Our Experts Decide: Shannon King vs. Rocky Jerkic

REIGNING Australian light middleweight champion Shannon King will defend his title against highly touted prospect Rocky Jerkic in a tantalising grudge match tomorrow night.

Jerkic, 27, is widely regarded as one of the best talents in Australia, but is yet to face opposition in his eleven professional fights to warrant such lofty praise.

On the other hand, King, 37, will be given another opportunity at the Mansfield Tavern to display why he has been considered as one of the best in his division for several years.

Aus-Boxing spoke to a group of industry insiders and got their thoughts on who they thought would win the nationally televised Australian title fight and why.

Ben Damon, MAIN EVENT – Record: 10-9

Jerkic KO8 King: For a couple of years Rocky Jerkic has been “the next big thing” in Australian boxing. Well if that’s the case, then now is his time to shine.

Shaggy King is a top quality guy with an outstanding boxing brain, but I’ll buy into the Jerkic hype and say he stops him late.


Adam Wilcock, Promoter/Manager – Record: 12-8

Jerkic W10 King: Shaggy King knows he can get the ten rounds at this level which will be an advantage in a close fight, but fighting a true boxer will be the challenge.

Jerkic has a class that many talk about but we haven’t yet seen against an opponent of this level. With only 33 rounds in eleven starts, he may struggle through King’s pressure in the later rounds.

There’s reasons that both camps will think that they can win. Both boys talked up by their respective teams for some time now, time to step up. Winning in Queensland and against ‘promoters boy’ will be hard for Rocky, but I think he has enough to win.


Chris McCullen, Trainer – Record: Debut

King W10 Jerkic: Firstly I think it’s a great match up and something the sport needs more of on a domestic level. Rocky is extremely talented, one of the most gifted young fighters we have in Australia, great speed and power. He’ll need to use that early on to put Shaggy off.

I been lucky enough to see a lot of Shaggy in training and seen most of his fights and I will never back against him even when he’s in with someone as talented and skilled as Rocky.

Shaggy has a style that everyone struggles with and on top of that he has power and a very long reach he used very well. I’ll say that it will be Rocky early but Shaggy to come home and win on points, or even a possibility of a late stoppage if Rocky struggles with Shaggy’s style.

In saying that, I can’t wait for this fight. I’m a big fan of Rocky’s talent – I watch him in awe when he fights – and it’s no secret what I think of Shaggy and always love watching what he brings on fight night.


Andy Raymond, Commentator – Record: Debut

King W10 Jerkic:I’m a huge fan of Aussie versus Aussie stuff, especially when the talent is comparable. I’ll say first up I’ve been mates with Shaggy for over a decade and barely know young Rocky, I also haven’t seen enough of him live to offer a real insight.

What I do know is those around him hold him in high regard, and he’ll need to illustrate every bit of that potential to dethrone a guy who has pills the size of basketballs.

Shaggy always comes to fight – and he’s my tip – but what a fight it is! Good luck to both boys.


Neil Devey, Journalist for The West Australian – Record: 1-0

Jerkic W10 King: With more and more boxers going down the regional title route for an inflated world ranking, fights like this give the Australian championship a shot in the arm.

Rocky Jerkic is keen to get his career moving and a first domestic belt is a step in the right direction. He is in good hands and it is encouraging that the unbeaten 27-year-old has also been linked with a fight against another up-and-comer in Wes Capper.

Shannon King is ten years older than his opponent and always willing to mix it. But while both men have similar stoppage returns, “Shaggy” has gone the distance in his past three, including his only loss, after chalking up seven straight stoppage wins as a professional.

Both men like to get on with it and I don’t anticipate a scrappy affair. I’m leaning towards Jerkic by unanimous points in what should be a really good domestic scrap.


Brett Bonetti, Journalist/Hulk Talk Radio – Record: 3-1

Jerkic KO8 King: Interesting fight with a belt and a reportedly big winner take all bet on the line.

The early rounds will tell the story for this one, King will be competitive but I expect Jerkic to take control of the fight from round three and get the stoppage in eight rounds.


Dan Smart, Columnist – Record: 5-0

Jerkic W10 King: This is very interesting fight as both have contrasting styles. King is a hard puzzle for anyone to figure out and I can see him frustrating Jerkic at times.

Having said that, Jerkic is super talented and possesses a game very few have. If he can keep his head and not allow himself to get caught up in this frustration, I can’t see him losing this one.


Adam Santarossa, Journalist for Newcastle Herald – Record: 4-0

Jerkic W10 King: I really like Rocky Jerkic in this fight. He’s been training hard up in Newcastle and reports are he’s flying, it is high stakes too with both camps putting up some big dollars.

The team at One World can prep a fighter and they’ve gone up to Brisbane a week early to prepare. I think he’s a bit more explosive in the ring and will win a decision, in a pretty spirited and entertaining fight.


Pat Kennedy, Matchmaker – Record: 1-1


Jerkic W10 King: This is a fight every boxing fan in Australia is dying to see, especially me. I like both guys and I am happy to call Shaggy King a friend.

I have questions about Rocky Jerkic that I expect will be answered this weekend. His talent is obviously world-class, but what has been holding him back all these years? What will happen in his mind when Shaggy gets hit but keeps coming anyway?

And what will happen when Shaggy hits him? I commend both guys for taking this fight and look forward to watching it. As for my prediction, I think Jerkic wins on points but with a few scary moments along the way.


Lincoln Hudson, Trainer – Record: 13-4


Jerkic KO King: These two fighters are so far apart when you look at them, but that makes it a great fight for us Aussies.

In one corner, you have a fighter some would say has way overachieved in the sport and in the other corner, we have a fighter who has never acheived anything his abilities show.

But on this occasion, I believe Jerkic will show all those who watch closely why we have all listened to his hype. I see Rocky finally going to the next level and in style – I see this fight as very one sided – either late stoppage or a very one sided scorecards.


Gareth Williams, Trainer – Record: 12-5


King TKO10 Jerkic: I believe Rocky is probably the most highly skilled boxer in the country and I used to think this would be enough to beat Shaggy comfortably over the distance. Now my mind has changed after watching him in sparring.

Shaggy is relentless and ruthless and I now believe he will upset Rocky with his unconventional techniques and the heart of a lion. In this fight,Shaggy reminds me of Nigel Benn when he fought Gerald McClennan.

As I said, ruthlessness and a big will to win will see Shaggy King win with a late stoppage.

Brendan Bourke, Manager/Advisor – Record: 13-3

Jerkic W10 King: What a great fight this is for Aussie boxing so hats off to both teams. Shaggy King is as tough as nails, however I think Rocky will pinch the win with size and youth being the major factors.


Barry Michael, Promoter – Record: 4-3

Jerkic W10 King: This is by far Rocky Jerkic’s biggest test, but I think he wins on points in a very tough fight.


Matt Clark, Manager/Advisor – Record: 12-2

Jerkic W10 King: This is a complete 50/50 fight for mine, the sort of fight that I’d never bet on because every possible outcome is a legitimate chance of happening.

The banter on social media in the lead up to this has been great to watch and Shaggy King has been a great servant to combat sport in Australia. You’d have to go a long way to find a nicer bloke.

I’ll go with Jerkic on points as I think his fluid boxing might be the difference.


George Reno, Trainer – Record: 11-3

Jerkic KO King: This is a good fight and I think Rocky needs to step up. Shaggy King has proven that he is a tough cookie, but I think Rocky wins this inside the distance.


Photos: Provided/Louie Abigail for Photography by Rockfingrz



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