It was a big Friday night at the Kendron Wavell Service Club in the Brisbane suburb of Chermside with names such as Mick Shaw, Nathan Briggs, Chris McCullen and of course, Alex Leapai all on the victory roll.
Leapai, 9-2-2 (7), retained the OPBF Heavyweight title with a solid unanimous decision win over Sydney’s Michael “Iron Rhino” Kirby, 3-1-1 (1), after twelve rounds. Kirby tried a persistent body attack but lost points in the middle rounds for low blows, further damaging his chances.
The 28 year old Logan City based Leapai was making the first defense of the belt he won from Nathan Briggs las November at this same venue.
Perhaps indicating an emminent rematch with Leapai, Briggs, 17-5 (15), was also on the bill and delivered his usual heavy-handed performance in stopping New Zealand journeyman Sam Leuii, 13-23-1 (9), in the first. Leuii had already climbed off the canvas once in the brief affair but was out on his feet when referee Tony Kettlewell stopped the one-sided punishment with a second left in the round.
In a big domestic dust-up, local light welter Chris McCullen, 11-1-1 (5) rebounded from defeat to regain the vacant Aussie title by stopping John Cotterill Jr in the third. Cotterill, 22-5 (10), was a former PABA/WBF Light Welter Champ but was on the canvas in the first and dislocated a shoulder in the third, hastening referee Phil Austin’s decision to stop the bout at 1:19 of the round.
32 year old McMullen of Brisbane won the Australian title in 2006 with a ten round decision over Brad Hemming but was beltless after a ten round loss to challenger Dean Byrne a year ago.
Another top light welter, Mick Shaw, 25-8-2 (8), was on the card as the 31 year old “Pony” crushed Queensland welter Jim Savage, 9-9 (6), in the first frame.