Mundine vs Green 2 – A Huge Opportunity For Aussie Boxing’s Future
Following Anthony Mundine’s TKO loss to Charles Hatley, and the withdrawal of Danny Green from his scheduled fight against Konni Konrad, it looks almost certain that Mundine vs Green 2 is a mere formality.
Although both fighters have passed their peak years, the fight is still likely to draw in a massive live audience as well as huge interest on pay-per-view.
The highly anticipated rematch is likely to take place in Melbourne, where both fighters have staged recent fights and both enjoy large fan bases.
Despite Mundine and Green taking very different recent fight paths in terms of weight, a catch weight of between 78 and 82 kilos is most likely to be agreed upon.
Plenty will be written about the fight itself if and when the press conference confirms what has long been assumed, but I’d love to see the fight night used to promote the future of Australian boxing, as well as celebrate the two biggest stars of the modern era.
Unfortunately the undercards on the majority of Main Event broadcast pay-per-view shows featuring Anthony Mundine especially have become known for one sided ‘contests’ often featuring past or present football players.
November’s Mundine vs Hatley card featured Shane Tuck’s professional debut, against an opponent with a record of one loss from one fight.
Meanwhile former Olympian and undefeated prospect Cameron Hammond was forced to fight in front of a crowd more concerned with checking in on Facebook, prior to the televised fights.
With a chance to put potentially hundreds of thousands of eyes on the fight through live attendance, pay-per-views, and the fight being shown at pubs across the nation, the undercard needs to be booked to help create the next star of Australian boxing.
Of course there are many other factors other than just booking good boxers, with clashes between promoters, budget restraints and availability of fighters all roadblocks.
With that being said, the greater good needs to win out here, and a strong, competitive undercard needs to be booked.
Not only will this help showcase the next generation of the sport, but it will help create an atmosphere and bring some much needed credibility back to pay-per-view undercards.
The following is an example of how I would book the undercard. This is for entertainment and as in no way a prediction, nor do I have any knowledge of any of the below fights happening.
For the purpose of this Lucas Browne has not been considered as he will likely headline a fight card for the World title in the not too distant future. The rumoured fight of Daniel Geale and Blake Caparello, also a headline fight, will also be left off. Jeff Horn is also likely to be unavailable and thus a potential matchup with Cameron Hammond has been overlooked.
Co Main Event – Billy Dib vs Will Tomlinson
Following the reported run in between two former world champions in the crowd of the Mundine/Hatley fight, compounded by years of bad blood, a Dib/Tomlinson clash seems the most logical co main event.
Dib (39-4) and Tomlinson (24-2-1) are both coming off disappointing fights. Dib lost his world title fight against Takashi Miura after being finished in the third round.
Tomlinson won a majority decision Adones Aguelo, although the large majority of those watching agreed he was a little fortunate in taking the decision on two judge’s scorecards.
Dib himself, commentating for channel 9, seemed shocked that Tomlinson had his hand raised. He certainly wasn’t alone in boxing circles either, as multiple fighters took to social media to suggest “Wild Will” buy a lotto ticket.
Despite the disappointment, both fighters have enjoyed amazing careers, and at 29 and 30 years of age, have plenty to offer going forward.
This is a fight that needs to happen. Neither man has been backwards in coming forwards re their mutual dislike.
The likely Dib/Tomlinson could in its own right headline a pay-per-view. Dib’s only losses to date come to highly regarded fighters in World title bouts. Tomlinson’s two career losses hardly damage his reputation.
This fight needs to happen, and there will be no better stage than as the co main-event. The only possible problem is that the fight itself could upstage the main event.
Cruiserweight Match – Brad Pitt vs David Aloua
This is another fight that needs to happen, and deserves a grand stage.
Commonwealth gold medallist Brad “Hollywood” Pitt (18-1) was widely regarded as the nation’s best cruiserweight outside of Danny Green, until he was knocked out in the fourth round by David Aloua.
Pitt returned to the ring fighting three times in one night in the Super 8s tournament format, beating the previously undefeated Vaitele Soi in the final to win the tournament.
On the same night, Pitt’s conqueror Aloua (11-2) suffered a disappointing loss to journeyman Anthony McCracken, failing to capitalise on the wave of momentum he was riding following the defeat of Pitt.
Neither man has fought since, although having spoken to both, neither has lost the flame to fight on.
Pitt has been vocal in his desire to fight Danny Green, and a dominant win over the only man to place a blemish on his record would certainly warrant Green’s attention.
Another win over Pitt for Aloua could put him right back where he was prior to the loss to McCracken.
Australian Featherweight Title Match – Luke Jackson vs Joel Brunker
Luke Jackson is almost certain to return to Hobart, Tasmania, to defend his Australian title, but this is a fight between arguably the top two featherweights in the country.
The current champion Jackson is now 10-0 in his professional career, after a decorated amateur career that saw him lead the London Olympic side as captain.
He has walked through his latest opponents and is looking to step up against the best. For those who don’t know him, you soon will. There is no harder working man in the business.
Joel Brunker (28-2), also a former Olympian, may have had two setbacks in his past three fights, but they have taken nothing away from the extremely talented 29 year-old.
Brunker’s only two career blemished come to genuine world class fighters, a class I believe Brunker will himself enter one day soon.
A fight between the two would not only be a brilliant advertisement for the division in Australia, but the winner would be one step closer to an eventual World title shot.
I am a big fan of both, and after seeing these two throw down, I’m sure there would be plenty more joining Team Action and Team Brunker.
Super Middleweight – Jake Carr vs Zac Dunn
Jake Carr (11-0) is another undefeated young fighter who deserves to fight on the biggest stage the sport has to offer in this country.
Carr followed in the footsteps of his father in winning the national title, in only his fifth professional fight.
He has beaten some very credible opponents, his best win coming over the also undefeated Renold Quinlan, but he is ready to against step up.
Zac Dunn (19-0) despite having eight more fights, is in the same place as Carr. Supremely talented, 24 years of age, undefeated, and in need of a genuine test.
