'Headsplitter' sends out warning

Published 2:00pm 10 August 2023

'Headsplitter' sends out warning
Words by Nick Crockford

Issac Hardman fought his way back into title contention last night with a dominatant display in Sydney.

The middleweight, who grew up in Caboolture and Deception Bay, stopped Kazuki Kyohara, from Japan, in six rounds.

It returns ‘Headsplitter’ to the winner’s circle, after two defeats in his last three fights – and will now be looking for another title shot.

Kyohara started well but a thumping right turned the tide and it seemed Hardman, who lives in Bald Hills and trains at Chermside, may have an early night.

But Kyohara refused to buckle and it took until the sixth round for the referee to step in and stop the fight.

Hardman, 27, described his opponent as “tough as nails” telling Fox Sports: “I knew he would run in like a Kamikaze bomber but I didn’t think it would happen like that.

“So I’m glad I didn’t get wild with him. Just got my bearings, good my range and went to work.”

Hardman lost an Australian title clash with Michael Zerafa last year and a split decision for the IBF Australasian super middleweight crown against Rohan Murdoch in March.

The No Limit Boxing promotion was the first of a series which includes Liam Wilson returning to the ring on August 23 for the first time since his highly controversial world title defeat in the US.

Wilson, also from Caboolture, was stopped by Emanuel Navarette in round nine of their WBO world super featherweight clash.

But Navarette, the hot favourite to win, appeared to be given a 27-second ‘count’ after being knocked down and then spitting out his mouthguard, in round four.

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