UPDATE: Robbie Bryant is looking to make it third time lucky this Saturday when he goes to war with Queenslander Dean Mikelj at the WA Italian Club.
Mikelj is the third fighter from the Fortitude Gym in Brisbane Bryant has faced in the past 19 months. On the two other occasions – against Jarrod Fletcher and Dennis Hogan – the WA middleweight was widely outpointed.
The losses are the only two on Bryant's 22-fight record and to put them into context, Fletcher is challenging for the WBA ‘regular’ world title in the US on August 9 while unbeaten Australian champion Hogan has won 19 and drawn one.
But those defeats seriously damaged Bryant’s own standing - he was in the WBA top 10 before he lost to Fletcher and another setback this Saturday is not an option.
“Dean’s certainly very heavy-handed. He’s 10-1 with eight knockouts,” CDL Boxing promoter Ty Colman said.
“It’s another tough one for Robbie but that’s the way Robbie likes it. He likes to challenge himself and definitely wants to get revenge against the Fortitude Boxing Gym.
“Dean’s going to be dangerous if he lands. He doesn’t have the boxing skills that Jarrod and Dennis have got but he’s certainly got the strength. I think it’s going to be a toe-to-toe, Robbie likes to stand on and punch on and so does Dean, so I think that’s going to be a crowd-pleaser.”
Unbeaten lightweight Clint Hosking can take a big step forward if he gets past Indonesian Roy Tua Manihuruk. The 10-rounder is for the regional WBC Eurasia Pacific belt but more importantly, a win will put Hosking in the WBC top 15.
“Roy’s gone the distance with some pretty big Australian prospects such as Willy Kickett and (Naoufel) Ben Rabeh so this is definitely no easy night at the office for Clint. But the reward is there,” Colman said.
Also on the seven-fight show is former women’s world champion Erin McGowan, who looks to continue her climb up the WBO rankings when she squares up against Thailand’s Keanpetch Superchamps at lightweight.
“It’s going to be an interesting fight for Erin, over six twos,” Colman said. “Keanpetch fought for the WBA super-featherweight female world title just a few weeks ago, so she’s in shape. She’s definitely no mug. But a win will get Erin ranked again with the WBO, with a possible world title fight here in Perth next year.”
The Western Alliance 13 show is CDL’s second in WA this year but their third in Australia following a card in Bankstown in May.
“It’s about growing our brand, it’s taking it over to the east coast. Let’s be honest, Sydney is the heart of Australian boxing,” Colman said.
“It’s also a chance to take our own boxers over there to fight on our own shows instead of going over there and being listed as an opponent.
“And there are training camps which we have planned. (Bunbury prospect) Nathaniel May is a CDL fighter now and we have camps lined up for him with Billy Dib, Paul Fleming and Billel Dib, some of the best featherweights and super-featherweights in the country.
“Putting on shows over there will help us as we try for some Fox live shows. The time zone difference with the east, that’s something I think we’re forever going to be pushing uphill. Now we can look to promote our own Fox events.”
Colman worked alongside Billy Hussein in Bankstown and the successful Sydney trainer was greatly impressed with what the West Australian delivered.
“He’s an unbelievable promoter and one of the best to watch in the future. He’s young, ambitious and that was one of the best shows I have done and I’ve done over 50,” Hussein said.
“He reminds me of the Top Rank or Golden Boy. The production, the way he dresses the venue, the way he treats the fighters, press conferences ... it was all very, very professional. He’s very switched on. He makes a four-rounder feel as important as a 12-round fighter.
“He went to Macau last year with us for the Manny Pacquaio fight and I remember him sitting down and watching how Top Rank do their shows, how they do their press conferences, and he was taking notes from that. It’s exciting for young kids to get on his shows.”
Colman had a serious health scare around the time of the Macau show last December and underwent surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. His recovery is on track and Hussein believes the incident has made him extra determined to succeed.
“He was driven before but even more so now, it knocked him down but it didn’t knock him out.
“I just remember when I started out under Jeff Fenech. I learnt the game under one of the best and I’m happy to pass on what I’ve learnt. Ty’s future is bright.”