Boxing


Diaz zaps Zappavigna

By Tony Nobbs: Smooth Panamanian 135 pounder Ameth Diaz caused a mild upset, scoring a five round knockout of home country hope Leonardo Zappavigna in Melbourne, Victoria on Friday night. IBF number eight Diaz dominated the contest from the opening bell. He appeared unfortunate not to register a knock down early in round when he caught the Aussie with a right hand, knocking him off balance with is gloves hitting the mat. In round two Diaz scored a knockdown when caught Lenny again with another right straight through the gloves. Zappavigna got through the round and took the third – his only round – by getting inside and attacking.

However, Diaz was rarely caught and always looked in control. In the fourth, he got long again. A right uppercut stunned "Zappa" and in the fifth, the number five rated contender looked uncertain. Always game, he tried to turn it around but was caught coming in – again by a right and momentarily stopped in his tracks. The 28 year old from Panama City jumped on the opportunity and Zappavigna, 23, slumped to the canvas along the ropes following an unanswered barrage. Lenny’s long time trainer Tommy Mercuri called the fight off, walking in to the ring.

A good win for Diaz that now puts him in the title picture. Zappavigna was coming off a points loss to IBF champion Miguel Vasquez in Las Vegas in May – his first after 25 victories - and was looking to rebuild toward another tilt. Going in, most looked at the Sydney fighter’s sensational first round demolition of Ji Hoon Kim in October. Kim had derailed Diaz in round one in May last year. But styles make fights and each fight is a new night and Diaz, who had ex WBA 115 pound champion Rafael Pedroza in the corner, was simply too skilled. The win takes Diaz’ record to 30-10 and 1 no contest. It was his 21st knockout victory.

In the main support bout, local prospect Blake Capparello took his best scalp to date with a unanimous verdict after twelve rounds over recent IBF top 15 ranked Joseph Kwadjo from Ghana. Light heavyweight Capparello looks one to watch. A rangy smart boxing southpaw with a great kit of punches and defensive moves he gets better with every bout and he completely shut down the tough and more experienced import.

Promoters Barry Michael & Brian Amatruda. Foxsport commentators Andy Raymond & Chris McCullen.

Article posted on 08.08.2011



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