Knock-out fighters of glittering boxing era
By TONY NOBBS
TODAY we look at other boxers from the area, who for various reasons never made it to the top but were still competitive in their time.
There are also some fighters who have achieved great success while based on the Tweed.
English-born Alan Shephard had a recorded 18 fights between 1948-58 winning 10.
He defeated New Zealand welterweight champion Noel Fitzwater three times out of four and contested twelve round bouts back in the days, like the previously mentioned Johnny Slockee and Johnny Azzard, you had to be a good fighter to reach double bill or main event status.
Alan was trained by Snowy Robbins, who trained NSW welter champ Bernie Hall, the first Australian to go the distance with legendary American Freddie Dawson.
Snowy's star was American Ralph Dupas, an American who fought Sugar Ray Robinson and later became world junior middleweight champion.
In later years Alan moved to the Tweed and for many years lived at Banora Point.
Don Glover was a NSW amateur champion who fought professional as a junior middleweight in the early 1960's.
A popular figure, Don moved to the Tweed from Sydney in the early 1980s and trained several champions out of Tweed and Gold Coast gyms.
Fighters the ilk of Kev Johnson, Jamie Myer, Ken Carter, Jack Russell and Kid Glover have been under Don at some stage of their careers.
Stuart Stone was another top amateur in Sydney who then fought pro in the 1970s.
Stuart defeated Roger Henry went on to win the NSW featherweight title and challenge the Australian and Commonwealth champion Paul Ferrari, a future world title challenger.
Stuart has run the Murwillumbah Boxing Club for several years.
Ezzard Charles Morgan, a deaf boxer, campaigned admirably in preliminary ranks from 1975-80 contesting 55 bouts between the feather and junior welter divisions, based out of Sydney. Ezzard had a win and a loss against former Australian amateur champion Willie Leslie and a win, two losses and a draw with Gary Rosen, a NSW jnr welter champion. Ezzard's last fight was a TKO 5 defeat to Brisbane star Brian Janssen, a future two division Australian and Commonwealth welterweight champion.
Allan "Stumpy" Willoughby was a NSW Country Rugby League representative who played in several grand finals for the Cudgen and Seagulls Clubs.
"Stumpy" was a silver medallist at the NSW amateur titles in the mid 1980's and then had two professional fights as a middleweight in 1985.
In his pro debut he KO'd Noel Thornberry , the son of "The Iceman" Trevor and brother/trainer of world title challenger Ricky.
Noel went on to win a Queensland title. Stumpy was then involved in the Queensland preliminary fight of the year against Gary Tomlinson, losing a six-round decision and he then returned to the paddock.
Ashley Byrnes, born in 1967, fought sporadically between middle and cruiserweight form 1986-89.
He went three wins and three defeats in that time before returning in 2002 age 35, drawing a heavyweight four rounder with Jason Larsen, finishing at 3-3-1.
Ashley is remembered to locals for his first round knockout win over Seagulls front rower Victor Seymour at the old Coolangatta Patch in 1989, on a night where they were turning them away at the door.
Ashley also had a nice win over Greg Pocock in Brisbane, but lost to Ricky Thornberry, American Jack Johnson and future state champ Pat Stone.
A Group 18 RL rep, Ash won a Grand Final with South Tweed in 1987.
In his next fight after beating Ashley, Townsville product Pat Stone won the Queensland cruiserweight title (in 1990) by out pointing Gary Wills.
Tragically, he collapsed after the decision was announced and later died.
Wills went on to capture Australian and OPBF belts and was rated as high as number 9 in the world by the WBC.
This writer often sparred Pat Stone in the early '80s and he was a well respected person both in and out of boxing.
His tragic passing at age 25, makes one very aware of the dangers involved in our sport.
Paul Buxton, born in 1964, was a useful amateur who was a silver medallist at the Queensland Golden Gloves in 1986. He then had just one pro fight, a points win over four rounds against nationally rated number 12 lightweight Mike Slivika.
Paul's dad Snow was a well known Uki pug who once fought Queensland lightweight champ Dave Landers.
His nephew Simon fought amateur, winning eight from 10, having his last fight in 1998, a loss to current WBO world lightweight champ Mick Katsidis.