Dunn’s win over Max Bursak earned him a top 25 ranking on boxrec and established him as a genuine contender in the division.
Carr and Dunn would present the other with arguably their biggest career test to date. The winner would be ready to challenge Blake Caparello and Rohan Murdock as the country’s best.
Super Middleweight – Bilal Akkawy vs Luke Sharp
22 year old Bilal Akkawy (11-0-1) may only be 12 fights into his career, but this kid is very, very special.
His build to this point has been very calculated and very smart, but now is the time to step up in quality of opposition and truly announce himself.
Better than judges than I have Akkawy as the next big thing in Aussie boxing, but no one wants to see him rushed into a fight with the likes of the two mentioned above just yet.
Luke Sharp (13-3-3) is probably the perfect opponent for Akkawy. He is 27, very capable in the ring, and is looking to return to winning ways after a points loss to Australia’s best in Caparello.
Sharp will provide a different level of challenger than Akkawy has destroyed in his run to becoming the youth super middleweight champion.
A win over Sharp announces Akkawy as the real deal. A win for Sharp would put him back amongst the nation’s elite.
The above is fantasy booking and I’d be very surprised if the card turned out anything like the proposed, but this is a big opportunity that should not be wasted.
Billel and Ahmed Dib, Dennis Hogan, Damien Hooper, Renold Quinlan and Rohan Murdock are just a few other boxers very deserving of a shot to showcase their skills on the big stage.by Daniel
The below is a preview of the April edition of MonstaSport Magazine, available now via – Magzter
“David Aloua back on rocket to the top”
Interview Conducted April 16th
Monstasport: How is the return from injury coming along? How long until we can expect to see you back in the ring?
David Aloua: It’s all good man it’s not a major so I’m grateful and have a good team behind me with Terry, Damien and Brooke at the O2 clinic, Kingsland. I have been keeping up all that is possible and will be back to full training in 3 weeks or less. Hope to get a fight in June.
Monstasport: You’re coming off a tough loss at the hands of Anthony McCracken last November. What went wrong? Any lessons you learned from the defeat?
David Aloua: Yea definitely a lot to learn from that fight. It all comes back to myself and my preparation I felt I didn’t train hard enough, also mentally I felt I could’ve underestimated Anthony a bit. There’s a few factors to go into it but at the end of the day Anthony was the better man on the night and his hunger and determination paid off I can’t take nothing away from him. What I’ve learnt is that I need to be honest with myself and treat every fight like a world title fight. And use my brain man, trying to bang McCracken out early was a careless move.
Monstasport: The obvious question is, and I know you’ve answered this before, but will we see a rematch between you and Brad Pitt, who won the Super 8 tournament on the same card?
David Aloua: Yeah man that’s definitely a fight that has to happen in the future. Even a third! I’m sure it’s a fight people would want to see!
Monstasport: Did you get a chance to watch any of the Super 8 tournament? Is it something you’d ever see yourself competing in?
David Aloua: Yep I think all the super 8 fight nights have been great shows top quality fights. It would be something I’d look to do some time. At this point in my career my priorities are focused on building myself into a seasoned pro. The more, longer fights I get under my belt the better.
Monstasport: The WBC World Title in your weight class (Cruiserweight) is on the line mid next month when Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Grigory Drozd clash in Russia. This fight has not attracted the attention it deserves, but can you tip a winner?
David Aloua: That’s a great rematch to see with Wlodarczyk losing previously as the champion and now to come back for his revenge. Even Wlodarczyk vs Chakiev was a hell of a fight with it all being the Russian’s way the whole fight up until the 7th then Wlodarczyk coming through at the end with the 1 punch knockout after eating all that punishment what a warrior! I’m with Wlodarczyk to stop our man late.
Monstasport: Are you a fan of mixed martial arts, and the UFC? Is it something you could see yourself training for? You certainly have the hands for it.
David Aloua: Yep I’m a fan of the UFC and acknowledge the dedication and commitment to such a brutal art. To partake in it I don’t think is my cup of tea to be honest, I did win a NZ secondary schools wrestling title as a teen though, but love to punch mate haha.
Monstasport: Last time we spoke, when referring to your previous fight, you used the word “we” instead of “I”. You’re obviously surrounded by the right people. How important is it for young boxers to find the right team?
David Aloua: Mate your team not only in boxing but in any code of life. You’re only as strong as the man next to you. The Mundine family taught me that. Who you are around determines you. Nothing is ever perfect but it’s what you make of what cards you are dealt. I like to think I always keep good company now.
Monstasport: The recent World Cup of cricket of course ended with Australia and New Zealand in the final. How was the support in New Zealand for the event? Were you a little torn in regards to the final?
David Aloua: Haha yes the great Tasman battle for the cricket World Cup. New Zealand was going off at the time when we won that semi it was hectic. In the back of my head I had Choc’s mums voice in my head. Quote ”Settle down Dave, us Australians win all the cups. You kiwis get all the saucers!” Say no more.
Monstasport: You’ve been vocal in your support for those campaigning against the forced closure of Aboriginal communities. How important is the program?
David Aloua: Mate the forced shutdown of aboriginal communities is a disgrace. I lived with the Mundine family for over 3 years. I visited their family in some of these communities in NSW.
The whole situation is shameful. In the past these communities were fabricated so the government could send the aboriginal people to go live there away from the main towns and cities. Shut out from their own heritage.
These people were forced to build their lives in places according to the government system so that they would stay away from Caucasian people. Then come 2014-2015 they want the indigenous people to forget about the lives they had to build out of the scraps they were given. And come back to normal! Stolen generation. These people are oppressed. I love Australia. It’s a shame to Australia what went on in history and even today. A treaty would be a start but this is truly disgraceful, reckless and ignorant. Above all it’s just sad. Sad for the indigenous people. But also for the whole country as a whole.
Monstasport: What have you made of the Warriors start to the NRL season? Can they find the consistency to play finals footy?
