The prelude to Daniel Geale’s vacant world title fight against Renold Quinlan at Launceston’s Silverdome on Friday night saw Tasmanian, national and international amateur and professional boxers going toe-to-toe.
In his maiden professional fight, former Australian and Oceania champion Luke Woods dominated Filipino Rex Regalado, 36, with a round four technical knockout result.
The Latrobe lad, 24, controlled round one of the welterweight contest from the blue corner with father Craig nearby.
Woods appeared to be the sharpest and quickest of the two, inflicting many powerful punches and two eight counts on Regalado.
Woods boxed like a winner from the onset, producing magnificent combinations and at one stage knocked Regalado through the ropes.
“I could not have asked for a better debut in my first (pro) fight,” Woods said.
It took just 37 seconds into the second round for New South Wales’ Jai Opetaia to take down Hobart’s Uria Afamasaga with a TKO.
Both fighters entered the ring undefeated but it was Opetaia, 21, who left with a 6-0 win-loss record.
The referee imposed a standing count on Afamasaga during the first three-minute set and there was no coming back.
New South Welshman Tommy “The Titan” Browne and Goodwood’s Steven Maxwell fought out an entertaining middleweight duel.
Browne was penalised in the opening round for a low blow on the 34-year-old Tasmanian and looked on top early.
The unorthodox Maxwell tried to fight his way back into the bout.
But the referee stopped the fight one minute and 36 seconds into the sixth round, deciding Maxwell was taking too much punishment – controversially awarding Browne his 32nd pro win via TKO.
The home crowd was unhappy with the decision, booing the victor.
It took to the sixth and final round for the bout between Northern Irishman Joe Rea, 33, and Sydneysider Wade Ryan, 26, to get interesting.
The pair jumped around each other for most of the 74kg catchweight encounter before Ryan displayed quick hands for a comfortable win by unanimous points. It was his 10th career victory.
Four-time national junior title-holder Tyler Blizzard, 18, was too good for New South Welshman Bradley Collins, 17, in the final amatuer fight.
Collins possessed more height and reach over the Latrobe star at 52kg, but Blizzard was quick on his feet – winning with full points to loud applause.
Latrobe boxer Damien MacKrell, 28, used his experience at 64kg over fellow North-West rival Toby Herring, 20.
The Penguin veteran at times looked more confident and decisive in his movements, with all three judges handing him the points.
Tasmanian Georgie Bailey’s superior height over her Grange Boxing Club nemesis Pam Mcclelland was not enough for her to get the job done in four full rounds.
Mcclelland won by unanimous decision.
Wonthaggi golden gloves champion Charles Joma landed a few solid hits to unanimously defeat the Anthony Redwood-trained Travis Druce (NSW), who flew into Tasmania after completing his English HSC exam on Friday.
The 69kg fighters showed sound evasive skills with many punches creating a draft for front-row fans.
In an all-Tasmanian 60kg affair, the judges crowned 67kg Australian junior champion Erika Creely the winner over Latrobe’s Madison Holland.
In first fight of the undercard, it took Kingston Boxing Club’s Brody Penney three rounds to defeat Victorian Max Reeve in a split points decision.
Both youngsters managed to land significant lows on their opponent but in the end Penney was slightly better in the 64kg bout.