Kali Meehan vs. Anton Nel: Tonight On The Gold Coast

16.11.06 - By Tony Nobbs: Self described “Australasian” heavyweight Kali Meehan (31-3, 25 KO's) returns to action in an Australian ring for the first time since signing with Don King 2004 when he defends his PABA heavyweight title against former South African champion Anton Nel (15-10-3, 11 KO's) at the Magic Millions Complex at Bundall on the Gold Coast tonight..

Meehan and Nel, both 36, met at yesterdays press conference and expressed a mutual respect for each other as men and boxers.

“I thank Anton for coming over to fight me. It has been very difficult getting fights. This is a great feeling to be back on the Gold Coast “said Fiji born Kali who was initially based on the Gold Coast when he settled in Australia after knocking out James Grima in 1998 as a one day sub and last fought Down Under in 2002. “To be fighting on Fox again, it is a chance to impress and work my way back into the heavyweight scene in the States. I don't know a lot about Anton, he has experience against top fighters, he is a South African and they fight with a lot of pride”.

“I firstly want to thank Kali for giving me this opportunity” said Anton who arrived with trainer Ben Green on Monday. Asked what he knew of his opponent he replied. “This is all I know about him”pointing to Meehan. “I don't believe in watching tapes. A boxer can fight a certain way in one fight then do something else. I have experience and this is a fight I have trained very hard for, I am very fit and I have come to win”.

I was training for another fight, one with Frans Botha but that fell through. I got a phone call from this man (Jamie Myer , promoter), he made a good offer and here I am”.

Nel was stopped in his last outing in April by a fighter (Osbourne Machimana) he had previously beat inside the distance. “I'm not one to make excuses but honestly my heart wasn't in boxing. I trained 12 days for that fight. I didn't care. In April, I decided to put everything into it and I am ready.”

Asked if he was concerned by Meehan's physical appearance he said. “Kali is a good fighter but if you call me today, I will fight Mike Tyson. I'm a fighter.

“This is boxing and in the heavyweight division, anything can happen “said Meehan reflecting on his 30 second loss to Danny Williams. “You only have to be off guard for a second and get caught and go down. Anton has trained, I have trained, we are both fighters and we are here to put on a great show for the fans. We don't have to talk it up”. At last nights weigh-in a trim looking Meehan weighed 105 kg, Nel 119.

In the main support bout John Hopoate takes on Oscar Talemaira from New Zealand over six rounds. “I'm a baby in this sport. I have done nothing. I've had three fights Who is John Hopoate?” said “Hoppa”. I know nothing about Oscar, he is an Islander so he has a hard head (laughing). I'm still learning and this is another fight for me to get used to boxing. The work I've had with Kali has been invaluable”.

Talemaira has been calling promoter Myer for two months asking for this fight. “Hoppa is a big name in New Zealand and Australia. He was a great footballer. No disrespect to Hoppa “said Oscar who has won his previous two fights “but I have not come to lose. The Gold Coast has a lot of beautiful beaches but we are not here for a picnic!”

Gold Coast Olympian Ryan Langham fights Filipino Robert Oyan in a lightweight 8 rounder. In August both won WBF Asia Pacific titles by impressive knockouts, Langham the 130 lb belt against NSW champ Daniel Hoskins, Oyan the 135 lb strap against Aussie champ Mick Shaw.

“On paper my hardest to date. Robert has had 48 fights as a pro. He knocked Mick down 5 times and Mick has a great record” said Athens rep Langham, 6-0, 4 KO's, who turned 25 on Wednesday. “He also should have got the
decision against Johnny Cotterill so he is going in confident. We have trained for the eight rounds, I don't know about stopping him, my plan is to out box him."

“I have trained, he has trained, I don't know who will win. I don't want to say what I'm going to do. I just look forward to the fight” said Oyan, 24.

Former National Basketball League star John Szigeti faces Alex Leapai in a heavyweight six rounder. Loal fave Szigeti spoke at yesterdays press conference. “This is by far my biggest test in my career, not jus by boxing career but my whole sporting life. Alex is a big puncher, very aggressive and it will give me a sense of what I can do in boxing. I'm still finding my feet in boxing and Alex has fought some top ten (Aussie rated) fighters so I have to be on my guard for six rounds tomorrow night."

Leapai, of Samoan descent, a former Australian ABL heavyweight champion said “I'm fit for the fight. I had a good win last week, stopping a K1 fighter in four rounds. This is a chance to get my name out there and get some bigger fights."

In other bouts, Matt Merideth defends the Queensland state 122 lb title against Leigh Lingren over 8 heats. Merideth won the vacant title by stopping Lingren in a mild upset last month and Lingren is “out for revenge”. Former Qld welterweight champ Matt Shaw and George Livavidas meet over 6 rounds at middleweight and two local sports journo's Trad McLean and Julian Tomlinson box a 3 x 1 ½ minute round heavyweight charity exhibition.

First fight begins at 6.30 Qld time.

Article posted on 17.11.2006

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