Rising Kiwi star claims another highlight KO

Remember the name Andrei Mikhailovich. 

The rising Russian-born Kiwi middleweight boxer made headlines is his last trip to Australia when, after being disrespected at the press conference by his opponent, he earned a knockout victory. 

On Wednesday night, his second trip across the Tasman ended in a similar fashion – minus the disrespect. 

Mikhailovich needed just one combination to stop King Davidson (20-3) in his tracks inside two minutes in the co-main event of the Next Gen fight night in Brisbane, stunning his counterpart with a right cross and landing a couple of quick follow up hooks to send Davidson to the canvas. While Davidson was able to get back to his feet, his corner waved the towel and the referee called the fight, with Mikhailovich claiming a first-round knockout and improving his record to 17-0. 

“I wasn’t expecting that, but the right hand from hell landed tonight,” Mikhailovich said after the bout, before going on to call out the winner of the upcoming bout between Australian sluggers Issac Hardman and Michael Zerafa. 

“Whoever wins that fight, they’ve got to come see me. I’m the sandman of this division. I’m going to take you all out; take you down under. You’ve got nothing on me.” 

Having recently signed a long-term agreement with Dean Lonergan of D&L Events, a fight between Mikhailovich and either Hardman or Zerafa would be a tantalising prospect as the 24-year-old from the Peach Boxing gym in Auckland looks to continue his rise – and after his first two performances in Australia, it would be an easy sell for promoters. 

It capped off a successful night for the Kiwi contingent, after Peach Boxing stablemate Jerome Pampellone impressed in his debut outing away from home in a light heavyweight shutout against Lucas Miller. 

It was a well-rounded performance from the 25-year-old against the extremely durable Miller. Pampellone displayed his ability to throw with power for all 10 rounds but not waste his energy in the process, his clinch work, and how well he wears a shot – with Miller landing several strong right hands as the fight went on. 

He made great adjustments for where the fight went, and connected on more than 45 per cent of his 577 attempted strikes to claim a unanimous decision (100-89 x2, 99-90). 

It was clear from the early stages of the first round that Pampellone was a class above his opponent in terms of pure boxing skill, with crisp work through the opening three minutes. 

With a 7cm reach advantage, he worked well behind his jab, measuring it nicely and picking when to follow it up with power in his right hand well. 

With success going almost exclusively upstairs in the opening round, Pampellone’s corner asked him to work the body in the second, and he obliged. 

Investing in the body quickly paid dividends for Pampellone, who stung Miller upstairs before pummelling a few shots into his midriff and forcing Miller to take a knee, securing a 10-8 round. 

It seemed like the fight was trending toward an early finish, but nobody told Miller. Having only been stopped once in his career – against the impressive power of knockout artist Issac Hardman – Miller played to his strengths to stay in the fight. 

Pampellone was controlling the fight at range, but in the clinch Miller had some success of his own. With the fight being over 10 rounds, Miller looked to lean on Pampellone in close and try to burn the engine of the young Kiwi. 

But while Miller was able to land some good shots throughout, none seemed to be powerful enough to deter Pampellone, who was willing to wear one in order to return two or three. 

Ultimately, Pampellone wasn’t able to get the fight finished early, but his performance and ability to alter his approach depending on where the fight went showed why he has so many admirers who believe he could go a long way in the sport. 

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