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BERRIDGE SPARRING IS THE PERFECT PREP FOR HOOPER



AUSTRALIAN Olympic star Damien “Super” Hopper says he’s had the perfect training camp for his eagerly awaited third professional outing.

The 21-year-old light-heavyweight prospect faces Scott Taliauli at the ABA Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday night (July 5) and has been sharping his skills by sparring with the highly-rated Kiwi puncher Robert “The Butcher” Berridge.

Southpaw Berridge, who tops the bill in a WBC Asian title clash against Shintaro Matsumoto, has had 21 paid fights and knocked out solid opposition in the likes Serge Yannick and Trent Broadhurst so provided Hooper with a great learning experience.

“Rob is a very tough guy and I’ve really enjoyed sparring with him,” Damien said. “He’s got a lot of experience as a pro and I feel like I learned a lot from the past two weeks here in Auckland.

“I’m looking forward to getting another win on Friday night and trying to work on some of the things that I’ve done in the gym. Sparring with “The Butcher” is like having a fight anyway!”

Hooper’s co-manager Brendan Bourke added: “It was better than a lot of fights that I’ve seen! I think both boxers have a ton of respect for each other and many thanks to Hatton Promotions for enabling this for Damien.

“While we’ve had a few late changes in Damien’s opponent for the fight, that wasn’t the real focus of the exercise.

“I’m hoping Damien takes care of business in a professional manner on Friday night and then we can focus on his next bout on August 8 on the Gold Coast.”