Australian Boxing: Akkawy and Savva March On

Last night, in front of a raucous crowd at Hurstville Entertainment Centre, Bilal Akkawy continued his upwards trajectory in the World Rankings with an impressive first round KO of Argentinian, Francisco Benitez whilst in the chief support fight, British Welterweight Ben Savva put in a superb display to outclass his seasoned opponent, Roy Manihuruk.

It was a short night of Boxing following a couple of unfortunate incidents – Ahmed Dib (18-0) scheduled clash with Marco Tuhumury was cancelled after Tuhumury came in 7kgs over weight and the opening professional fight was cancelled after Massimo Gregorio, on course to make his pro debut, was involved in a traffic collision on the way to the fight.

That night was made even shorter when Bilal Akkawy landed a thunderous left hook on Benitez half way through the first round to end the fight and claim the vacant WBA Oceania and WBC Eurasia Titles.

It was Akkawy’s first fight in front of his home town of Sydney since his controversial draw with Joe Rea in early 2015 and Hardcore Gym trained fighter was keen to put on a show on home soil. Speaking with him after the fight, Akkawy said he was expecting more rounds but was happy to add his 11th KO in his 13 wins.

The majority of the crowd were there for Akkawy but Ben Savva, a late replacement for Darragh Foley, brought his usual loud support out to Hurstville and treated them to a Boxing master class.

Fighting against an opponent with 31 more fights than himself, it was Savva that got to work early on, settling behind his crisp jab and making Manihuruk miss wildly.

As the rounds wore on the gulf in class between the pair grew more evident, as he slipped further behind on the cards Manihuruk began to seek the knockout, 15 of his 18 previous wins had come via KO and because of this Savva was wary of the wild, swinging shots throughout the fight as he continued to rack up the scoring shots, moving brilliantly and making his opponent look amateurish at times.

The combination of hand speed, accuracy, footwork and ring generalship were too much for Manihuruk who, by the final bell had been comprehensively beaten and gave full credit to his defeater.

Savva, who held an amateur record of 23 wins and 2 losses, now looks towards a NSW Title fight on July 2nd in Punchbowl, Sydney and speaking after the fight stated “In 12 months I want the Aussie Title”.

Given his last two performances (winning every single round) the future looks very bright for the ambitious and popular Brit.

As for Akkawy, the popular Sydney-sider will now look to continue his ascent up the Rankings (he was 7th in Australia heading into last night’s bout) with a view to some big name fights in 2017 – Daniel Geale makes his first appearance as a Super-Middleweight against Renold Quinlan next month and whilst the experienced Geale may a step too far this year, it could be an intriguing match-up of a boxer vs a puncher next year once Akkawy has faced a few tougher opponents.

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