Boxing News Tue, 24 Jun 2008

Fenech Beats Azumah at last

MELBOURNE, Australia: Australian Jeff Fenech beat Ghana's Azumah Nelson in a majority points decision in a junior middleweight boxing bout Tuesday, 16 years after their last epic battle for a world title.

Judges scored the 10-round bout 96-94, 96-94 and 95-95 in Fenech's favor.

The fight was billed a serious rematch between Fenech, now 44, and Nelson, 49, who fought twice for the world super featherweight title in 1991 and 1992 in bouts that entered Australian boxing folklore.

Fenech, bidding for a third world title, was denied by a controversial draw in their first meeting in Las Vegas in 1991 and was knocked out in the eighth round of their rematch in Melbourne in 1992.

The fight was billed as "the final round" of their long-standing grudge and was claimed to be more than an exhibition, rather a serious bout destined to restore professional boxing's tarnished reputation.


Both fighters trained hard for the bout but could not disguise that they were many years older, and many pounds (kilos) heavier than when they last met in their heyday. Fenech, known as the Marrickville Mauler, last fought professionally in 1996 and Nelson in 1998.

Both had been triple world champions when they met in Melbourne 16 years ago but finished their careers, after that mutual high, matched against lesser opponents.

Fenech has since worked with Mike Tyson and Danny Green among other fighters, turning to training and later promoting boxing.

Tuesday's bout revealed little of their old class and there were boos and catcalls from some spectators who had paid up to 2,500 Australian dollars (US$2,380) for a ringside seat.

The match was denounced by critics including the Australian Medical Association, and by boxing's national body in Nelson's homeland, the Ghanaian Boxing Association.

Source: AP