Australian boxer and former Olympian Paulo Aokuso has missed the mark by over 2kg for his weigh-in ahead of his latest fight as the headline act on the Battle of the Reef card.
That means despite the outcome of the fight Aokuso’s Argentinean opponent Gabriel Omar Diaz will be awarded the IBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title.
It is a huge blow for Aokuso, but the fighter has vowed to take something out of the bout by showing the rugby league fighters on the undercard what real boxing is.
The Battle on the Reef card includes a host of rugby league players including Jason Taumalolo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Justin Hodges, Matt Cooper, Junior Paulo, Ben Hannant, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jarrod Wallace and Tevita Pangai Junior.
News Corp has reported that Aokuso weight in at 81.3kg, more than 2kg over the limit of 79kg or five pounds under the old measure.
Australian boxer and former Olympian Paulo Aokuso missed weight for his IBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title bout against Gabriel Omar Diaz
Gabriel Omar Diaz will be automatically handed the IBO Intercontinental light heavyweight title no matter the result of the bout
Regardless of whether Aokuso wins the fight and enhances his undefeated 5-0 record, his opportunity to match Jeff Fenech’s record of a world title in his seventh fight may be compromised due to his weight miss.
He will also surrender a $7500 penalty to Diaz.
Aokuso’s manager Fidel Tukel did not defend the weight miss, but said long-time trainer Lincoln Hudson suffering a heart attack played a part.
‘It’s very disrespectful to the sport. Not acceptable,’ Tukel said.
‘He has gone well over weight, it’s more than a kilo.
‘In boxing that’s not right. We have some soul-searching to do.
‘To be honest, there have been a number of issues that created the problem we had (with Aokuso’s weight).
‘We have had the worst preparation we could ever ask for.
‘I’ve been in 300 professional fight corners over the years and this is by far the worst prep I have seen.
‘Paulo’s trainer suffering a heart attack has been a massive blow.
‘That really affected Paulo. He hasn’t had a trainer. I’m his manager and I’ll be taking over as his trainer for this fight.’
Parramatta Eels and New South Wales prop Junior Paulo prepares for his third boxing match at Battle on the Reef
Tevita Pangai Jr, Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges are three of the rugby league identities fighting on the Battle on the Reef card
North Queensland Cowboys forward Jason Taumalolo will get to fight at home at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville
Aokuso now wants to show the rugby league players what real boxing is.
‘I want to show them how to really box, and what boxing is really about,’ Aokuso said.
‘It’s different to rugby league, you don’t have teammates to back you up.’
Meanwhile, Diaz has admitted he had no idea the Battle of the Reef card was stacked with rugby league players.
‘Honestly, I have no idea about the rugby thing. I just came here prepared to box, and to get the title home,’ hesaid through a translator.
‘I’m ready to fight and you’ll see that Saturday. I came here just with my coach to get those titles and belts back home. We did 15,000km to get here, we’re not going to do this in vain.’
A confident Aokuso said he was expecting to knock his opponent out and encouraged the NRL fighters to ‘just go in there and swing.’
‘I’m here to make a statement and that’s what I do,’ Aokuso said. ‘This is massive for me. I’m going to put on a show for you guys.
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