Bam Bam back for a bit of Argy bargy

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE’S Mark “Bam Bam” Flanagan will use his home­town as the launch pad for an­other crack at the box­ing big time.

Flanagan will fight Ar­gentina’s Pablo Ma­tias Ma­grini ( 19 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw) on Novem­ber 4 at the Townsville En­ter­tain­ment and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre fol­low­ing his re­cent points loss against Rus­sia’s De­nis Lebe­dev for the WBA cruis­er­weight ti­tle.

Ma­grini packs a pow­er­ful punch and – like Flanagan – has won most of his fights by knock­out, hav­ing landed 15 stop­pages out of his 19 vic­to­ries.

“He’s tough and def­i­nitely a re­spectable op­po­nent,” Flanagan’s pro­moter An­gelo Di Carlo said.

“But of course this all about get­ting Mark back in his home­town af­ter the loss in Rus­sia.

“He didn’t take the op­por­tu­nity but that’s what hap­pens, Lebe­dev has been the cham­pion for a long time.

“Mark learned some lessons that night and he al­ready knows where he went wrong.”

Flanagan, now based in Bris­bane, fought Lebe­dev in Siberia for the WBA belt last month, and was rated a solid chance of up­set­ting the gnarly Rus­sian af­ter win­ning his past 11 bouts.

But Flanagan strug­gled to find Lebe­dev’s range and failed to land the heavy blow, with Lebe­dev dic­tat­ing a slow pace and hit­ting on the coun­ter­at­tack.

Flanagan, who re­turned home last week for a fight night held by his old club Up­per Ross Hawks Box­ing Gym, will now be on the hunt for an­other big op­por­tu­nity.

“That next op­por­tu­nity will come, but whether it’s for a Com­mon­wealth ti­tle or world ti­tle we just don’t know,” Di Carlo said.

“I think this fight in Townsville will be a great op­por­tu­nity for his home­town sup­port­ers to see how far he’s come.”

An un­der­card fea­tur­ing lo­cal fight­ers is also be­ing put to­gether, and could fea­ture North Queens­land tal­ents such as Kolby John­ston and Liam Paro.

“Mark fight­ing an in­ter­na­tional fight here gives other fight­ers an op- por­tu­nity,” Flanagan’s men­tor and Hawks coach Dennis Clancy said.

“That was a big rea­son for him want­ing to come back home, and he’s look­ing for­ward to it af­ter hav­ing a bit of down time.

“An­gelo ( Di Carlo) is com­ing up as well and that’s a chance for some fight­ers to make an im­pres­sion.”

Flanagan last fought at the Townsville En­ter­tain­ment and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in 2014 for the Australian cruis­er­weight ti­tle, which he won with a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion over New­cas­tle’s Daniel Am­mann.

“This fight we’ll help keep Mark’s rat­ing high and then he’ll get his next shot,” Clancy said.

“This is also good for Townsville box­ing, it’s an­other cog in the wheel.”

Tick­et­ing in­for­ma­tion will be re­leased in com­ing weeks.

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

BIG HIT­TER: Boxer Mark Flanagan will re­turn to his home town Townsville for his next fight.

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