Garlett fight still on but no title at stake
Matt Garlett. Pic: WA News

Matt Garlett’s fight with Kye Mackenzie in Newcastle on Friday will go ahead even though the Australian super-featherweight title is no longer at stake.

Garlett’s trainer Angelo Hyder said the Northam boxer had been struggling to safely make the 59kg limit. Hyder said they informed champion Mackenzie's camp, who were still keen to take the bout at lightweight.

“Matty had some time away from the gym after his last fight in December and had put on a bit of muscle. We saw he was struggling to get down without leaving himself drained so we did the sensible thing," Hyder said.

“Mackenzie’s people were still happy to take the fight. They want to see how good their man is against a fighter who’s been ranked.”

Garlett was pushing for a possible world title shot after defeating WBC International champion Sipho Taliwe in May last year. But his first defence almost seven months later ended in a fourth-round TKO loss to Filipino Ryan Sermona.

“Matt was too relaxed last time and allowed the other guy to get brave,” Hyder said.

“In training for this fight he’s been a lot more aggressive.”

With Garlett (11 wins, two losses) now aged 29, Hyder knows there is plenty riding on Friday’s fight against unbeaten Mackenzie, who has won all 10 of his bouts, eight early.

“He’s at that age now where he can’t be held back,” Hyder said.

“It’s not the end of him if he loses but to get back around the world stage he needs a win. But if he does beat this bloke then he’s in a good position.”

Meanwhile another of Hyder’s fighters, light-welterweight Darragh Foley, has moved to Sydney after his girlfriend got a job over east.

- Perth middleweight Wes Capper, who impressed in outpointing Steven Ma on the Thunderdome VI card at Metro City last month, has his second fight in the US on August 2.

Capper (5-0) fights at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on a card headlined by WBA light-welterweight champion Jessie Vargas' title defence against Anton Novikov.

Former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios, outpointed by Manny Pacquiao in Macau last time out, is also in action.

Capper is yet to confirm an opponent.

The West Australian

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