Danny Geale And Lenny Zappavigna Have Big Nights, Show They’re The Real Deals

Aussie contenders Danny Geale and Lenny Zappavigna both made huge statements of the knockout variety in Sydney last night. The large crowd at the Sydney Sports Centre wasn’t put off by the mid-afternoon timetable (for international broadcast reasons) and was full of Australian boxing royalty.

Geale won almost every round of his middleweight bout with Russian former world titlist Roman Karmazin before forcing referee Pat Russell put a halt to things in the 12th. Geale (24-1-0) earned a mandatory shot at Sebastian Sylvester’s belt and proved that his close loss to Anthony Mundine wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

In the proceeding bout, lightweight contender Zappavigna raised eyebrows by giving Korean knockout artist Ji Hoon Kim a dose of his own medicine in the first round of their clash. Look out for the Gary Shaw promoted Zappavigna to become a staple on U.S. TV in the near future.

(Geale, in his disputed loss to Anthony Mundine. Photo via boxrec)

Danny Geale TKO 12 Roman Karmazin

“Gealey” (as he’s known round here) proved that he’s a world class middleweight by completely dominating Roman “Made in Hell” Karmazin (40-4-2). While Karmazin got points in my book for his imaginative nickname, he hardly managed to win a round. After a tentative 1st round, Geale took charge in the 2nd; controlling Karmazin with has jab, activity and elegant footwork, while occasionally bombing the Russian with a variety of right hands.

From the start, the handspeed difference between the two men was apparent. Every time they exchanged, Geale got the better of it by simply throwing more punches. Throughout the fight, Karmazin (who’s usually the unorthodox one in his fights) had tremendous difficulty dealing with Geale’s lateral movement and tricky boxing.

Geale, who’s not usually that powerful, kept landing hard right hands. By the 6th, they had opened up a cut over Karmazin’s left eye.

By the 12th, Karmazin was battered and seemed completely unable to find Geale with much of anything. Geale, meanwhile, seemed unable to miss with the right. With 30 seconds to go, Geale put his man in the corner and raked him with punches until referee Pat Russell was forced to jump in. Afterwards, the gracious Geale thanked Karmazin and said he’d be happy to go to Germany to take on Sylvester. He also had words for local rival Anthony Mundine, who’ll almost certainly want no part in a Geale rematch now that he knows how good he is.

How good is he? I certainly fancy him to take out Sylvester. After that, I reckon his mix of skills and activity would give any top middleweight in the world a run for their money.

Lenny Zappavigna KO1 Ji Hoon Kim

Lenny Zappavigna is going to be back on U.S. TV soon. He’s too good, and too exciting not to be. The lightweight, who’s been on ShoBox once before, completely destroyed Ji Hoon Kim (21-7-0) in one round.

Zappavigna knocked Kim down twice and was pummelling the limp Korean on the ropes when referee Wayne Kelly stopped the fight with 1:41 left in the round.

Kim went the distance with Miguel Vazquez. Zappavigna now has a shot at Vazquez’ belt. In that match up, you’d have to favour the Australian.

Zappavigna is extremely powerful but a little bit chinny (he’s been down more than once against pretty average opposition). That’s a combination I like. I don’t know how he’d fair against other Ring-rated lightweights, but I’d like to see him try – he would make good fights with any of them.

On the rest of the undercard, Aussie prospects/contenders Junior Talipeau, Rob Medley and Jamie Pittman all won unanimous decisions. Waterskier/Boxer/Hottie Lauryn Eagle also got a wide unanimous to start the night out, but needs much more polish before jumping onto the world stage.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.