May 15, 2009 12:00am
CHANNEL 10's sporting arm ONE HD is to revise a version of TV Ringside
In a live show to be known as Empire Fight Night and broadcast out of a
Port Melbourne warehouse that seats 3000, ONE HD's Thursday night boxing
will go head-to-head with Channel 9's The Footy Show.
The first show, set for July 16, is expected to feature Sydney-based
super middleweight Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika in a world title fight.
And on the same card will be Melbourne's light heavyweight "Tiger" Tim
Bell against a world top 10-rated opponent, putting Bell into a position
to fight Danny Green.
TV Ringside was a Melbourne institution in the 1960s and '70s on Channel
7, hosted by the late Ron Casey with the legendary Merv Williams
providing special comments.
Some of Australia's finest boxers - men such as Lionel Rose, Johnny
Famechon, Tony Mundine, Barry Michael, Hector Thompson and Rocky
Mattioli - made their names on TV Ringside.
Lionel Rose v Noel Kunde in 1966 and Tony Mundine v Kahu Mahanga in 1969
are just two of the fights old-timers still recall.
Sadly, TV Ringside died a natural death in the 1980s as viewers' program
requirements changed, but ONE HD, after a promising start, is seen as
the ideal vehicle to revive the boxing show on a monthly basis.
Viewers can expect 12 shows in Melbourne over a 12-month period, with
the live audience expected to be made up largely from corporate tables.
Sydney will also host similar nights, with Fidel Tukel acting as
match-maker while the Melbourne nights will be shared between Brian
Amatruda and David Deicke.
The aim is to make the nights "must" events for Australian boxing
Other fighters set to be featured include Billy Dib, Jackson Asiku, John
Hopoate, Sam Soliman, Soloman Haumono, Mark Quon, Dominic Vea, Frank Lo
Porto, Daniel Iannazzo and Ryan Waters.
Bell fights tonight against Kane McKay for a PABA light heavyweight
title at the Sunshine Skating Arena.
And on Sunday at Shed 14, Central Pier, Docklands, highly rated Samuel
Colomban takes on Guillermo Mosquera for the WBO oriental welterweight
Former IBF world junior lightweight champion Barry Michael said it was
the break his sport needed.
"It is on a sporting station so won't be judged by ratings, as such, and
it's a perfect vehicle for our fighters," said Michael.
"There are some very good kids out there, boys such as Samuel Colomban
and Daniel Iannazzo who can really flourish with such exposure."
Channel 10 publicity officer Stacey Mair was unavailable for comment
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