David Aloua: Haha GO THE NZ WARRIORS!!! Yes but we are having a rusty start. I’m a supporter win or lose. A lot of kiwis kick them to the curb when they lose but something I learned from Aussies, your team is your team win or lose! Also look forward to Tuivasa-Sheck next year if it’s true.
Monstasport: Anthony Mundine, someone you have mentioned has been important in your career and life, is set to announce a fight against Austin Trout. (A fight which is likely to be re worked due to a Mundine injury) Can Mundine defeat Trout and move one step closer to his dream fight with Floyd Mayweather?
David Aloua: Yes, Choc will always be a significant person in my life. So will Tony Mundine, Lyn, Kelly and their whole family. They helped me turn my life around and I’ll be forever grateful. This will help to get his dream fight. He has to turn up mentally every fight now. He has all the skills, speed, experience, reflexes to do the job. Unbelievable for someone that’s been in professional sport as long as he has. He truly has freakish talent. Mundine UD12.
Monstasport: Speaking of Mayweather, how do you see the upcoming super-fight between Floyd and Manny Pacquiao going? Who wins, and how?
David Aloua: Man I’ve never gone against Mayweather and I love Pacman and want Pacman to win. I think Mayweather is too smart and will be too quick and smart for Pacman. Can I say though he can’t call himself ‘The Best Ever’ as in the past the best fighters fought each other two or three times in their PRIMES! Not leave it till the end of their careers then fight once their greatest arch rival has been exposed and even knocked out. Mayweather UD12 but GO PACMAN!!!by Daniel
- Kathryn Adams (@KateOnTheGo)
So it has been another day, and another back flip by a high profile rugby league player who was destined for great things at a club in need of revival but has changed his mind to stay with his much loved home club.
Yes, I am talking about Daly Cherry-Evans, who as of Thursday, 16 April 2015, is said to have turned his back on a reported $5 million deal with the Gold Coast Titans to remain with his current club, the Manly Sea-Eagles.
The response to this news has, on Twitter at least, been one of disbelief. The following question has been asked: how can a player get away with signing a contract with one club and then get away with reneging on that contract when he changes his mind?
It all comes down to a rare clause which the NRL requires the clubs to place in their contracts with players. The rule states that a player can terminate the contract or withdraw from fulfilling the contract any time prior to Week 13 of the rugby league calendar.
Therefore, the elements of a regular contract are fulfilled. That is, we have an offer by the new club and clear acceptance by the player. However there is that stipulation that exists whereby the contract can dissolve at any time before Week 13.
The reason why we say it is a rare contractual clause is because it so easily allows one party to terminate the contract prior to the services being provided. The problem here is that there is such a large space of time between when the contract is initially signed, and when the contract is fulfilled (ie. when the player finally steps onto the field for his new club). That large period of time between signing and Week 13 allows that player to be influenced considerably by other parties and places the other party (the new club) at a disadvantage.
There are two ways that the NRL and clubs can deal with this complicated situation.
One solution sees the clause being removed altogether. Parties should be made to enter into contracts and remain obligated to fulfil those contracts. If they do not fulfil those contracts, they should terminate with the required “notice”. If players are made to provide “notice” or “payment in lieu of” notice, then they will be more inclined to think twice about not fulfilling their contractual obligations.
In the alternative, clubs should hold off announcing signings until after the Week 13 period. The problem with this is that often it is hard to hide contractual negotiations from media outlets and often clubs are compelled to release details of signings because the media have done so – or are about to.
Either way, the NRL needs to address these problematic issues in relation to rugby league player contracts. Not only is it embarrassing to all parties involved, but it undermines supporter confidence.
Kathryn Adams is Principal Solicitor of KVA and Associates Lawyers, which provides legal advice on commercial and employment.by Daniel
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The Bad Fan Debate
Each and every time a team loses, fans take to social media to express disappointment. Does talking down about your side make you a bad fan? By Daniel Nichols
Argument FOR – Talking down on your side makes you a bad fan
You support the team correct? Well support them. 99 times out of 100 a player who has had a bad game does not need to be told. Athletes, although positioned as superheroes sometimes, are people too. They have feelings just like the rest of us, and do not need to log into social media after a loss to be reminded how badly they performed.
Using all codes of football for instance, a game of two teams means there’s always going to be a winner and a loser (let’s ignore draws for the sake of this).
These codes all operate under a salary cap, which means technically all teams should be pretty close in terms of talent, given all operate under the same financial constraints. Of course this is not the case, but why penalise those sides who have built strong rosters?
Given these factors, it’s impossible to expect any side to win each and every game in a season, which to be honest is what we as fans want.
After all, no one asked you to be a fan. There are plenty of sports out there clamouring for your support and money, you chose to support the teams you did.
Then there are the internet trolls, who have absolutely no place in society.
Let me clarify, I am all for a good joke, even some friendly banter, but to single out, or threaten a player is simply not on.
The amount of grief some players cop is downright disgusting. Tagging players on social media,making threats, or threatening to tear up memberships doesn’t motivate players, especially those already down on confidence.
Where in the membership brochure does it say your $300 or so entitles you to coach the side from the sidelines?
Players are out there giving 100% to send you and fellow supporters home happy, and I’m sure you’ve had an off day or two at work.
Players need the support of fans to spur them on, not their abuse to worry about and get them down.
There are plenty of stories about how athletes see fan clubs as their extra person on field. Chants get the adrenalin pumping and offer a source of comfort to home sides, while intimidating away sides. Booing your own team at home not only forfeits that advantage but makes players feel worse as even their own fans are against them.
Real fans stand up when the chips are down. Crowds always fall when results aren’t going your way, it’s human nature.
Those who attend games when perhaps others do not, offer much needed confidence to players and often act as that little extra players need to make that extra tackle or run that little bit faster.
Argument AGAINST – Talking down on your side makes you a bad fan
It’s a free world, why can we not express our disappointment if our team underperforms?
Some fans pay hundreds of dollars in memberships each year, not to mention transport, merchandise, food and drink, and other expenses.
In the real world, if you’re underperforming at work, you undertake steps to improve. If you still can’t get the job done, you’re moved on. It’s exactly the same with professional athletes, especially considering the money they are on.
