'Beast' Had Best Punch

Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia), June 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

'Beast' Had Best Punch


Byline: Jamie Gallagher

LEGENDARY Sydney second Billy Smith rated Joe Nitiva as the hardest puncher he ever worked with.

Big call. Billy regularly cornered greats like Ron Richards, Jim Carruthers, Vic Patrick, George Barnes and Tony Mundine during a career that began in the 1940s.

I trained with Joe at Ern McQillians gym in the 1980s.

Years later I trained Joe's nephew Mosese Sorovi at the Tweed PCYC for his fight with world number 4 light heavyweight Glen Kelly in 2000. When Joe got 'em clean he simply walked away. He knew they were counting sheep!

Mosese was the same. He hit Glen in the first minute with a short right.

Lucky for Kelly the shot was partially blocked and for the next 35 minutes he impersonated Carl Lewis.

He wasn't going to get hit "clean."

Joe finished with a record of 28 wins - 23 losses (26 KO).

Mosese, an Australian and OPBF champ, ended up 27-15-1, (27 KO, 25 inside 3 rounds!) You don't teach that kind of power.

I'd say Ugandan born John "The Beast" Mugabi is the hardest puncher I've ever cornered.

A Moscow Olympic silver medallist, Mugabi challenged Marvin Hagler for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world in 1986.

At the time "The Beast" was 25-0, (25 KO), Hagler 62-2-2, (52 KO!).

Hagler eventually won a war by KO 11 but not before John had him on "queer street."

John won the WBC super welter crown in '89 and had a number of fights here in the late 90s, while based on the Gold Coast.

He is regarded as one of the hardest punchers in the history of boxing. But Paul Smallman, who fought both Mugabi and Sorovi reckons Mosese hit hardest.

* * *

ONE of my old amateurs, Dane Corowa intends to get back into action in 2009.

Dane, now 26, defeated 2008 Oympian Todd Kidd as a junior in a short twelve bout stint in the mid-90s.

My first ever amateur, 2004 Olympian Ryan Langham, is the best novice I have seen and Dane, a nephew of Larry, wasn't too far behind.

* * *

THERE are now three Nigerian born Aussie professional champions. King Davidson (9-0, 5 ko's) defeated my ex fighter Rob Toomey (7-7, 2 ko's) to become National light middleweight champ in Sydney on Friday night.

Johnny Lewis trained King joins welter Oyewale Omotoso and light welter Sol Egberime.

Dubbo's Toomey had four bouts out of the Tweed PCYC last year, beating Israel Kani, who two months later won the Australian super middleweight title.

* * *

JOHN Hopoate (11-3, 11 ko's) will defend his Australian heavyweight title against Bob Mirovic (29-20-2, 20 ko's) on Thursday July 23.

Hoppa won the title by ninth round TKO on a Jamie Myer PPV last September.

The rematch takes place in Canberra and will be televised on Ten's One HD, which kicks off its new Super Boxer series (billed the new TV Ringside) on July 9 when ex IBO world champ Billy Dib (22-1, 11 ko's) faces Osaka's Kenochi Yamaguchi (15-1, 4 ko's) at Sydney's Luna Park. …

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