LAS VEGAS - Heavyweight boxer, Bowie Tupou, 22-2, 16 KOs, has traveled many miles over the course of his lifetime. He was born in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga, grew up in Australia, moved to Los Angeles for his boxing career, then relocated to Las Vegas to improve his chances as a professional fighter. Next week, Tupou will log another 2,500 miles when he travels from Vegas to Philadelphia for the biggest fight of his boxing career, a December 8th match with Philly's Bryant Jennings, 15-0, 7 KOs, for the latter's USBA heavyweight championship. The 12-round main event will be nationally televised by NBC Sports Network as part of its Fight Night boxing series. The telecast will begin at 10PM ET.
Tupou lived in Tonga until he was eleven years old.
"It's just one little island," Tupou said of his homeland. "It's not that big. You can walk the whole country, the whole island, in half a day."
His family left Tonga for Australia in 1993. Bowie, one of six children, spent his early days playing sports, and attending school. "When you're young, you just want to do something to keep active," he said. "I was playing a bit of rugby. That's mostly what we do in Australia."
Eventually he became a professional rugby player, but that career didn't last long. He found himself running around with his friends and not really applying himself to the sport.
"I didn't play professional for that long," he said. "I was just hanging around with my buddies not really focused on what I was supposed to do. Suddenly I found life was not going the way I planned."
Tupou wasn't getting himself in any real trouble, but he didn't feel like he was growing up either. Eventually he met the woman who would become his wife, Georgia, also a Tongan living in Australia. She became a catalyst for many things in Tupou's life.
"I proposed to my wife when I was 19," Tupou said. "I wanted to stay out of trouble, and I needed to straighten out my life. That's why I married so young. I settled down. It was something to keep me straight."
Married and working various construction jobs, Tupou was putting food on the table and living a rather settled life, but he was still getting into an occasional street fight. That's when his wife pointed him in a life-changing direction.
"Why don't you go try out boxing?", Georgia asked him. "It may help you mentally."
"I was a physical guy," Tupou said. "So I said, okay, I'll have a go at it."
Georgia had grown up in the same neighborhood as legendary boxing trainer Johnny Lewis, instructor of Down Under ring greats like Kostya Tsyzu and Jeff Fenech. So she made the introduction.
"I started with Johnny Lewis," Tupou said. "Once I started training, I said, 'Oh Yeah! I kind of like this'. So I always tell everybody that my wife talked me into boxing."
Lewis insisted that the sometimes unfocused young Tupou dedicate himself to training for at least one year before scheduling any fights. Bowie complied, patiently working and applying himself as he'd never done before. The young version of himself probably would have grown restless waiting around for a match, but Tupou was a becoming a new man.
"There's a lot to learn in boxing," he said. "You're not going to pick up boxing in one day. It takes time. In fact, you never stop learning about boxing."
So after a year's "apprenticeship" in the gym, Tupou finally got into the ring for the first time as an amateur boxer.
"I didn't have a long amateur career," Tupou said. "I only had one amateur fight. Then he (Lewis) put me through to the pros."
Tupou rattled off nine straight victories as a professional in Australia. However, he kept working his construction job on the side, learning that boxing paydays in Australia are nothing to live on. It was at this point, 2007, that Tupou and his wife packed their bags and moved to Los Angeles.
He found his way to Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym and resumed his boxing career in the States.
"California, it was a new experience for me," Tupou said. "A different lifestyle, but I knew my purpose. I knew the reason I came here."
And so Bowie continued to fight and to win. The restless teenager was nowhere in sight. Tupou was living the life of a professional boxer and finally had a real goal to pursue.
"That is the dream of every fighter out there," he said. "To win the heavyweight title."
Four years ago, Tupou moved his base to Las Vegas and began working with Jeff Mayweather, the low-key link in the wild and wooly Mayweather boxing clan. Although he is still learning his trade, the time has come for him to make a real move toward his dream. Enter Bryant Jennings, and the December 8th title fight.
"I don't know much about him," Tupou said of his opponent. "But I know he has the USBA title. It will be a good fight. It will be a good night. And as they say, let the best man win."
Tupou's hard-earned maturity won't allow him to trash-talk the least bit.
"Anything can happen during the fight," he said. "My wish and my dream is to win this fight and to move on. We will both fight our fight and we'll see who wins on that night. It should be a good night."