Some players have expressed that unless you have played the game, you cannot comment on how it is played. There is some merit to this opinion, but I severely doubt that everyone who has ever rated and reviewed a hotel or restaurant has extensive backgrounds in either profession.
We’re not talking booing your team off the park, or throwing rotten fruit at players following a loss, we’re talking about calling a spade a spade.
If a team loses 40-0, it’s tough to cop someone on social media pretending everything is awesome. It comes across as fake, and almost as if they’re simply towing the company line.
To be honest, if you’re ok with losing games every week and you’re not upset, perhaps you’re not as invested as you should be.
I don’t know many people who like to smile and wave their flags while their side is getting taken apart by a far superior side on field.
If someone is turning up every week, paying good money, so what if they’re not happy with horrible performances?
Aren’t players getting paid, big money in some instances, to turn up, perform, and win?
Would it be fair to work at a restaurant and constantly get an order wrong, and expect customers to not complain, even if you are trying your best to get said orders correct?
Players and coaches are quick to bag referees, and fans in some instances, so why are they above criticism?
Some players have even taken to social media to suggest fans who can’t take the losses support other teams. Fair enough, if those players aren’t getting the job done on field, why can we not suggest perhaps let’s get some better players?
What’s with players saying fans are unable to comment as they aren’t part of the club? Some people have been fans for life, meanwhile these players are getting paid to represent their club.
Those who turn up week after week, especially when a team is losing, deserve an opinion. Within reason.
I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle. I’m not one to sit back and accept failure with my footy sides, and if changes need to be made I call for them, but I simply cannot hack seeing players targeted and threatened online.
If fans pay their money, and donate their time, to support a club, they’re allowed an opinion, whether positive or negative.
That being said, if fans are going to ride the highs when the team wins, they have to be ready to cop the lows when a team suffers defeat.
In summation, abuse and obvious trolling aside, I’m perfectly fine in fans calling it like it is. If your team is playing bad and you’re frustrated, let it out, just be smart about it. Players aren’t out there playing badly on purpose and I’m sure they feel just as bad as you do post loss.by Daniel
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Top 10 Possible League Converts
With Jarryd Hayne signing a deal to train with the 49ers, and Israel Folau tearing it up in rugby union, we’ve taken a look at ten current league players we believe could switch codes. This is purely for fun as we do not know the athletic backgrounds of most on the list – Daniel Nichols
Pat Richards – AFL
Pat Richards has one of the biggest boots in the game. His kick offs have become legendary and his bombs have come down with snow on them. Richards is tall and can leap. I can fully imagine him leading the line for any AFL side as a full forward. He’d take plenty of marks, and could kick a goal from anywhere.
Kurt Gidley – Football
There is no doubt that Kurt Gidley is a tremendous athlete, but unfortunately I cannot remember a season when Gidley played more games than he missed. The former NSW captain could take his athletic talents to the round ball game where he would not be subjected to the level of physicality he suffers playing league. Plus, no one else can clutch at a knee like Gidley. Of course I jest, but I do believe Gidley would have excelled at any sport he chose.
Sam Kasiano – Rugby Union
Kasiano is a massive mountain of a man, and is extremely clever with ball in hand. His ability to offload would be pure gold in the Rugby code. His size is obviously an advantage in any physical game, but his speed and footwork would put him in rare company. As if the All Blacks need any more size and ability in their forward pack, but Kasiano would pose a fearsome foe no matter what the code.
Anthony Milford – Football
Milford has plenty of speed and excellent footwork. I could very easily imagine him playing on one of the wings for an A-League side. His positioning when at fullback was also excellent, meaning he has an obvious ability to read the game. That trait would be excellent in the round ball game. He’s super athletic and has shown he can put boot to ball. His speed would make him a dangerous prospect for any opposition defence.
Semi Radradra – Rugby Sevens
The Fijian flyer would sell thousands of tickets whenever he went if he travelled with the Fijian sevens side, already amongst the most exciting nations in the competition. With his size, speed, and ability to find the try line, I can see Radradra as the top try scorer in whichever competition he was competing in. I can’t see too many being able to tackle him one on one should he have space to move.
Andrew Fifita – Rugby Union
There were huge rumours that the ARU was chasing Fifita when off contract last season, and I can certainly see why. He may be out of form right now but at his most damaging, well there are few more damaging in the game. He is faster than most forwards in either code and has shown the footwork of a much smaller man on many occasions. If I remember correctly he also has a junior background in rugby. It’s almost cheating.
Adam Reynolds – AFL
Right now Adam Reynolds has the ball on a string. His kicking ability is second to none both during play and in terms of conversions. Reynolds running game has come a long way since his debut and he is becoming one of the most dangerous playmakers in the competition. His speed makes him dangerous off the mark in any game, but with the structured nature of AFL I believe Reynolds would spark any side he joined.
Although we have only seen glimpses of his undoubted potential in a slow start in 2015, Taumalolo could command massive minutes, and dollars, if he were to have jumped to Rugby rather than re-signing with the Cowboys. His running game is absolutely devastating and his speed for a man his size makes him lethal. I bet the Reds would have loved to see him running wide in next season’s competition. I would not at all be surprised if upon his next contract expiring if the NZRU has a red hot crack.
Nate Myles – Boxing
I’m not sure if he can dish out the punches, but he sure can take them. Any man who can take two flush right hands from Paul Gallen and not be separated from their consciousness, definitely has a chin. Myles is as tough as they come and could easily stand up to the physicality of boxing. He’s big, strong, fit and can take a punch, that’s a great base for any competitor in any combat sport.
Greg Inglis – Anything
Greg Inglis is a special athlete who could thrive in literally any sport you can think of. He’d be worth millions in rugby where his running game would be absolutely lethal. He has the height, speed and jumping ability to star in AFL, and has the speed to be very competitive at any athlete meet. Given time to adapt I’m sure he could become a handy basketballer due to his speed and height, or even baseball, with his raw power. I could think of worse options for a target man in the A-League also. Simply put, Inglis is the sort of athlete who could pick anything up.
