Josh King grinds out decision against Xavier Castillo

WORLD rated lightweight Josh King has retained his WBO Oriental lightweight title, as well as adding the interim WBO Asia Pacific title to his cabinet, with a hard fought victory over Argentina’s Xavier Castillo at the Aitkenvale PCYC on Saturday night.

The victory for the WBO #14 world rated King, now 18-3 (8 KOs), didn’t come easy, with Castillo giving the Townsville boxer his toughest fight to date over the full twelve round distance.

Castillo may have been in unfamiliar territory, having his first fight outside of his homeland of Argentina, but his team had done their research and he used all the tricks in the book to take the fight to the local.

Boasting a large reach advantage Castillo did well to use it throughout the contest, keeping King at range with solid jabs. However, King was able to adapt and find success with rights and eventually score with some of his signature body shots.

After a tight and furious twelve rounds, with the local sporting a cut and both eyes swollen shut, the crowd, somewhat tense, waited in anticipation for the judge’s verdict.

The scorecards read 116-112, 114-114, 116-113, and much to the delight of the crowd it was in favour of King, handing the local a majority decision victory.

“I think doing twelve rounds is critical I don’t think you get a full appreciation of how tough the championship rounds can be.” said King in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing.

“I now understand after completing three twelve rounders why rounds eleven and twelve are called the championship rounds.”

“It has been my greatest learning curve to date.”

“I’m excited about unifying two regional belts with the prestigious WBO,” King continued. “My manager/trainer Joe Pennisi is in the process of negotiating my next fight and we hope to have an announcement soon.”

With this hard earned victory it’s believed that the proud North Queensland product is now set to display his skills in an overseas bout, with news to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This was definitely my toughest fight. We brought in a heavier opponent with a great skill base to again test my ability’s and take me up another level,” explained King. “And in this fight I learnt a huge amount – not only about my boxing ability – but also about myself when I had to find that little bit extra to win win the championship rounds, which won me the fight.”

The undercard saw a successful night for other local boxers, with Jordan Gee Hoy, Kolby Johnston, and Chris Khan all notching up victories.

Gee Hoy scored a unanimous points decision over Matt Te Paa in their 6 round Light Middleweight contest. Scorecards read 58-56, 60-54, 59-57.

Light Middleweight prospect Kolby Johnston improved his record to 4-0 ,3KOs with a 1st round TKO over Luke Akauola.

Debutant Chris Khan began his professional campaign with a 3rd round TKO over fellow local Travis Barton in the Super Middleweight division.

Photo: Neale Winter
Words: Hayden Hooper/Chatterboxing
Read more from Hayden Hooper at Chatterboxing



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