Battle - Submission Sengoku - First Battle - Submission
Rnd 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1
Cornerman titles - 2010 Date
December 18 Dec 2010
Saturday Fight Night - Bronte RSL
11 Dec 2010
Newcastle PCYC Tournament
11 Dec 2010
White Collar Boxing inc. - Randwick UNSW
4 Dec 2010
Umina PCYC Tournament - Battle of the Codes
3 Dec 2010
Ryan Waters Fights - Cronulla
27 Nov 2010
24 Nov 2010
20 Nov 2010
Kempsey PCYC Tournament
19 Nov 2010
JNI Hidden Agenda - Hurstville
12 Nov 2010
Hornsby PCYC Tournament
9 Nov 2010
South Sydney Juniors
October 30 Oct 2010
Muswellbrook PCYC Tournament
12 Oct 2010
South Sydney Juniors
2 Oct 2010
Victory Fight Night - Penrith
10 12 Sept 2010
NSW State Titles (all fights)
10 12 Sept 2010
NSW State Titles (1 session)
10 12 Sept 2010
NSW State Titles (2 sessions)
3 Sept 2010
White Collar Boxing – Homebush
3 Sept 2010
Shell Harbour PCYC Showdown
27 Aug 2010
The Return of The One – Cronulla
22 Aug 2010
Bash at the Bay – Bateau Bay
21 Aug 2010
Saturday Fights - Randwick
13 Aug 2010
Friday Night Fights PCYC – North Sydney
13 Aug 2010
JNI It Takes Two – Hurstville
10 Aug 2010
South Sydney Juniors
31 Jul 2010
White Collar Boxing Inc – Randwick UNSW
24 Jul 2010
000 Challenge – Newcastle
17-18 Jul 2010
Industrie Boxing Titles (all fights)
17-18 Jul 2010
Industrie Boxing Titles (1 day)
13 Jul 2010
South Sydney Juniors
9 Jul 2010
Boxing at its Best – Revesby
8 Jul 2010
Battle of Waterloo – South Sydney Juniors
June 25 Jun 2010
Cop vs Cop – Cronulla
19 Jun 2010
JNI Time Will Tell - Hurstville
8 Jun 2010
State of Origin – South Sydney Juniors
6 Jun 2010
Cabravale Diggers PCYC
4 Jun 2010
Ryan Waters Fight Night – Cronulla
21 May 2010
Friday Night Fights – Josh King Promos
15 May 2010
14 May 2010
Amateur/Pro fight night - Randwick Labor Club
11 May 2010
South Sydney Juniors
7 May 2010
April 30 Apr 2010
Belmore PCYC – Croation Club
30 Apr 2010
JNI Survival Instinct - Hurstville
30 Apr 2010
Assyrian Domination – Fairfield Heights
13 Apr 2010
South Sydney Juniors
27 – 28 Mar 2010
PCYC State Titles – Rockdale (all fights)
27 – 28 Mar 2010
PCYC State Titles – Rockdale (all fights)
13 Mar 2010
White Collar Boxing inc. - Inglis Stables
12 Mar 2010
Big Night of Boxing – Paul Nasari (Revesby)
9 Mar 2010
South Sydney Juniors
6 Mar 2010
Ryan Waters Fight Night – Cronulla
6 Mar 2010
Shoalhaven Showdown – Nowra
5 Mar 2010
Narrabean Amateur Boxing
27 Feb 2010
26 Feb 2010
Barotillo Bombers Boxing - Croatian Club
26 Feb 2010
JNI Give and Take – Hurstville
20 Feb 2010
Capital Punishment - Canberra
11-13 Feb 2010
Commonwealth Trials – NSW (all fights)
11-13 Feb 2010
Commonwealth Trials – NSW (2 days)
11-13 Feb 2010
Commonwealth Trials – NSW (1 day)
9 Feb 2010
South Sydney Juniors
6-7 Feb 2010
World Youth Trials (all fights)
6-7 Feb 2010
World Youth Trials (1 day)
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22 May 2010
21 Aug 2010
30 Oct 2010
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Cornerman titles - 2009 Date
02 May 2009
John Thompson Memorial
03 Oct 2009
16 May 2009
Farewell to a Champion
09 Oct 2009
Hornsby PCYC Tournament
17 May 2009
Fite Rite Charity Boxing Afternoon
11 Oct 2009
Tomorrows Champions pro boxing
29 May 2009
Shooto Contender 1
14 Oct 2009
Sydney University amateur fights
2009 State Titles (1 Day)
16-17-18 Oct 2009
State Titles (2 Days)
16-17-18 Oct 2009
State Titles (3 Days â€“ 5 DVDs)
30 Oct 2009
Josh King fight night
June 19 Jun 2009
Fite Rite Sutherland pro boxing
July 11-12 Jul 2009
PCYC Boxing Titles (1 Day)
11-12 Jul 2009
PCYC Boxing Titles (2 Days)
17 Jul 2009
06 Nov 2009
Ryan Waters Fights
24 Jul 2009
20 Nov 2009
27 Nov 2009
Fight Club 2. Cronulla
27 Nov 2009
August 15 Aug 2009
Batemans Bay boxing
September 05 Sep 2009
12 Dec 2009
Molong Fistic Fury
18 Dec 2009
Ryan Waters fights
12 Sep 2009
State of Origin amateur boxing
19 Sep p 2009
JNI â€“ Dif fference of Opinion pinion Difference
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Editor: Penny Pryor Contributing journalists: Sean Buchanan Elyas Khaliqi Penny Pryor Hakan Saglam
Sub-editor: Allb Etsareoff
Editorial director: Tomas Vysokai
Creative director: Nic Middenway
Contributing photographers: Marcel Jendruch Milos Lekovic Hakan Saglam
Printing: Sydney Allen Printers Pty Ltd
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Cover photo: Brazilian Jui Jitsu and MMA fighter Tiago Ferreira. Shot by Milos Lekovic.
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