Of course the above list is purely for fun, but we’d be interested in hearing if you believe any of the current NRL stars could switch to another sport and succeed. Let us know on the facebook page
MonstaSport Magazine – March Edition Out NOWby Daniel
With Trent Merrin’s signing with the Penrith Panthers for 2016 and beyond, despite a ball not yet being kicked in 2015, once again the question of players signing for other sides has raised its ugly head.
Dragon’s fans, how do you feel about seeing a player who has already signed for another club, wearing your colours this season?
Merrin had, prior to signing with the Panthers, made it very clear that his future lay away from the club that gave him his NRL start. He was reported to be negotiating with the Broncos and Panthers after speaking to a variety of other clubs.
Merrin won’t be at the Dragons in 2016 and beyond
I’m not here to question Trent’s decision, or even whether or not he should have stayed loyal, but I am once again questioning whether this contract free for all is best for the NRL?
Daly Cherry-Evans’ contract negotiations have been a media circus, showing a player who is supposed to be focused on the season ahead with the Eagles visiting rival clubs with looks to 2015.
Manly fans are rightfully furious that their star halfback is taking trips to the Gold Coast and Cronulla to talk money instead of tactics for 2015 with his current teammates.
The question facing the Dragons now is how to manage Merrin. If he drops in form, do they stand by him knowing his mind may be elsewhere, or drop him and give players who will be at the club next season a go?
Sharks fans openly called for Blake Ferguson to be dropped when he publically spoke down of the club a few years back, prior to signing with Canberra. The Sharks stuck by him and had to reset the next season, where if they had dropped Ferguson to NSW cup, they could have blooded a younger, long term option.
While I am sure Sea Eagles fans would cheer their champion number seven as he carves up in 2015, will they, in their back of their minds, hold some resentment if he were to sign for the Titans or Sharks?
Is it time to introduce a trade period? Is a draft the answer?
I personally would like to see contracts put on hold until the halfway point of the season.
After fielding huge offers from the Titans and Sharks, DCE is still yet to decide his future
It’s a difficult job to manage the salary cap, and teams, should be allowed as long as possible to work out their rosters for the next season and beyond, hence why I wouldn’t introduce an end of season trade period, at least right away.
The anti-tampering deadline means that players can still change their mind and stay with their current club even if they have signed elsewhere. Merrin is quite within his rights to turn around in six weeks’ time and tell the Panthers “thanks but no thanks” and re-sign with the Dragons.
I don’t doubt at all that players have used this as a bargaining tool in the past, and although I’m certainly not accusing Merrin or the Manly halves of using this tactic, the fact it is there is unnerving.
Last season the Raiders signed James Tedesco, replacing the outgoing Anthony Milford, only for the Tiger custodian to change his mind at the final moment.
The anti-tampering deadline, which I would make round 12, should be the earliest players can sign contracts. Should they sign a contract elsewhere, they’re legally bound to honour that contract and should have to pay it out if they change their mind.
I’m not silly enough to think clubs wouldn’t approach players before this, and to be honest, so be it, but no contract should be signed until round 12.
If a player decides to sign elsewhere, or even announces it, until that contract is signed in round 12, all bets are off.
The current situation does not work. Dragon’s fans now look on as a representative back rower plays for their club despite signing elsewhere for 2016. Panther’s fans now have to hope that Merrin doesn’t change his mind.
Not an ideal situation for either club or their fans.
How do the fans feel? Something rule breakers don’t seem to ask too often.by Daniel
For quite a while there have been reports that NRL CEO David Smith wants to have all Sydney teams play their home games out of the two major Sydney stadiums.
He is now said to be lobbying for Allianz Stadium’s capacity to be expanded to 65,000 seats with the intention that the majority of Sydney based sides were to play out of the Moore Park based Stadium.
Teams such as the Sea Eagles, the Sharks, the Dragons, and the Tigers would be forced to relocate from their traditional homes to host games at Allianz.
In the AFL, all Melbourne based teams play out of either the MCG or Etihad stadium and attract big crowds. Even the Geelong based Cats host their major fixtures at the G rather than in Geelong.
I am all for progression, and I hate to be negative, but I don’t like the idea to shift homes games of the likes of the Dragons and Sharks to the city at all.
The system works in Melbourne as the teams that play out of the two major stadiums are based much closer to the stadiums than the NRL sides in question. Not to mention public transport to the G and Etihad are head and shoulders above the current arrangement to Moore Park.
A 65,000 seat stadium at Moore Park would see the Bunnies return closer to their Redfern base, which would be amazing for fans who have had to travel to Homebush to see home games.
The Sharks however would have to travel 45 minute (the time google maps estimated the trip at 9:30 at night) to attend home games. The Sea Eagles would have to travel at least 32 minutes to attend games.
We have seen how ‘successful’ Allianz based home games for the Sea Eagles have been in the semi-finals, and although you get the feeling fans would eventually get use to the idea and have to travel, the walls aren’t exactly bursting at either Remondis or Brookvale.
Dragons fans based in Kogarah would not be overly outraged, given that it’s only a 15 minute drive into the city, but long forgotten Wollongong based fans face a massive trek. The Illawarra would basically lose anything related to its joint-venture club other than its hyphenated name.
The same goes for the Campbelltown based fans of the Tigers.
Although the Eels and Panthers were not mentioned in the possible switch to Allianz, they would surely have to relocate to ANZ Stadium. Once again both sides would face drives of less than an hour, but given most fans are based close to home grounds, attending games after work would be made far more difficult.
I’m not one of those who dislikes the larger stadiums, in fact I’m one of the few who doesn’t mind a trip to ANZ Stadium, but I’m also a fan of the suburban grounds.
The days of taking your son or daughter to sit on the hill would be well and truly gone. The Sharks, who own their stadium, would be left with a 22,000 capacity venue used to host A-grade grand finals, and leagues clubs attached to, or close to suburban grounds would surely suffer.
