Latrell Mitchell has stunned NRL fans after he called out former Essendon ruckman Tom Bellchambers after the retired AFL player defeated his rival in what was labelled 'ridiculous' boxing scenes. On Wednesday night, Bellchambers - who is 6'7 and was 24kg heavier than his opponent - defeated former Geelong star Cameron Mooney on the undercard bout of Nikita Tszyu.
The 33-year-old former ruckman carried a size advantage into the bout and it was evident early when the two squared up. However, it was the 43-year-old Mooney who landed the first big right hand in the first round that stunned Bellchambers.
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But, Bellchambers quickly turned the tide when a right glanced Mooney when he was off balance and sent him crashing to the canvas. Mooney was able to regather his composure and put in a good showing during the second round, which was close.
Although the bout came to a stop in the third and final round when Bellchambers caught Mooney with a right hook that dazed his rival. Mooney was stumbling backwards when Bellchambers followed up with a straight right that left sent his opponent down.
The referee deemed Mooney unable to continue as he lay on the floor. But in just as big of a surprise for the night, ahead of the bout, Rabbitohs and New South Wales star Mitchell took to Instagram and said he would be fighting the winner of the bout. If Mitchell is to fight Bellchambers, it wouldn't be till the NRL offseason.
"It was as fun as I thought it would be, it was a bit of a whirlwind," Bellchambers said in his post-fight interview. "He caught me with a couple of good ones, but that was amazing."
The pair put up a competitive bout, but some in the Australian boxing community labelled the bout 'embarrassing' due to the experience of the two fighters. Neither appeared to have too much experience, the bout was sanctioned with Bellchambers clearly carrying a big weight advantage and neither were wearing headgear.
Many viewers weren't happy with how the bout got sanctioned, especially after the significantly smaller Mooney, and 10 years older, was left a heap on the canvas.
That escalated quickly! NRL superstar Latrell Mitchell is set to fight the winner of tonight’s heavyweight bout between former AFL players Cam Mooney and Tom Bellchambers at #ParkerOpelu pic.twitter.com/FFTaq9z5R0
— Ben Damon (@ben_damon) May 24, 2023
Mooney 10 years older and giving away 24kg on Bellchambers. I couldn’t care less about boxing but it’s mind boggling that a miss match like this is even allowed 😳 https://t.co/rCH9wptqDc
— Michael Nicholls (@micknicholls) May 24, 2023
Just caught up with the Moons and Bellchambers fight. How on earth did they get a licence to fight? Neither have any business being in a boxing ring without headgear. Could have been an uglier spectacle than simply the bad boxing it was.
— FremantleBob (@FremantleBob) May 24, 2023
Bellchambers is going on to fight Latrell Mitchell, so you're wrong there.
— Todd Davey (@ToddJDavey) May 24, 2023
to have Mooney & Bellchambers just before the co-main event is embarrassing for boxing in this country.
But the result of that fight was everything and more I hoped it to be 🤣
— Michael-G (@FreoPunter) May 24, 2023
Mooney never again, bellchambers will fight again, needs a lot of training
— Luke 🇦🇺 (@1080Lt) May 24, 2023
Ridiculously dangerous that these two in untrained “boxers” are fighting to this degree … and with no helmets.
Disaster waiting to happen. Almost wad and got what reason?
Mooney is 43 and Bellchambers 33 (and weighed in 24kg heavier)
— The Thoroughbred (@thethoroughbred) May 24, 2023
While Mitchell was keen for the winner, Bellchambers was 'not sure' about a follow up bout. Mooney said he was happy to complete a sporting goal, despite the loss. "I'm a 43-year-old man that wanted to get in the ring for a long time," Mooney said.
Nikita Tszyu wins after devastating knockout
In the co main event bout, Tszyu took just one round to knockout fellow Aussie Ben Bommber in a quick but devastating bout. Tszyu admitted he was 'surprised' early with a big shot in the first few moments of his fight when Bommber came out firing.
Tszyu quickly recovered and upped the intensity with the knockout coming after an uppercut against his opponent backed against the ropes. The young Aussie now moves to 6-0 and will look to set-up another fight later this year, despite jokingly calling out heavyweight champion Tyson Fury who was watching on from ringside.
In the main event, New Zealand heavyweight Joe Parker disposed of Faiga Opelu also in the first round after a brutal barrage.
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