MacKenzie breaks Law in title defence

AUSTRALIAN super featherweight champion Kye ‘Frenzy’ MacKenzie made his first title defence a memorable one, impressively breaking down Waylon ‘Outlaw’ Law in six rounds at the Eaton Hills Hotel overnight.

MacKenzie, 22, patiently stalked his confident challenger Law for the entirety of six rounds before zeroing in for the kill, unleashing a hellacious right-hand that felled Law face first before referee Derek Milham – who had a night to forget as a judge – wisely called the fight.

In the lead up to the highly anticipated main event, both MacKenzie and Law, who are proud Indigenous products promised fireworks, a promise they definitely lived up to.

But it was far from easy.

Law, 21, (now 8-6, 2 KOs) had his moments, catching the forward-walking MacKenzie with his counter uppercut several times off the ropes. MacKenzie, who has had a relatively easy time as a professional, had to work a little harder than usual to solve his tricky and somewhat cagey rival in Law – who entered the fight off an impressive three fight win streak.

The defending champion MacKenzie (10-0, 8 KOs) out-threw and out-landed a game but overmatched, Law in all aspects of the entertaining fight. MacKenzie appeared to get the better of Law in the jabbing contest, while also out hustling his more experienced challenger on the inside too.

When it became apparent that MacKenzie was not going to stop charging forward, Law made a more conscious effort to use his reach advantage, constantly flicking his a jab in an attempt to stave off the confident MacKenzie.

Even at a safe distance, Law was unable to prevent MacKenzie from getting inside, where he did a majority of his damage. At some points in the fight, the strategy was highly effective, and by highly effective, we mean temporarily effective as it only briefly stopped the Sydney-based MacKenzie in his tracks.

But as the fight wore on, and as it became increasingly clear that the challenger didn’t have the power to trouble MacKenzie, who looked equally dangerous once he had settled into a rhythm. With the victory, MacKenzie scored his sixth consecutive knockout victory and re-staked his claim as one of the best prospects the country has to offer, alongside Jeff Horn and Jake Carr.

In what was his first fight in nine months, Dwight Ritchie put on a boxing clinic, dominating the previously unbeaten Dean Mikelj in what went down as a bizarre majority decision win.

Ritchie, 22, outclassed Mikelj, 32, in every aspect of the fight, despite the controversial scoring of judge Derek Milham, who somehow scored the fight 76-76 despite Ritchie dominating the majority of proceedings – including a last round knockdown – much to the displeasure of boxing fans across the country on social media.

The Shepparton-based Ritchie (9-0-4 NC, 1 KO) dominated the fight from the opening bell, throwing crisp counter combinations and powerful jabs that regularly snapped the head back of Mikelj (10-1, 8 KOs), who at times appeared lost in their eight round co-feature.

On the undercard, Jason Kanofski (19-7-4, 3 KOs) survived a brave effort from Matthew Lytwynenko (10-3-6, 5 KOs), throwing away an early lead to scrape in a split draw on the judges scorecards, which many believe belonged to the Victorian, who bullied Kanofski in the later stages of the fight.

Also, middleweight brawler and Australian titlist Dennis Hogan scored a one-sided sixth round knockout over David Galvin, and Ozan Craddock returned to the winners circle, outscoring Joel Dela Cruz in an entertaining six-round fight that opened the televised card.

Photo: Photograghy by Rockfingrz/Louie Abigail

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