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He'd end up in the morgue': Jeff Fenech warns Sonny Bill Williams about fighting Mike Tyson
Adrian Proszenko

Mike Tyson is preparing to make a comeback of sorts at the age of 53.

Mike Tyson's great mate Jeff Fenech has laughed off a proposal for the former heavyweight champion to get into the ring with Sonny Bill Williams, declaring the cross-code star will end up "in the morgue" if the bout went ahead.

Boxing promoter Brian Amatruda has tabled $1 million in a bid to get Tyson to Australia to fight either Williams, Paul Gallen or Barry Hall. There were reports the offer was upped to A$3 million on Thursday.

Tyson is preparing to make a comeback of sorts at the age of 53, seeking to participate in an exhibition bout. Footage of him hitting the pads last week went viral, with the man dubbed "the baddest man on the planet" displaying his trademark power.

Fenech is one of Tyson's closest friends and will likely play a role in any comeback. However, the Australian boxing legend declared Tyson wouldn't be stepping into the ring with any of the former footballers.

"Great publicity, but it's not going to happen," Fenech said. "They're offering him half a million or a million dollars - he could get more than $20 million to do it in Saudi Arabia. Why would he come here?

"Let me tell you something. If he hits Sonny Bill Williams or Paul Gallen, he will be up for manslaughter.

Sonny Bill Williams' last fight was an exhibition against Australian reality TV star Stuart Laundy.
"I'm serious. If he punched Paul Gallen, he could kill him. These guys have never been punched by somebody like Mike.

"You see what he's doing to the pads, imagine Mike hitting one of those guys with one of those uppercuts. More than likely they will be in the morgue the next day.

"Fighting Sonny Bill? Who has Sonny Bill fought? Sonny Bill won't even fight Paul Gallen because I don't believe he can beat him."

Amatruda has contacted celebrity agent Max Markson in a bid to make the event a reality. However, Markson - who helped bring Tyson to Australia in 2012 for a speaking tour - said the Covid-19 outbreak and visa issues presented obstacles in making any fight a reality in the short term.

"It's a great story, but let's see if we can make it all happen," Markson said.

Fenech said Tyson would definitely return to the ring, but it would be as an exhibition rather than a professional bout.

"He will do it, probably for charity, it will happen. One million per cent," Fenech said.

Former NRL player Paul Gallen is keen to test his boxing skills against Mike Tyson.
"It's an exhibition. Mike doesn't want to hurt anybody and nobody wants to hurt Mike.

"Mike is 53 years of age, he doesn't want to get punched in the head. He is happy to do something for charity and do an exhibition."

Former Cronulla Sharks captain Gallen, who contested a controversial draw against Hall, said he would accept a fight with Tyson if a deal could be brokered.

"He was a beast for so long and they say 50 is the new 40, so that might be in his favour," Gallen told

"If he's able to get fit, and at age 50 it would be hard, but with his natural ability and power he'd probably compete with a lot of world-ranked heavyweights these days I think.

"Mike Tyson was my hero growing up; not only mine, I'm sure a lot of people's. He was just this phenomenal beast that was 5'11'', looked like half the size of the blokes he was going in against and he'd knock them out with one punch.

"He's an idol of a lot of people and he's probably still the most famous name in boxing. I think it would be great if we could have him in Australia, but I think we have to be realistic.

"I'd be happy for a charity to be involved, but I'd be getting paid for it. You've got to remember, Mike Tyson is Mike Tyson - he hasn't got an off switch, he hasn't got an exhibition fight switch. If he gets in the ring with someone, we've all seen what he's done to people in the past and that mentality is not going to change.

"How could you not want to get in the ring with Mike Tyson, to be honest."

Sydney Morning Herald
Thanks for the news, craig. Can't believe that he's not ranked in the top 15 in any of the alphabets. I'm hoping that Dragon Fire will match him well so that he can get some regional belts and move up the rankings. Any ideas of who they're looking to match him with?
No, but there's quite a few Aussies rated above him so the move certainly makes sense.
Interestingly, Steve Kilgallon, who wrote the article, used to post on here during the Tua website days. Good bloke!

Club which produced Joseph Parker in desperate call for funds
Steve Kilgallon

The boxing club that produced world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker has made an urgent appeal for funds, saying it needs $25,000 to keep its doors open.

The Papatoetoe Boxing Club has been run for nearly 30 years - 17 in its current location - by veteran trainer Grant Arkell.

Arkell first coached Parker as a 12-year-old, and dipped into his own pocket to help send Parker to amateur international tournaments in Azerbaijan and Singapore before Parker turned pro.

The club, which occupies the upstairs room above a pub in the main street of the south Auckland suburb, has been badly hit by the downturn in poker machine grants caused by Covid-19 and is now well behind on its rent.

Arkell said almost all his funding came from pokie grants. He first began the club in Otahuhu in 1990, with legendary fighter Manny Santos, and moved to his current location 17 years ago.

“The only reason I have survived so long is the pokies - I’ve had funding out of the pokies for 20 years, and I’ve been very, very lucky.”

He had spoken to his landlord, who had already discounted the rent and had been very understanding - but they are three months behind and have another three months' payment due at the end of May.

“There is nothing in the pot for that, so that would put us $18,000 behind," Arkell said.

One of his boxers had opened the Givealittle page with a target of $25,000. "We’re trying to get ahead, but if we can get to the $18,000 I would be wrapped."

Arkell has fighters coming to the club from as far south as Pukekohe and north from Brown's Bay, but can only accommodate 30 at any time - his waitlist has, on occasion, gone as large as 100.

Among his past and present fighters are nationally-ranked fighters Tino Honey, Patrick Mailata and WBA Oceania super-middleweight champion Mose Auimatagi.

Parker had seen the appeal and had already contacted Arkell to offer his help. Parker said he knew memberships had never covered the rent, and Arkell had been generous in discounting for those in need.

“It’s been a passion for him and there has always been a struggle to make the payments," Parker said. “I’ve got a lot of love for Grant and Mary, they do a great job for the community.

“I’ve got a lot of history with the gym … I had a long time training with Grant and being part of the Papatoetoe gym family.

"If there is any way I can help personally, I will, but if we can also get some help from others, it will make it a lot easier for Grant and Mary and I feel they deserve it because they’ve done a lot of work for the community and the kids of Papatoetoe and Mangere."

Parker still remembers Arkell forking out for the Azerbaijan trip. “That was the starting point for everything thta has happened since then.”
I like Grant, a very easy going and genuine man.
I thought that KB stole (or was it Sir Bob Jones) who stole Parker away from Grant, or am I stirring up trouble? Reason I ask is that Parker sounds like Grant was real good to him and wanted to repay his kindness.
I see small hall boxing is due back in July and August with Andre Mikhailovich and Nik the Greek scheduled to fight (not against each other), also John Parker seems to be resuming his career. Brilliant news, I know a few weeks back promoter Craig Thomson was trying to source viable ppv for the internet.
Nik the Greek is down to fight Lance Bryant, strangely enough Boxrec has Bryant ranked at 131 even though he's lost his last 4. Charalompous is at 237.
Good find craig. Here ya' go:

Nik the Greek 2020-08-22 Lance Bryant 12 7 0 Sportscave, Stanmore Bay

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