AUSTRALIA’S Paulo Aokuso wants to fight a world title eliminator in just five weeks time – and on the undercard of another Nikita Tszyu headliner – after scoring a convincing win in his debut hometown headliner.
The Next Big Thing of Aussie boxing took his undefeated streak to five wins with a comprehensive, but hard fought, decision win over Renold Quinlan at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter on Wednesday night.
Despite missing out on the KO he had predicted, the 26-year-old still did enough on a night where the returning Jack Brubaker booked himself another Tszyu showdown and lightweight Youssef Dib took his undefeated streak to 20 – then called out George Kambosos.
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While Aokuso came into his main event bout a heavy favourite, the southpaw had to work hard through all eight rounds against a rival who earned the 2022 Upset of The Year against Jack Bowen.
Immediately afterwards however, the Sydneysider suggested his team was already working on a world title eliminator for No Limit’s upcoming Pay-Per-View in early August.
Initially apologising for weighing in heavy by 260 grams a day earlier, Aokuso then praised Quinlan saying “he’s a former world champion for a reason, mad respect to Renold”.
Asked what was next he added: “Nikita Tszyu card, world title eliminator.
“I’ll be ready”.
All three judges scored the bout 80-72 for Aokuso, who landed heavy early and by the end of the third round had Quinlan pinned back against the ropes, mixing body shots with a strong uppercut.
Through the fourth it was more of the same, however Quinlan kept coming forward, as he did again in the fifth, continually looking to explode with that one punch that send his rival to the canvas. However, that punch never came.
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In the co-main, Brubaker scored himself what will almost certainly be a showdown with Nikita Tszyu next month after earning a tough decision win over the Central Coast’s Troy O’Meley.
Speaking during the build-up, No Limit CEO George Rose revealed the winner of Wednesday night’s bout would get a shot at the undefeated younger brother of Tim Tszyu, who is slated to fight on an August Pay-Per-View card.
Returning after a layoff of over two years, Brubaker knocked O’Meley down in the second, fought tough through six and then looked down a Fox Sports camera afterwards to say: “Nikki, let’s go baby.
“I’ll be good to go in five weeks.”
Watching on from home however, Tim Tszyu was clearly unimpressed with the fight all three judges scored for Brubaker 58-55, tweeting: “Nikita whoops both of them in the same night at the same time”.
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Back in 2019, Brubaker fought and was defeated by the older Tszyu sibling, with his team throwing in the towel during the fourth round.
However, his win over a gutsy O’Meley has him convinced he has shaken off the “ring rust” and can now get one back on the famed Tszyu clan.
Meanwhile, it was also a massive night for the younger brother of former world champion Billy Dib, who courageously fought back from a sixth round knockdown to stop tough rival Miles Zalewski in the ninth.
As revealed by Fox Sports Australia back in April, Dib is hoping to eventually secure an all-Australian showdown against former unified champ George Kambosos.
It has now been 12 years since the pair fought as amateurs, with Dib almost securing an upset win against the Aussie who would go on to shock the world in 2021 – beating Teofimo Lopez to become the division’s undisputed king.
After securing the IBF Australasian title on Wednesday night, Dib immediately took to the microphone to call out Kambosos – who is himself fighting against IBO lightweight champ Maxi Hughes, Sunday.
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“I’m chasing the big fights,” said Dib, whose brother also leapt from the commentary table to join him in the ring. “I’m chasing that George Kambosos fight.
“He called my brother out when he was coming up and I’m calling him out now.”
Dropped by a big left hook in the sixth round, and seemingly gone, Dib somehow made his feet but was again immediately under attack, when he appeared to deliberately spit his mouthguard onto the canvas.
The referee agreed, immediately deducted a point for what would be a 10-7 round to Zalewski.
However, in the ninth, Dib landed a barrage of rights, then a big left, which put Zalewski against the ropes where he again swarmed, causing his rival’s corner to throw in the towel.
When the fight was stopped, the judges scorecards read 75-75, 75-75 and 76-74 Dib.
In the opening fight of the night meanwhile, Sydney super welterweight Isaias Sette scored the second win of his career with a comprehensive decision win over Ankush Hooda.
Sette dropped his Queensland rival in the third and, after six rounds, won it on all three judges’ scorecards, 59-54.
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