ANTHONY Buttigieg scored a famous upset on Friday night, derailing the highly touted Rocky Jerkic over twelve heats in Melbourne.
The Melburnian, who is aptly nicked named ‘The Boss’, mauled the previously unbeaten Jerkic (now 15-1, 12 KOs) and was quick to assert himself from the opening stanza, smothering an unsuspecting Jerkic from the inside.
Given his disadvantages in both height and reach, Buttigieg (now 13-0, 3 KOs) made his intentions clear, choosing to walk down his favoured opponent for the entirety of the fight.
After four rounds it was apparent that Buttigieg would not stray from this tactic and despite his relentlessness, Jerkic did not wilt, providing resistance in an enthralling eighth round, which stands alone as the front runner for Round of the Year in 2017.
After twelve relatively one-sided rounds, Buttigieg was crowned as a controversial split points winner with judges Malcolm Bulner and Chris Anderson favouring the local by scores of 115-113 and 114-113, while remaining edudicator Tony Marretta favoured Jerkic with his 115-113 card.
Even with the dominant nature of his career-best win, the 28-year-old was disappointed with the judges totals. With that said, Buttigieg believes that he is vindicated by both his performance and the confidence of his team.
“People are calling it an upset, but my team and myself never saw the fight that way,” said Buttigieg to Aus-Boxing. “I beat him convincingly.”
“It wasn’t an upset in my eyes – I felt he just crumbled under the pressure – I was surprised. He had a great record with twelve knockouts and I was conscious of that. But from the first round, I felt in control. There was just no point in the fight where I felt worried at all.”
“I felt he had a bit of power when he clipped me around the ears in round one and I thought he was quite strong. But I kept my defence up and stayed on my game, stuck to my plan and it worked. After the fight, I felt like I won ten of the twelve rounds.”
“Both the rounds he won were because I had a rest. I just don’t feel like he was ever in control of the fight at any stage.”
Popular demand has asked for it and the promoter Brian Armatruda at Big Time Boxing has obliged. Full fight from Fridays Commonwealth title clash, featuring Anthony Buterz and Rocky Jerkic. livecombatsports.com.au and Paris Pascale working together to deliver you only the best fights every week…enjoy !! (PLEASE LIKE THE PAGE AND SHARE !!)
Posted by livecombatsports.com.au on Saturday, March 4, 2017
The win over Jerkic was the fifth time that Buttigieg, who was previously crowned the Aus-Boxing Prospect of the Year in 2015, has won a fight by split decision. The recently crowned Commonwealth and OPBF Silver titleholder understands that fights can be scored and interpreted differently, and for that reason he refuses to complain.
“I was disappointed with the decision,” he explained. “I’m not angry, I’m just a bit disappointed. That’s my fifth split decision now in my career and I think most of them I was winning, but I’m not going to complain about it.”
“In the end I got what I came for and got the win.”
As stated in an earlier interview with Aus-Boxing, Buttigieg has always wanted to win the Australian title. But having now secured the most prestigious regional title available to an Australian boxer – and against the reigning national champion – Buttigieg feels as if he has won that crown as well.
“I feel I am the Australian champion right now regardless if he still holds the title,” he added. “I feel I’m now the best in the country in the division at the moment and it’s just a huge confidence boost. Every person I spoke to tried to shy me away from that fight.”
“It kinda got into my head, but I’m glad I backed my ability and myself. I’ve now beaten most of the people in the country that I wanted to beat.”
With the dust still settling on his impressive win, the quietly spoken Buttigieg is yet to map out his plans for the remainder of the year. In the meanwhile, he now has time to reflect on the significance of his latest win.
“I definitely want to defend the title and keep going, I just want see where it takes me I guess,” he concluded. “It’s just hit home that when I fight I’ll always be announced as a Commonwealth champion, not just the state champion anymore.”
Photo: Marty Camilleri/Marty’s Knockout Photography