Tom Belchambers has taken out a battle of former AFL stars with a savage knockout in the final round. Catch all the Parker vs Opelu news LIVE here.
And we’re underway at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena, with extensive sparring ahead of Joseph Parker’s heavyweight bout with Faiga Opelu in the main event.
Follow us live for tonight’s epic showdown
FALL FIGHT CART:
Joseph Parker vs. Faiga Opel
Nikita Tzu vs. Ben Bomber
Cameron Mooney vs Tom Belchambers
Joel Taylor vs. Ben Horn
David Nica vs Louis Marsters
Kane Clark vs Ricky Natio
Jade Mitchell vs. Max Reeves
21:10. BELLCHAMBERS WIN A BATTLE OF FORMER AFL STARS
With Tyson Fury watching from ringside, Tom Belchambers scored a sensational third-round knockout victory over Cam Mooney in their heavyweight showdown.
Belchambers, who had significant height, maturity, weight and age advantages, sent Mooney spinning into the ropes with a right hand in the final round of the three-round fight. Still on wobbly legs, a second right hand sent Moon to the mat for good.
The result sees Belchambers potentially set up a showdown with former Carlton and Brisbane midfielder Mitch Robinson or NRL star Latrell Mitchell. Robinson and Mitchell have both said they are ready to fight the winner.
After watching the knockout, Robinson says he denies wanting to fight the winner, citing the 35kg weight difference between him and Belchambers.
“I’d rather fight my mother than fight her,” he joked. “Maybe if he gets down to 85kg we can.”
Despite wanting a few more fights, Belchambers wasn’t committed to any future opponents, let alone Mitchell.
“Yeah, I don’t know. I’m not sure,” he said when asked about the fight against the South Sydney superstar. “I’ve only been in the gym for three weeks. I’ll get back in the gym and we’ll see how it goes.”
The fight wasn’t polished, but it was ready, and both men aimed to fulfill Fury’s demands to “put on some fireworks.”
A straight right sent Moon to the canvas in the first round as the Cats beat the count nicely to restart.
Mooney landed some nice shots, but Belchambers’ height and reach advantage spoke volumes over three two-minute rounds.
Mooney was taken down again in the second round, but it was accepted as a push and the 43-year-old finished the frame connecting with a heavy one-two to Belchambers’ chin.
The third round was pure chaos.
Mooney had a couple of good moments, momentarily shaking Belchambers before the former Essendon ruckman scored a knock-out.
“It was a storm. He basically caught me with some good ones right when I stopped him,” Belchambers said.
“I just kept my feet and landed and it counted.”
Mooney has plenty of sparring experience from his footy playing days but admitted the age difference between the 33-year-old Belchambers was telling.
“I’m 43 years old and I’ve checked it off the list,” Mooney said. “I wanted to get into the ring for a long time and I finally did it. Maybe at the wrong age, but I had a great time.”
20:45. horn causes mass excitement
Ben Horn is following in his older brother’s footsteps by digging deep to claim a hard-fought victory over Joel Taylor.
With older brother Jeff, who famously won the WBO welterweight title in a bloody battle with Manny Pacquiao, in his corner, Horn dropped Taylor with a huge overhand in the first round.
While Taylor gathered her senses, the normally reserved Horn found a television camera in the corner and slashed her throat under the lens.
With Tyson Fury and UFC stars Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovsky watching from ringside, the 9-0 Taylor rose to his feet, swinging and hurting “The Hunter” at various points over the next five rounds.
Horn was awarded a unanimous decision and called out Nikita Tzu, who is dueling Ben Bomber in the co-main event.
Last year, Horne handed down a one-sided but punitive decision against Tzu.
“I got off the couch and fought Nikita in three weeks,” he said. “I almost got sad.
“Maybe we could have a rematch”
19:45. CHUCK TAYLOR DRESSED CULT HERO WINS BLOOD BATTLE
Chuck Taylor-clad cult favorite Isaiah Seth scored a bloody, brutal TKO victory over Campbell Somerville.
