SATALI TEVI-FUIMAONO is sure that the looming WBC Silver light middleweight title fight between Australia’s Anthony Mundine and Belarusian Sergey Rabchenko will be a classic because he’s shared the ring with both of them.
The 16-year-old World Youth champion from Umina Beach, New South Wales has been on a tour of the UK’s finest gyms along with youngsters from the NSW PCYC Boxing Academy.
The NSW Academy’s Ambassador is boxing legend Nigel Benn who has actively been assisting the PCYC boxing programmes and youth development since migrating to Australia.
Satali’s latest stop off was at former world champion Ricky Hatton’s fitness centre in Manchester where he met a man hoping to break Aussie hearts.
Belarusian puncher Rabchenko has trained with Hatton for over two years and was more than happy to do a few rounds of sparring with Satali as part of his preparation for the November 12 megafight with Mundine in Melbourne.
Satali has already sparred with Mundine as well as former WBC super-middleweight champion Sakio Bika so can hold his own against the big boys despite his tender years.
“It was very good sparring. Sergey is a strong and clever fighter and he looked after me in the rounds so it was great,” Satali said.
“He’s definitely got power as he got me with a good body rip in one of the rounds and I think he’s going to give Mundine a really hard time.
“Comparing them is difficult because they’re equipped with different things. Sergey is the puncher, but Mundine is as fast as anyone so it’ll be a good fight.
“It’ll definitely be very entertaining. I’m an Aussie boy so I’ve got to stay true to my country. Mundine is one of our biggest representatives so I’m always there rooting for him, but he’s got a tough fight on his hands and I’ll definitely be tuning in for it.”
He added: “A lot of great boxers come from the UK so it’s good to come over and see how things are done. Ricky Hatton himself was world class so it’s great to visit this gym and see how he trains his fighters.”
“It was one hundred percent a great experience to have met some of the cream of boxing and goes along way in helping younger boxers like myself see what defines true champions”
And Hatton was certainly impressed with the young Australian’s skills as well as his potential.
“I think it’s staggering that he’s only 16 and he’s willing to spar so many top class fighters,” Hatton said.
“You see him in the ring and you’d never guess he was so young. He’s got exceptional talent and I don’t honestly think there’s many other boxers his age that would even dare get in the ring with Sergey or Anthony Mundine.
“I was really impressed with Satali and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for him from now on.
“Him and all the other lads that came in from the academy were really nice and down to earth. It was an absolute pleasure to have them visit the gym.”
Words: Andrew Wake
Photo: Hatton Promotions