Two of Australia’s best and most exciting boxing talents step into the ring as co-headliners on Wednesday night.
Nikita Tszyu (6-0, 5 KOs) takes on Jack Brubaker (17-4-2, 8KOs) while Liam Wilson (11-2, 7KOs) returns to the ring for the first time since his controversial loss to Emanuel Navarrete and is set to take on the undefeated Carlos Alanis (12-0, 4KOs).
As expected, Tszyu is a heavy $1.06 favourite to get past Brubaker who comes into this one as a massive $11 underdog. It’s a similar story in the co-headliner with Wilson ($1.11) expected to hand Alanis ($7.50) the first loss of his career.
Tszyu v Brubaker
Nikita Tszyu returns to the Hordern Pavilion for the first time since his Fight of the Year worthy win over Ben Horn and comes into this one on the back of a destructive first round knockout of Benjamin Bomber. Feigning a hook to the body, Tszyu caught Bomber with a flurry of headshots forcing action from the referee and providing Tszyu with the fifth knockout of his six-fight career.
Impressively for Tszyu, he caught one from Bomber that put him on his heels but recovered quickly to string together a fight-winning combination only 90 seconds later.
Scheduled for eight rounds, Tszyu – a $1.06 favourite to win – has no plans for it to go any longer than four.
Tim Tszyu is the more high-profile brother right now but an early finish for Nikita will provide the younger of the two with bragging rights. This is the first time one of the Tszyu brothers takes on a common opponent with Tim dropping Jack Brubaker in the 4th Round back in 2019.
Brubaker ($11) has only fought twice since his last defeat to a Tszyu brother but his lack of activity in the ring isn’t so much of an issue following his unanimous decision win over Troy O’Meley just last month. O’Meley didn’t make the weight but that didn’t stop Brubaker from convincing all three judges of a 58-55 scorecard.
The 31-year-old’s reach is a potential advantage. A significant underdog and likely needing to be the aggressor if he’s to cause an upset, Brubaker’s right hook on the counter is where he can find some joy. Tzsyu’s left hand can be slow getting home when putting combinations together and Brubaker is in possession of a decent right hand.
However, Tszyu is the heavy favourite for a reason. He has superior hand speed, picks his shots and packs a punch. Brubaker’s chin can keep him in it for the early rounds but it’s one that is unlikely to reach the judge’s scorecards.
Height: 177cm (5′ 10″)
Reach: 178cm (70″)
Record: 6-0, 5 KOs
Height: 175cm (5′ 9″)
Reach: 181cm (71.5″)
Record: 17-4-2, 7 KOs
Wilson v Alanis
Liam Wilson is out to right the wrongs of his last fight in this one. Many thought he caught a raw deal after dropping Navarrete in the fourth round with Wilson himself demanding the fight be deemed a no-contest. The fiery Australian dropped the champion before the Mexican managed to buy a whopping 28 seconds to recover and claw his way to victory.
Was Liam Wilson robbed by this mouthpiece debacle?
— MAIN EVENT (@MainEventTV) February 4, 2023
Desperate to make a statement and put the fiasco behind him, a win – he’s a heavy $1.11 favourite – over the undefeated Argentinean will do just that on Wednesday night.
Carlos Alanis ($7.50) is no slouch. He has picked up back-to-back knockout wins in his last two fights and has power in both hands capable of sending his opponent to the canvas at all levels. He stopped Marcos Gabriel Martinez with a brutal shot to the body in the sixth round in his last bout and his right hook down low set up his left hook to the head to defeat Kevin Acevedo in the fight prior.
Wilson will press Alanis from the start which could open up the 25-year-old Australian to some of those shots to the body. However, Wilson has the speed and power to cause Alanis problems. He walks through shots and looks to punch himself out of tough spots which makes him a constant threat.
While Wilson can get a little bit loose when firing combinations under fatigue, expect him to try and get the job done before heavy arms become a factor. His power was evident when dropping Navarrete in February. If he can’t get on top early, though, the proficiency in which Alanis finds the body could become a factor late with the underdog capable of an upset.
Height: 176cm (5′ 9″)
Reach: 178cm (70.1″)
Record: 11-2, 7 KOs
Height 175cm (5’9″)
Reach: 180cm (71.0″)
Record: 12-0, 4KOs