After enduring some heavy punishment, Somerville’s corner was eventually forced to throw in the gauntlet to save their fighter in the fourth round.
Somerville’s face was covered in blood and he had significant swelling around his eyes.
Seth, 20, has developed a cult following with fight fans for wearing a Chuck Taylor top during a fight.
Speaking backstage at News Corp, she even had a few extra pairs in her bag.
“These are my sparring sessions, these are my daily matches,” he said. “I used to buy boxing shoes, but every six months they wore out and I had to buy new ones.
“One day I just tapped on my Chuck Taylors and they’re as flat as boxing shoes and they worked.
“I did a bunch of amateur fights and it became a thing.
“With my JD Sport staff discount they are $80. I’m not spending $400 on boxing boots.”
19:00. UNCARDED STATUS AFTER TCO DECISION DUE TO PRINCIPAL DISPUTE
Jade Mitchell says she will challenge a controversial TKO decision against Max Reeves in her bantamweight fight on the undercard of Joseph Parker vs. Faiga Opelu.
The fight was stopped after a vicious second-round clash left Mitchell with a horrific cut to his forehead above his right eye.
It was the second headbutt of the fight, the first also causing a small cut over Mitchell’s eye.
Mitchell tried to continue, but the referee stopped the action and the ring doctor assessed the cut.
Controversy arose when Reeves was declared the winner via second-round TKO.
Officials determined one of the cuts was due to a left hook. That cut, they said, was enough to end the fight.
“It didn’t happen. There was a collision of two heads,” Mitchell told News Corp afterwards. “He hit me with a left hook, but it was nothing.
“It’s the cut on my forehead that was bleeding into my eye and causing the problem, not the small one.
“We are going to challenge it and hopefully it will be overturned. Then I want the rematch.”
NRL SUPERSTAR RAISES HAND FOR AFL CROSS-CODE MEGAFIGHT
Latrell Mitchell has put his hand up for a blockbuster boxing bid to fight the winner of tonight’s heavyweight clash between retired AFL players Cam Mooney and Tom Belchambers.
The former footy players will both make their boxing debuts on the undercard of Joseph Parker’s clash with Faiga ‘Django’ Opelu.
Mitchell, who is in camp in New South Wales ahead of next week’s State of Origin opener in Adelaide, shared a promotional poster of the Mooney-Bellchambers stoush to his 305,000 Instagram followers.
The 25-year-old added: I will fight (so) against the winner.” and noted promoters No Limit.
The Rabbitohs fullback has no formal boxing experience but is a regular on fight nights.
Mitchell and his New South Wales teammates were put through their paces this week in a boxing session hosted by former Blues enforcer Mark Carroll at the Wolloomooloo PCYC.
No Limit CEO George Rose has said he has no idea Mitchell wants to fight, but would love to see him in the ring.
“I found out when everyone was coming up and asking me about it,” Rose told News Corp.
“I know he loves his boxing. He had a boxing session with the Blues the other day, so he’s obviously got a spark in him.
“When you have that kind of power and you’re that gifted, there’s something about it. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of his kicks, that’s for sure.”
Rose added that Mitchell could even follow in Paul Gallen’s footsteps by switching to toe-to-toe.
“They don’t come much bigger in Australian sport than Latrell Mitchell,” he said. “He’s an NRL star and the biggest name in Australian sport.
“We’ll have no objection to him fighting.”
He’s just the latest athlete to throw his hat into the ring for a fight with Mooney or Belchambers.
Former Carlton and Brisbane midfielder Mitch Robinson will be at Margaret Court Arena tonight and has offered to fight the winner.
“I don’t know if I could have cut enough weight to take him down,” Belchambers told New Corp when asked about Robinson’s challenge. “He’s a Tassie boy and quite ambitious, so good luck to him.”