Home Boxing News Sam ‘The Ghost’ Goodman proves too elusive for Ra’eese Aleem, earns world...

Sam ‘The Ghost’ Goodman proves too elusive for Ra’eese Aleem, earns world title shot

Sam Goodman

Super bantamweight Sam ‘The Ghost’ Goodman 15-0 (7) proved he is a genuine contender with a 12-round split decision victory over the highly-regarded Ra’eese ‘The Beast’ Aleem 20-1 (12) at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia on Sunday afternoon local time.

The bout was the co-feature to the junior middleweight scrap between local hero Tim Tszyu and Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo. Both bouts were broadcast into the United State on Showtime.

The 24-year-old Goodman from Albion Park in New South Wales was coming off a wide 10-round unanimous decision victory over former IBF 122-pound champion TJ Doheny and was looking to claim another prized scalp to put him in the mandatory contender position to face current IBF champion Marlon ‘Nightmare’ Tapales 37-3 (19), who also holds the WBA belt.

The 32-year-old Aleem, who was born in Muskegon, Michigan but boxes out of Las Vegas, Nevada, got off to a good start in the opening round as Goodman tried to figure out his awkward style. The first six frames were closely contested with the local boxer having the edge.

The real story of the fight was how Goodman adjusted in the second half of the fight. Displaying deft footwork and subtle head movement, he was able to get off with the sharper, more accurate shots to win the fight going away. Two of the judges had him winning five of the last six rounds.

The only surprise when the scorecards were read out was that it was a split decision. Judge Adam Height had it 117-111, while judge Daniel Sandoval saw it 116-112, both for Goodman. Judge Masakazu Murase was the outlier here, scoring the bout 116-112 for Aleem.

“It was tough early,” Goodman admitted in his post-fight interview. “He was awkward. He hit me with about 30 head-butts every round. I was hearing it was coming from punches, but fucking bollocks! Fucking head-butts all day, honestly. But I’m just so pumped right now.”

Goodman showed good sportsmanship, praising his opponent for his ability.

“He’s a tough competitor,” he said. “And like I said, he comes at you with some really awkward stuff. But all credit to him, it was a big test.

“I knew early on I had to be smart, give him the respect and I knew I’d be able to go forward and go through him. That’s my strength, in those later rounds. Doubt me that I’m a 12-round fighter – I just showed you.”

Goodman was ranked number four by the IBF going in to the fight, while Aleem was ranked number five. Filipino southpaw Tapales won the IBF and WBA super bantamweight titles with a surprise victory over highly favoured champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev 11-1 (8), another lefty, by split decision at the Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas in April.

The vastly more experienced Tapales would be another step up in class for Goodman, but one he believes he is more than ready for.

“We’re coming for those straps,” Goodman said. “We’re coming for them.”