Apart from a new mega stadium, I don’t see anything positive for the NRL or its clubs to come from this proposal.
I can’t imagine broadcasters would be too happy showing games in huge stadiums containing small crowds.
Can you imagine a Sharks home game at Allianz on a Monday Night vs the Cowboys?
The Roosters, who play out of the stadium full time can’t attract crowds of over 20,000 on a consistent basis, what hope do say the Sea Eagles have?
Memberships would surely plummet, and once again, leagues clubs would lose their busiest days and nights.
Sure, in a few years fans might begrudgingly accept that all games are going to be played out of these big stadiums, but that being said, those same fans might just find it is very comfortable sitting at home in the warmth, drinking well priced cold beer and pass on the live experience all together.
I’d love to hear the thoughts of fans of the Sharks, Sea Eagles, Tigers, Dragons, Eels and Panthers as to how they feel about the possible move.by Daniel
The below is a preview of Edition 01 of MonstaSport Magazine, available now via – Magzter
Download the magazine formatted article Here
All Action – Luke Jackson Works Toward Aussie Title Shot
Article by Daniel Nichols … Photos by Chris O’Dea
Interview conducted in early January, before his Aussie Title fight was confirmed
With his seventh career victory, a dominant decision win over the vastly more experienced Ruben Manakane, Luke “Action” Jackson all but booked himself into an Australian Title match in early 2015.
Jackson, who won all but one round on one judge’s scorecard, is a testament to what good old fashioned hard work and effort can achieve, after comprehensively outboxing a man with twice as many victories as Jackson has professional fights.
Having started boxing in 2003 at the age of 19, Tasmanian born and raised Jackson certainly made up for lost time by becoming one of the country’s premier amateur boxers.
Most would recognise Jackson from his bronze medal win in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, describing it as “One of the best moments of my career.”
Jackson became such an important part of the boxing set up that he was chosen to captain the side at the 2010 Delhi games. Unfortunately he, like the rest of the squad, fell short of their goal at the games all was not lost, referring to the ‘great achievement’ of being made captain.
After capturing the Oceana title in 2012, Jackson entered the Olympic games in London full of confidence.
Unfortunately ‘Action’, who was once again named captain of the team, lost his first round match up despite being ranked in the top 10 in the world at the time.
“Besides my fight at the Olympics, I had a great time. I felt very tired in my fight and was very upset with my performance.”
Following the disappointment of an early exit from the London games, Luke called time on a very successful amateur boxing career and looked set to explore other ventures.
After admitting he still “had the hunger for boxing” Jackson returned to the ring and opted to turn to the professional ranks, adding “I love the training.”
Despite having over 100 fights at amateur level, you would have forgiven Jackson for suffering first pro fight nerves.
“My first fight i didn’t know what to expect and you can’t ever explain it to anyone, they have to experience it for themselves. I don’t get nervous anymore after 113 amateur fights and 7 as a professional it is like brushing my teeth.”
Jackson is now within touching distance of his goal of capturing the Aussie crown after his latest victory.
Having boxed well beyond his seven professional fights, fans and boxing experts alike all praised the 29 year old.
Jackson himself, commented on the fight saying “I thought I boxed very well. I had bad stomach cramps all through the fight and overtime I got hit to the elbows or stomach it took my breath away but I dug deep and didn’t let my opponent know and come away with a dominant win.”
“I always knew I could box long rounds but its good to finally go eight rounds. Bring on 12 next.”
The fashion in which he dismantled a far more experienced opponent surely makes it tough to overlook him for a shot at the national strap.
“Hopefully i fight next fight for the title, I’m waiting on my team to come back to me with options for my next fight.”
Jackson trains out of the Bodypunch Gym, which is run by legendary trainer Billy Hussein. Surrounded by the likes of former World Champion Billy Dib, WBO Oriental Champion Billel Dib and state champion Ahmed Dib, Jackson has given himself the best chance to succeed.
“Its the best gym in Australia by a mile, we have great sparring and great coaches. We are a family at BodyPunch.”
He was especially quick to praise training partner, the aforementioned Billel ‘Babyface’ Dib, saying, “Billel is a great guy, he welcomed me to the gym and has always shown his support to me. Very good boxer considering he had no amateur experience and has a big future ahead.”
Jackson, a humble yet driven individual set himself the goal of booking a national title shot by the end of this season and has completed every bag session, has excelled in every round of sparring, and suffered through every weight cut required to achieve his goal.
Having fought four times in 2014, Jackson has truly held nothing back in his quest.
Amongst the hardest working boxers in the country, Jackson is not willing to sit back and wait for an opportunity despite his obvious talent.
“I fell I’m close to my prime, I’m always learning and getting better. In boxing you never ever stop learning.”
Having witnessed Luke in ‘action’ in the gym, simply put, there aren’t many harder working, more determined fighters out there.
After speaking with him after yet another gruelling session, it’s almost as if Jackson revels in the ’pain’ most of us suffer through each and every time we enter a gym, although even he doesn’t enjoy dropping the weight from his super athletic frame required pre weigh-in.
“My training is 2 times a day 6 days a week with Sunday off. Losing weight is the hardest part about boxing, there is two things I hate, losing weight and losing.”
After mentioning he still had to lose three kilos before weigh-in when we spoke to him, we were stunned as to where said weight would come from.
Jackson laughed and mentioned that “getting hit in the face doesn’t tickle, but it’s nothing compared to losing those last few kilos.”
Not content with being one of the best boxers in the country in his division, Jackson also runs the Action Fitness Centre out of his home town of Hobart.
“I’ve wanted to open Action Fitness Centre for 12 years but like anything good it takes time. Everything I’ve done in boxing has helped me open AFC, without boxing there would be no gym”
Jackson often proudly posts photos of how far those who train under the AFC banner have come, seemingly enjoying their success as much as those who have succeeded with his help.
Simply put, Luke Jackson is a very likeable individual and doesn’t have a bad word to say about anyone.
He was very quick to praise London 2012 room mate Jeff ‘The Hornet’ Horn, who is also fast establishing himself as one of the best fighters in his division in his quest to step into the ring with the likes of Manny Pacquiao.
