By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Australian 168 pounder Bilal Akkawy (14-0-1, 12 KOs) stopped Welshman Kerry Hope (23-9, 2 KOs) in a scheduled ten round WBA Oceania bout at Club Punchbowl, Sydney, NSW, Australia on Sunday. Akkawy attacked southpaw Hope from the opening round connecting with power shots to the head and body but the experienced Welshman maintained a high work rate throughout the action packed bout that will be considered as one of the best Australian contests for 2016. The action see- sawed in round one to six but Akkawy stepped up a gear in round seven and had Hope on unsteady legs as he punished his opponent with heavy shots to the head that had blood flowing from Hope’s mouth but the Welshman survived to hear the bell. The corner of Hope retired there game boxer with a fractured jaw and several dislodged teeth. Ringside doctor, Richard Saunders confirmed Hope’s jaw was fractured after an examination.
Akkawy said “I know I was the underdog. Hope was experienced and stood there and he didn’t run. I was pacing myself and wasn’t expecting an early knockout. He came out fast but I stayed calm and relaxed, picked my shots and broke him down.”
Hope, 35 years, was coming off a ten round points loss in India to WBO#10 Vijender Singh in July and scored his best win in 2012 when he defeated world rated Grzegorz Proksa. Hope who has been based in Australia for 17 months and was world rated in 2015 after defeating Gunnar Jackson.
Akkawy, 23 years, was coming off KO over Argentinian, Francisco Ramon Benitez in May.
Promoter Paul and Hannah Nasari