Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Fri 8 Feb 2019



The Northern Territory news Fri 8 Feb 2019

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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32 SPORT FRIDAY FEBRUARY 8 2019 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Gallens plan to punish Hopoate JAMIE PANDARAM I want to hit him to the body and drop him P A U L G A L L E N , O N J O H N H O P O A T E JAMIE PANDARAM TIM Tszyu will be in line for a local showdown against Melbournes Michael Zerafa if he claims his 12th victim. The 24-year-old son of legend Kostya Tszyu fights Englands Denton Vassell at the Hordern Pavilion tonight, as the main support bout to the Paul Gallen v John Hopoate heavyweight slugfest. Tszyu hopes for a chance on world stage Tszyu will capture the in terim WBA Oceania super welterweight title with a victory, and Zerafa who has recently been linked to a fight against Anthony Mundine is rated No.12 by the WBA. That would be Tszyus quickest path into the world rankings, although he refused to discuss names before his bout against Vassell. I want four or five good fights this year, quality opponents, getting closer and closer to that world ranking and getting on that world stage, said Tszyu (11-0, 9KO). For all of his fathers incredible achievements, Kostya never had a fight in New York, and that is a goal of Tims. I want the big fights. Im dreaming about Madison Square Garden, thats the way were going, Tszyu said. There are a couple of names that are still interested here in Australia, Im working towards them. Then there is the future plan to go to America, maybe to England. Vassell (25-5, 11KO) is highly experienced but comes into this fight as a late replacement, and with five defeats in his past 10 bouts, should be easy pickings for the Australian. Hodges to use booing as a spur JAMIE PANDARAM PAUL Gallen has vowed to humiliate John Hopoate by knocking him out with a body shot. The pair were forcibly separated after scuffling at their weigh-in yesterday and Hopoate stormed out without speaking to reporters. Gallen however vowed to thump his rivals midriff to add insult to injury. The sweetest part will be when I crack him with a shot, I feel that punch and I watch him go down, Gallen told the NT News. Just being able to crack him, I want to hit him to the body and drop him, that will be embarrassing for him. After trading barbs for months, Gallen (101.5kg) and Hopoate (112kg) hit the scales ahead of tonights showdown at a sold-out Hordern Pavilion, and it wasnt long before their stares got physical. After Hopoate pushed his head against Gallens, the Cronulla forward grabbed his rival by the neck before they pushed and shoved each other. I was expecting a headbutt, so thankfully everyone got out of it with not even a scratch, which is good, Gallen said. I was thinking about the headbutt, I remember the first press conference we did I stood with my hands behind my back on purpose, hoping that he would understand Ive got my hands behind my back so Im no threat. As each one has gone on, hes got closer and closer. I could hear his breathing, I could tell he was fired up, he took a deep breath and leant in. I was waiting for a deadset genuine headbutt but never got it, thankfully. Hopoate, who showed off his six-pack on the scales, again vowed to knock out Gallen before their face-off fracas. But Gallen, who has vowed to retire from boxing if he loses, is embracing the enormous pressure of being a 5/1 favourite, along with the $50,000 personal bet he has made with Hopoate for the loser to pay. Im fighting against a big puncher, on the big stage, theres a lot of pressure on me on this one, a lot of pressure, Gallen said. Im confident in the training Ive done, Ive got to take that training into the fight and Ill be right. The big punch doesnt worry too much. But I do like the pressure. I say things in rugby league that people dont agree with that puts pressure on me. Ive said Im going to knock Hoppa out that puts pressure on me. Im fighting in front of thousands of people, Im in there on my own that puts pressure on me. I am who I am in rugby league and someone wants to stop me. Theres all sorts of pressure but Im going to go out there and do what Ive got to do. Justin and Gyanne Hodges pictured before tonights fight against Rob Baron Picture: ANNETTE DEW NEW South Wales most hated Queenslander, Justin Hodges, says hell use the jeers of the crowd in his professional boxing debut to silence his critics just as he did in rugby league. The former Maroons agitator steps into the ring for the first time tonight on the undercard of the Paul Gallen v John Hopoate bout, and is already looking forward to the expected verbal fire coming from the sold-out Hordern Pavilion crowd. Hodges fights fellow debutant Rob Baron, a brash-talking brute who warned his rival to sort out his life insurance policy before they square off. Hes a lively character, and a lot of NSW people would love to see me get hit, that will just make it more interesting, Hodges said. Ive built my whole 16-year league career on people giving me crap on the sidelines, especially at Origin time, yelling out. But thats just made me more motivated. Sometimes you can go to a game and youre not feeling well, and it takes someone to yell at you and call you a name and that gets you fired up. Thats how Ive always responded. Im sure it will happen (tonight) and Ill be right to go again. Hodges and Baron will fight four by three-minute rounds, although Baron, 35, plans to fight only a fraction of that. Ill be knocking him out early, everyone wants to see me put him on the canvas and thats what Im going to do, Baron said. Whittaker has action megastars in his corner ROBERT Whittaker has been on a Las Vegas blackjack table when Iron Man called. While on Instagram, Australias first UFC champ is followed by Thor. And now this Sunday afternoon, at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne ... well, no less than Jason Bourne will be in the house. For even superheroes need somebody to cheer, right? And Down Under, that fella is Bobby Knuckles. On the eve of his first Australian title defence at UFC 234, the NT News can reveal Hollywood megastars Matt Damon and Chris Hemsworth will both be cageside as Whittaker throws down against American challenger Kelvin Gastelum. A keen follower of Mixed Martial Arts, Thor: Ragnarok star Hemsworth is already a longtime supporter of Australias most dangerous man joining the likes of legendary surfer Kelly Slater, F1 ace Daniel Ricciardo and actors Robert Downey Jr and Sylvester Stallone. Damon, meanwhile, not only boasts an estimated Forbes fortune worth $240 million, but is also a Whittaker fan and one of several celebrities who bought into the UFC during its 2016 $4 billion sale. Elsewhere, a host of local fans including boxing great Jeff Fenech and Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold will also be in attendance with UFC president Dana White, who is flying in via private jet for a card that sold out in eight minutes, or quicker than the Rolling Stones. All of which continues the remarkable rise of a kid from Sutherland housing commission stock who, seven years ago, arrived in the UFC as an unknown CityRail electrician. Moloney back in big time THREE months after he came within a whisker of winning the world title, Kingscliffs brilliant bantamweight Jason Moloney is ready to rip right back into the boxing big time. The world No.3 will fight WBA Asian Champion Cris The King Paulino from the Philippines on March 30 at the Seagulls Club in Tweed Heads. Paulino has a record of 19 wins and three losses and has won five in a row since his last defeat in 2015 against Australias former world flyweight champ Vic Darchinyan. On October 20, in Orlando, Florida, Moloney came home like a steam train in his IBF world title fight with Emmanuel Rodriguez of Puerto Rico but lost a controversial split decision. The IBF title was held by Jeff Fenech between 1985-87 and Fenech said he had never never so proud of an Aussie fighter.

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