Sun, May 13, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Australian medical authority wants title bout canceled

AFP , SYDNEY

An Australian medical authority wants next month's Anthony Mundine WBA world title fight called off because they fear his Argentine opponent will be outclassed.

Argentine Pablo Zamora Nievas, who has never fought more than six rounds in 18 bouts, will challenge Mundine for his World Boxing Association (WBA) super-middleweight title on Queensland's Gold Coast on June 27.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) fears Nievas, 26, will get seriously hurt if the fight goes ahead.

brutal

AMA spokesman Shaun Rudd said boxing was brutal enough without having to watch an outclassed boxer be "bashed up" for a pay cheque.

"Boxing's extremely dangerous, but in these situations it becomes even more dangerous," Rudd told yesterday's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"You get somebody who's willing to be bashed up by somebody who can bash them up and you pay them money for that," he said.

Rudd said the biggest danger was that a referee could allow Nievas to take punishment even when he was obviously hurt.

"The referee doesn't tend to stop the fight but lets it go on so we can see a bit more blood and see if we can really hurt him a bit and get everybody excited, which is very sad," he said. "You see in these sort of bouts why boxing should be banned."

Senior Australian boxing official, International Boxing Federation vice-president Ray Wheatley, was scathing of Mundine's choice of opponent for his title defense.

mismatch

"This is a total mismatch," he said, "and there is a real chance this kid from Argentina could get badly hurt. It beggars belief that the WBA could sanction this. Unfair contests like this give boxing a bad name."

Nievas, who turned professional two years ago, has 16 wins, 11 by knockout, with a draw and a loss in his 18 fights.

Mundine, 31, who won his second WBA super-middleweight title when he defeated fellow Australian Sam Soliman on the three knockdown rule on March 7, has a 28-3 record with 22 knockouts.

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