LOS ANGELES, November 21 - Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto returns to his home away from home on December 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York City where he will challenge Austin Trout for his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship. Before this meeting of champions in the "Mecca of Boxing," FOX Deportes Classics delivers two of these fighters' most impressive victories on Saturday, November 24 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
First, the Classics will go back to February 5, 2011 when Trout shocked the boxing world by defeating Canelo Alvarez' brother, Rigoberto Alvarez for the WBA Interim Super Welterweight crown. Then, the main event showcases Cotto as he entered the ring at Madison Square Garden on November 10, 2007 in an exciting 12-round welterweight championship bout against fellow superstar Sugar Shane Mosley.
In one of 2007's most highly-anticipated fights, Cotto and Mosley gave fight fans everything they expected and more. The two battled back and forth for 12 fast-paced rounds, exchanging explosive shots before Cotto pulled out a close, but unanimous decision to retain his WBA Welterweight title for the third time.
Previously only known to the hardcore fight crowd, Trout announced his arrival to the rest of the world in February of 2011, when he traveled to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to defeat the favored hometown favorite Alvarez and capture his first world championship belt. He has since defended that belt three times, setting up December's title defense against Cotto.
LOS ANGELES, November 21 - When the madness of Black Friday subsides on Friday, November 23, boxing fans will be treated to a night of boxing classics on FOX Deportes as Golden Boy Promotions presents four of the most memorable bouts of this era beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
The main event of the evening will showcase the two-fight series between "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya and Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez with replays of their 1996 and 1998 battles. Plus, the telecast will revisit one of boxing's great rivalries with the two middle bouts of the action packed four-fight series between Mexican countrymen Israel "El Magnifico" Vazquez and Rafael "Rafa" Marquez.
It was a clash between the young gun and the old lion when unbeaten superstar De La Hoya and one of Mexico's true boxing greats Chavez met in Las Vegas on June 7, 1996. The highly anticipated and memorable battle was a short one as a severe cut suffered by Chavez gave De La Hoya a fourth round technical knockout victory. Two years later, on September 18, 1998, the two met again in one of the biggest fights of that year, with "The Golden Boy" again emerging victorious over the Hall of Famer, this time by an eighth round stoppage.
After meeting once in March of 2007, with Marquez halting Vazquez in seven rounds, Vazquez was eager for a payback in their second meeting. He got his chance on August 4, 2007 when he scored a stirring sixth round technical knockout win over his countryman in a bout voted 2007 "Fight of the Year" by The Ring Magazine. Now with the score even, Vazquez would pull ahead in the series on March 1, 2008 with a 12 round split decision win in another thrilling "Fight of the Year" which came down to the final seconds of the last round, solidifying Marquez's and Vazquez's rivalry in the boxing history books.
CHICAGO, IL (November 21, 2012) Chicago’s Polish Prince, Andrzej Fonfara is making big plans for 2013 following his seventh round stoppage of Tommy Karpency this past Friday night, NOVEMBER 16 at the UIC Pavilion.
Fighting in front of a huge crowd of 4,224, Fonfara drilled Karpency to the canvas twice in the first round enroute to the victory earning the IBO Light Heavyweight World Title.
Thought at first that Fonfara may have broken his right hand in the first round, following a full doctor’s exam, medical reports indicate no broken bones and he is expected to return to action in the first quarter of 2013.
“We’re very proud of Andrzej, this was another test and he passed with flying colors winning the IBO title in front of such a massive crowd,” said Frank Mugnolo, President of Round 3 Productions.
‘There was some confusion at the end but the truth is Karpency never fully recovered from the damage Andrzej inflicted upon him in the first round. The film crew caught him in the corner before the seventh round telling his corner that he was done. When he fell it was from the effects of the knockdowns in the first round as well as the continuous battle over the subsequent rounds. “
The bout was stopped at 0:57 mark of the seventh round when Karpency informed referee Pete Podgorski that he could not continue and Fonfara was awarded the TKO victory.
“We’re looking at a number of options for Andrzej. There has been some talk of fighting WBO champion Nathan Cleverly or WBA champion Beibut Shumenov. He’s ready for either one or a fight against Bernard Hopkins. Any one of those fights would draw sold out crowds at the UIC Pavilion.”
The next 8 Count Productions/Round 3 Productions event will take place on Friday, DECEMBER 14th at Cicero Stadium in Cicero, IL. The main event will feature a junior welterweight cross-town showdown between Adrian “EL Tigre” Granados and Antonio “Aztec God of War” Canas.