“Jeff is a great fighter but a better person. I was his room mate and we got along very well. He has a big future.”
Speaking of Pacman, who is once again rumoured to be in talks to hopefully set up the super fight we have all been waiting years to see with Floyd Mayweather, Jackson was more than happy to offer his opinion on the fight.
“I really hope it happens for the sport of boxing and the fans. I will hopefully be there to watch it live. Mayweather takes him to boxing school.”
For those who haven’t yet witnessed the Commonwealth medal winner and former Olympic boxing captain in action you’re not likely to have to wait too long, with an early 2015 fight to be set.
Jackson, whose sporting heroes include Bruce Lee and Kostya Tszyu, has it all ahead of him.
If he can continue to develop at the rate he has thus far during his seven fight career, there is no limit to what he can achieve.
Backed by one of the premier gyms in the country, and with an unmatched work ethic, the recipe for success is well and truly there.
If it sounds like I’m almost cheerleading for the talented 29 year old, it’s because I am.
A kind, humble young man with a good head on his shoulders outside the ring, yet a ruthless cardio machine in the ring, you could do far worse than looking up to Jackson as a young boxer.
Anyone looking to sponsor Luke can contact him via e-mail at email@example.com, on twitter @LukeJackson or via his increasingly popular facebook page.
Although always happy to have a chat and talk boxing, Luke Jackson, and I’m almost embarrassed for resorting to the pun, is a perfect example of ‘Action(s)’ speaking louder than words.
MonstaSport Magazine – December Edition Out NOWby Daniel
The below is a preview of Edition 02 of MonstaSport Magazine, available now via – Magzter
“We’ll be bigger and stronger come February”
Interview Conducted January 4th
Monstasport: How’s the injury coming along, can we expect to see you back soon?
Brendon: Yeah really good. I’m back running now. It’s not so much the shoulder anymore, it’s more the fitness. So I’m just working really hard to build up my fitness. Due to the Asian Cup break, it’s looking like at this stage I’ll be back sometime, hoping early February.
Monstasport: Speaking of the Asian Cup, how do you think we (The Socceroos) will go?
Brendon: I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people, although there is a lot of pressure on our national side at the moment to produce results. I think we’re going to see the best from our national team, and the boys are going to stand up, and make it to the final. That’s my prediction anyway.
I’m feeling confident. If you look at the games we played at the world cup, I thought against the opposition we were up against, we played exceptionally well. We have to close up our defence a little but for this Asian Cup. Hopefully that has been tweaked. I feel that in attack we have a lot of speed and pace and it’ll be dangerous to the opposition.
Monstasport: Do you think Tomi Juric will play much footy during the tournament?
Brendon: It’s hard to say at this point. Obviously it’s a huge competition and basically its Tomi’s first big competition with the Socceroos, so with limited experience, and his age at a huge tournament like this, I think he’ll be coming in off the bench. Either way, it’s huge for Tomi, it’s a great opportunity, one he deserves, and we all at the Wanderers are very proud of Tomi and Spira for their selection in the side.
Monstasport: What was the difference in atmosphere between the two legs of the Asian Champs League final?
Brendon: (laughs) It was amazing. At Parramatta we’ve got a very vocal crowd and we love playing in front of them, but over in Al Halal it was a whole other level. 63,000 or 65,000 in the stadium were inside the stadium an hour and a half to two hours before kick off.
It was unbelievable, and an experience I will never forget. We could not hear each other from two metres away, talking to each other because the crowds were that loud and their chants were all in sync. When you have so many people saying the same thing, it’s deafening. It was just an amazing experience to see that crowd.
Monstasport: When did the guys start believing they could actually win the Champions League?
Brendon: Well I think as we progressed through the group stages we knew what we were up against. I mean we went through some difficult times in the group stages. We lost our first game three-one. To come back from a 3-1 loss in the opening game and then overcome so many difficult hurdles through the group stage, I mean we overcame some fantastic hurdles that we probably didn’t believe ourselves we would do.
Once we progressed through the group stage we found that belief that we could be serious contenders for the ACL. So I think after the group stage, the boys really started to believe.
Monstasport: It’s been a tough start to the A League campaign to say the least. Can the squad turn it around and still make the finals, or is it all about damage limitation from here?
Brendon: It’s definitely been a frustrating first 11 rounds. It’s not a pretty position to be in. Hearing that there’ll be changes in January. I have no idea who is coming in, or who is leaving. We’ve got no option but to turn things around, otherwise we are in a sour spot at the moment, and unless we turn things around very quickly, it’s going to be a season to forget that’s for sure.
We have the Asian Cup coming up, which is probably great for us at the moment that we can we can regroup during the break. Get some good training in and be together. I think we’re heading off for a training camp some-time in January. I think this break will do us well and we’ll be bigger and stronger come February and hopefully turn things around and push for a finals spot, which is probably the best we can go for this season.
Monstasport: Having played for both Sydney sides, how heated is the rivalry between the fans and players of both clubs?
Brendon: (laughs) Yeah look it’s very heated and passionate, and it’s the best thing for football in the country. We always needed something like this. Every derby has been has been unbelievable and a great spectacle for A-League fans.
It’ll only get bigger and better. It’s great signs for Australian football that we can produce such a spectacle for football in this country like that.
Monstasport: You’ve scored some amazing goals over your career. Do you have a personal favourite?
Brendon: That’s a bit of a tough one. I scored goal of the year in the A League when I use to play for Sydney FC and that sticks out, but I think my ACL goal against Sanfrecce Hiroshima takes the cake for me.
We were down and out, we basically had to win two-nil at home and reverse a three-one deficit, after a grand final loss. For me the character that the team showed that day was the true Wanderers.
For me to score with five minutes to go, to progress through to the quarter finals of the Asia Champions League. Ya know, I never even thought I would be playing in the Asian Champions League, and to actually score the goal at that moment with five minutes to go, to put us through will always be a special memory for me.
