Light heavyweight contender Blake Caparello 27-3-1 (11) bounced by from his 12-round points loss to world-rated Isaac Chilemba in March with a surprise first-round stoppage of former world title challenger Trent Broadhurst 20-2 (12) at the Melbourne Pavilion in Melbourne, Australia on Friday night.
Broadhurst was coming off a loss last November when he was also stopped in the opening frame by highly-touted WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol 13-0 (11) of Russia in a Matchroom Boxing promotion in Monte Carlo.
Headlining a card aptly titled “Make or Break”, both boxers needed a victory to reboot their stalled careers.
On Friday night it was “Il Capo” who showed he wanted it more, dropping the 29-year-old Queenslander three times in the opening round to secure the surprise win.
Before the fight Broadhurst had mocked Caparello’s punching power, insisting he would walk straight through anything the 31-year-old Melbournian threw at him.
“He says he’s going to walk me down because I can’t punch, he’s going to walk me down and stop me,” said Caparello on the popular Fox Sports program Fight Call Out. “Well Trent, I hope you live up to your word, I want you to walk me down. After round three or four you’re going to wish that I could punch.”
Despite a knockout ratio on just 33% going in to the fight, Caparello was credited with a knockdown of world champion Sergey Kovalev when the two met in Atlantic City for the WBO light heavyweight title in 2014.
The 6-foot-1 southpaw used his left hand to good effect, dropping Broadhurst with it three times in the first round blitzkrieg.
It was the third first-round stoppage for the WBO number 14 and the fifth stoppage in the opening three rounds in his 31-fight pro career.
“It was good to get the first round stoppage last night,” Caparello posted on social media. “Trent and myself both knew we had to leave everything in the ring last night. Full respect to Trent and his team for making the fight happen which the Australian public wanted to see.”
In the semi-main event current Commonwealth junior middleweight champion Michael “Pretty Boy” Zerafa 24-2 (13) scored a 10-round points decision win over Wade Ryan 14-7 (3) to claim the vacant WBA Oceania title.
The 26-year-old Melbournian took over in the second half of the bout to secure a clear-cut points victory over the Gunnedah southpaw. The Commonwealth title wasn’t on the line.
Also on the card popular Melbourne boxer Joel “CamaKO” Camilleri 15-4-1 (7) won his first title as a pro when he outpointed Sydney’s Yao Yi Ma 15-4-1 (10) over eight rounds to annex the vacant Victorian state junior middleweight belt in his third attempt.
Camilleri and Ma battled it out to a majority draw in October last year, but the 27-year-old substitute schoolteacher showed marked improvement on that performance to secure the win.