Jack Russell, real name Peter Smith, was born in 1974. An outstanding Victorian amateur he turned pro under the guidance of Keith Ellis, Lester's brother in Melbourne in 1991.
He fought a few early bouts at Twin Towns Services Club and eventually stayed on the Tweed.
Jack won Australian titles in four weight divisions.
To win those belts he defeated Rick Budgen, Barry Roberts, Col Nelson and Barry Sewell.
In 1995, while trained by Don Glover and Bobby Wilson, he challenged the great Ratnapol Sor Vorapin in Thailand for the IBF strawweight title (the lightest weight class in boxing), being stopped.
It was Vorapin's 12th defense.
In 1997, he challenged for the IBO world flyweight title, recently held by Vic Darchinyan, being defeated by Scott Olsen in Canada.
Jack had 15 pro fights retiring in 1999.
Shane King was a Queensland amateur junior champion who had four prelim bouts in 1997, going 3-1 at jnr middleweight.
He returned last year as a cruiserweight winning a six rounder.
Simon Noble, born in 1974, won a silver medal at the 1994 NSW amateur titles as featherweight.
He had a lengthy break, before returning to win the Queensland professional welterweight title in 2002 from Mario Cendo.
Simon also fought a draw with future Qld jnr welter champ and Australian and WBA PABA title challenger Brad Hemming.
He finished without a pro loss, 6 wins and 2 draws. "Diamond" Dale Hawke, born in 1973, was a Tugun footballer who took up boxing in 2001.
He achieved a lot in a short time winning the Qld jnr welterweight title knocking out Rob Sphegan in round four in September 2001 before losing it at the "Cooly Hotel" to the more experienced Brett Trudgen (TKO 6) in an exciting battle on November 30, 2001.
Dale also mixed it with Queensland and OBA champ Ty Allen, NSW champ Wade Clout and Aussie champs Gary Comer and Matt Pauley.
He had 14 pro fights and none as an amateur.
Brett "Young Eagle" Trudgen, born in 1970, was an amateur at the Tweed PCYC in the early 1990's.
He turned pro in late 1999 at short notice on Jamie Myer's first ever promotion, losing a decision. He returned in 2000, string together some good wins. At the end of the year he lost to Kenyan Olympian Fred Kinuthia, TKO by 5, in Adelaide.
Fred went on to win two Australian titles, beating world title challenger Noefel Ben Rabah and also went 12 rounds with world champ Lovemore Ndou.
Brett's last fight was his state title winning effort over Hawke.
"Trudge" finished with a 7-3 slate.
Matt "3rd Degree" Burns, born in 1975, was another who started out as an amateur at Tweed PCYC.
He won a silver at Queensland titles and then turned pro in 2004.
He won the Queensland junior middleweight title in April 2005 beating Fabrice Hona on points.
Matt's last outing was a loss for the Australian title against Rob Medley in Sydney in November 2005.
He was 5-5. The following fighters, while not "Tweed breed" became champion while working with this writer at the Tweed Heads PCYC.
Lismore's Johnny Binge, born in 1972 was a NSW amateur champion, turning pro in 1993.
On debut he beat Daniel Hoskins in Kempsey.
Johnny retired in 2000, having 24 bouts, mostly against top level opposition and often above his best fighting weight.
He challenged for six Australian titles unsuccessfully but in a case of seventh time lucky, he knocked out Tony Pappa (the national super fly champ) in Melbourne in 11 rounds on November 27, 1999 to annex the Bantamweight championship of Australia, which was once held by Lionel Rose.
Johnny then lost to world number 3 Denkaosan Kaowitch for the WBA PABA title in February 2000.
His last fight was a points loss to a future WBU champ Nathan Sting, which he surrendered the Australian title.
In his career Johnny faced fighters like world title challengers Arnel Baratillio (1 win -1 loss 1 draw) Nedal Husein, Hussein Hussein, Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym, and Kaowitch plus Sting, Lucas Matthew and Barry Sewell.
His victory over Pappa was a very emotional occasion and stands out as a highlight of my time as trainer.
Johnny is related to the famous Roberts family who have had a number of Australian champions over the years.
