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Boxing News of Friday, 30 May 2008

Source: ADM

Azumah: I Will Beat Fenech Again

Ghana’s Professor Azumah Nelson has received a threat of ‘technical knockout’ from Australia’s Jeff Fenech aka 'The Marrickville Mauler” ahead of their titanic clash on June 24.Recounting his bitter experience when Azumah Nelson defeated him in two earlier bouts Jeff Fenech, 44, told the media in Australia that he was ripped off.

He said he was ripped off in the first fight against Azumah Nelson, but “that wasn’t the real Jeff Fenech in the second fight.” In the second fight, he said, “my hunger wasn’t there, and I had asthma too.” He said: “I don’t think Azumah will be able to stop what I have set out to do this time round.” The Australian boxing legend has not fought since 1996, while Azumah retired in 1998 after losing to Leija.

The comments by Jeff Fenech have not in any way intimidated Azumah Nelson, as he has stepped up his training here in Ghana. According to one of his managers, Mr. Yoofi Boham, who spoke to ADM yesterday, since they arrived from Australia last week, Azumah has intensified his training. “Azumah knows what it takes to beat Jeff, and he is training hard for that.” He will prove that his 1992 knockdown of Fenech was no fluke, Mr. Boham said and added the 49-year-old Azumah Nelson rises before sunrise every day to pound the pavement to maintain the necessary condition for victory in the fight.

Though Azumah is the older of the two, his manager believes, his years of boxing experience will win him the bout. The non-title 8-round fight, which would be held in the VodaFone Arena, Melbourne, has been dubbed by boxing pundits as “the final round.” Last week in Australia, Professor Azumah Nelson, three-time world champion, told the press that his third and final showdown with Fenech is no joke. “I know what it takes to beat Jeff, but I will not predict the round,” he said, when asked to predict the round that would mark the end of the fighting.

While Azumah Nelson spent the week traveling up and down Australia’s east coast with Jeff Fenech promoting their June 24 show down, he made sure his strict training regime did not suffer. Mr. Boham said Azumah Nelson and his trainer would be leaving Ghana on June 14 for Australia to continue his training before the big fight on June 24. Professor Azumah Nelson came to fame when he defeated Salvador Sanchez on June 21, 1982 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. He is widely recognized by boxing fans and critics as the greatest fighter in sub-Saharan Africa. He was selected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame on January 8, 2004 and was inducted on June 13. Fenech retired with a record of 27 wins - 20 of them by knockout, 3 losses and 1 draw.