Monstasport: How much of an honour was it to be nominated and win the Illawarra sports person of the year award?
Brendon: Very proud. It’s a proud moment. I’m a proud Wollongong boy and it’s a great breeding ground for a lot of great athletes. To have the people vote on my side, is for me, I’m over the moon. It’s a big award for me, I don’t know if other people look at it the same way but to me, it’s respect from the fans and the people voted for me. I’m delighted to win it.
Monstasport: How important is the proposed Stadium expansion at Pirtek for the club and the A-League?
Brendon: It’s very important because we have a lot of fans on a waiting list to buy memberships. It’s definitely not big enough for our club. After all our success in our last three years, we are now a big club. With a big club you need a big stadium.
The expansion will be good. I don’t know if it will be enough. I think they’re talking about three to five thousand seats, so it’s not a huge expansion, one that in the future probably needs to be bigger again.
Monstasport: The RBB (Wanderers active support), how does it rate against the support you have enjoyed across the world?
Brendon: The RBB have set a benchmark for all supporters in Australian football. Their support is second to none. They turn up at away games in huge numbers, and set a great example for other fans to go out and support their team.
I think they’ve lifted other fan bases throughout the A-League, which again is great for Australian football. They have to take some credit for their remarkable efforts and the work they have done.
Monstasport: Lyall Gorman, how important was he in setting up the Wanderers?
Brendon: I think we’ve seen in our first three years is that he is an unbelievable business man. What he created, along with everybody else at the Wanderers was just remarkable. To go from scratch and in two years make two grand finals, win a minor premiership and an Asian Champions League is beyond anyone’s dreams.
It just shows the job that he did and now he’s moved onto the Sharks. He’s very smart as the Sharks are down and out, he’ll look to bring them up, which he’s best at.
Follow Brendon On Twitter – @BSantalab
MonstaSport Magazine – January Edition Out NOWby Daniel
The below is a preview of Edition 01 of MonstaSport Magazine, available now via – Magzter
Download the magazine formatted article Here
Top 10 New Faces Of The NRL
With Anthony Minichello, Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Burgess leaving the game at the end of 2014, the NRL, and Channel 9, will be looking for a new face of the game. We at Monstasport have been nice enough to do the work for them. Here is our ten suggestions for the next face of the game – Justin Davies
In recent seasons the ‘face of the game’ has been a poisoned chalice for the National Rugby League (NRL) players who took up the mantle. The exodus of talent from the code in the last year has left the position vacant for someone to step up. As a service for the community, here at MonstaSport, we have provided a list for the NRL upper echelon to peruse.
To outline some of the criteria for the nominated ‘face of the game’. No prior criminal convictions, hasn’t already had a shot at the title and lastly that the player has not been involved in any major off field incidents.
1. Shaun Johnson
The young halfback for the Warriors and New Zealand has recently won the four nations with his country but had won the hearts of many young female admirers some time ago. His baby-faced looks and charming demeanour would be a hit with most fans and a choice much like Minichiello last season that wouldn’t raise any eyebrows.
Photo By Chris O’Dea
2. Daly Cherry-Evans
Halfback for the Sea Eagles and all round good bloke, Cherry-Evans hasn’t strayed out of line since he burst into the NRL in 2011. His charm and down to earth nature would lead him to being a natural choice to succeed Anthony Minichiello for this season.
3. Trent Merrin
There has been quite some love for the backline players thus far so it’s time for the big boppers up front to have their due. Merrin stood out in a lacklustre Dragons line-up last season and brings some personality to interviews whenever he is put in front of the mike. The interchange forward also has Sally Fitzgibbon on his arm which doesn’t hurt his stock.
4. James Tedesco
An odd choice from the outset but Tedesco would be a choice for the persistence he has shown in coming back from multiple knee injuries. Tedesco may not be first choice for 2014’s face but the young fullback will take the mantle in the near future, if he can remain injury free and keep up the form he has shown.
5. John Sutton/Mrs Sutton
Rabbitohs and premiership winning captain, John Sutton will be an obvious candidate for the title but it was his mother, who provided the quote of the season at the Grand Final breakfast. Her ‘ripping and tearing’ quote will live on in rugby league folklore, as will son John’s candid post match interview. Sutton would be the the hard working boy come good story that people would gravitate towards.
6. Boyd Cordner
Last season had the self-proclaimed ‘mumma’s boy’ Anthony Minichiello, so this season – the NRL could follow down a similar path with the country boy in young Boyd. Cordner has broken into a competitive Roosters forward pack but was a part of the New South Wales set up in 2013. Cordner, much like Tedesco, would be a left field choice but would be safe in the regard of not getting into off-field trouble.
7. Trent Hodkinson
Canterbury and Origin winning halfback, Trent Hodkinson has achieved quite a bit in the last few years since he was unceremoniously dumped to NSW Cup a few years back. He worked his way back into contention and has led the Bulldogs and NSW to higher honours since being back in first grade. Hodkinson could provide the classic story of overcoming adversity to make it back into the top grade and is a recognised figure due to the Bulldogs success over the last few seasons.
Photo By Chris O’Dea
8. Jamie Soward
Often described a sook and sulky, Soward was a pariah when he left the NRL for London in 2013 but since his return to Penrith, the diminutive half has won quite a few plaudits from those who were chastising him during his time at St George. Soward would be an ideal way to show young children of all ages that you can succeed despite disadvantages and setbacks.
9. Corey Parker
The evergreen forward for the Brisbane Broncos has had a career renaissance in the last few years. His larrikin style would work well with NRL fans and give Parker a broader spectrum of support besides those who reside in the Sunshine state. It would be a left field choice but Parker hasn’t been involved in any incidents since his resurgence.
10. Andrew Voss
Our last choice is one right from the toolbox, Andrew Voss, who has earned a cult following with his game calls from New Zealand. Since the players continue to get into strife on and off the field maybe it’s time a commentator had a go at being the face of the game. Voss brings excitement and passion into all his calls and would surely liven up any function he was being presented in.
MonstaSport Magazine – December Edition Out NOWby Daniel