Mosese Sorovi, born in Fiji in 1970 was one of the hardest punching fighters in Australia in recent times. Shock punching Mosese turned pro in Fiji in 1991. In 1993 he won the Fiji middleweight title starching Tevita Vakalabure in round 6.
He moved to Australia in 1994.
He won the OPBF and Australian cruiserweight titles knocking out Adrian Bellin in round two in 1999. He challenged for the Australian light heavyweight title losing on points to then IBF world number four Glenn Kelly in March 2000. His last fight was a TKO by 7 to up and coming Paul Briggs in May 2000. Mosese finished with a record of 20-15, all wins by knockout! He'd knocked out Australian and PABA champ Gavin Ryan, Qld champ Glen Fitzpartick,WA champ Matt Smith, and NSW champs Heath Bulgin and Justin Clements. English born Clements was 14-1-1 at the time and later fought a draw in the US with Roy Jones' sparring partner Billy Lewis, who was IBF number one at the time. He lasted 30 seconds with Mosese! A God Fearing, softly spoken man out of the ring, Mosese was a nephew of Joe Nitiva who knocked out some big names in the 70's and 80's. Frankie De Milo was born in Rwanda in 1974.
At 14, he moved to Sweden where he won Swedish amateur titles and medals at international tournaments. As there was no pro boxing in Sweden at the time, Frank moved to England in 1999 and won several bouts.
He defeated former IBF flyweight world champ Francisco Tejedor in 2002. In Tejedor's next bout he won the WBC Intercontinental bantamweight title in Las Vegas.
Frankie then challenged for the WBF world super bantam weight title losing on points to Michael Hunter in England. In 2003 Frankie came to the Gold Coast studying at Griffith Uni.
After scoring his quickest ever win, over Brisbane's Shane Rogers, he suffered an upset defeat to Matt Powell, in a disgraceful decision, in February 2004.
He then stopped Melbourne's Shane Brock in round three before challenging for the Australian featherweight title against Jackson Asiku.
He lost TKO by 6.
Asiku is now the Commonwealth champion, wining that title by 1st round knockout! After defeating Filipino Rolando Gerongco in December '04, Frankie got revenge by winning the Australian super bantamweight belt against Powell, who was disqualified for not fighting back.
That fight took place at Southport RSL in March 2005. Frankie then retired and moved back to England where he works for a major business firm.
His final record was 18-5. Sonni Michael Angelo, known as "Jungle Boy" was born in 1985 in Bolivia but grew up in the Congo.
He turned pro in the Congo in 2003. He came to Australia in 2004.
After six bouts he moved to the Tweed linking with promoter Jamie Myer.
In his seventh fight he won the WBF Asia Pacific middleweight title out pointing Australian number 3 Steven Ng over ten rounds in September '05.
He knocked Ng down three times.
In February '06 he claimed the Queensland super middleweight title by decision against Israel Kani. He then split with Tweed his training team.
He has since challenged twice unsuccessfully for Australian titles. His record is now 14-5 and currently fights out of Sydney. Baden Oui was born in Gordenvale NQ, in 1974.
He fought for Australia as an amateur against an Irish team in Sydney before turning pro in April '04 losing to Mark De Mori over four rounds.
After mixed success early, he took a bout on a weeks notice against famous American Eric "Butterbean" Esch in November '05, winning an upset decision at Carrara. He then joined the Tweed PCYC.
In his next start, in April 2006, he won the Queensland heavyweight title knocking out Australian number 7 Mick Pechey in round three . Pechey had previously decisioned Baden in 2004.
Unfortunately, Baden has not fought since. His record is 6-3.
Today, there are a small band of amateurs coming through the ranks.
Other names to come out of the larger Northern Rivers region, stretching from Tweed Heads to Grafton include of course, former WBC light heavyweight champion Jeff "Hitman" Harding, the Mundine's, the Roberts', the Rowsell's, Tommy Burns, George Kappeen, Johnny Jarrett, Athol Mc Queen (who decked Smokin' Joe Frazier at the 1964 Olympics), Steve Cansdell, Geoff Peate, Reg King, Bobby Williams, Steve Walker, Brentan Bowen, Gary Martin and Tilta Halpin.