Caparello and Fletcher blazing a trail for Oz boxing overseas

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Two Australian boxers quietly but effectively went about their business on foreign shores last weekend.

Victoria’s IBO light heavyweight world champion Blake Caparello made his US debut with a convincing points win over Elvir Muriqi in New Jersey.

Caparello, an awkward and rangy southpaw, was too strong for Muriqi and picked up a convincing 100-90, 98-92 and 98-92 victory on an ESPN-televised card.

The 27-year old has signed with US promoter Lou DiBella and is looking to build his profile and attract tougher opponents in boxing’s promised land. Caparello has 19 wins and one draw from 20 fights after taking up the sweet science at a later age.

While he has yet to spend time in the ring with a truly world-class opponent, the Greenvale-born fighter has undoubted potential. With fast hands and a slick defence, he can go far in the fight game.

Caparello only started in professional boxing five years ago but wants to make some noise in the US.

Three years older and just as talented is fellow Australian Jarrod Fletcher. Last weekend the skilful and speedy Fletcher secured the vacant WBA international middleweight title with a unanimous points win over Max Bursak in Monte Carlo.

On the undercard of a Gennady Golovkin card, Fletcher dismantled his opponent with a scoring of 115-111, 115-111 and 114-112 in a rough and tumble fight.

The Queensland-based boxer was the underdog in this bout but upset his more fancied opponent.

Fletcher has largely flown under the radar but had a long amateur career, including winning gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and an appearance in Beijing in 2008, and has just won loss from his 19 fights.

He is now ranked 12th in the world, behind fellow Aussies Daniel Geale and Sam Soliman, but moving up fast.

Social media indicates that the man nicknamed ‘Left Jab’ may be set the make the first defence of his new WBA belt against Dmitry Chudinov overseas next month.

Both Fletcher and Caparello are on the rise. They have done it the quiet way, letting their fists not their mouths do the talking, and are now reaping the rewards.

Having headed overseas to challenge themselves against tough opponents, and succeeded, they deserve our respect as they strive for more.

Follow John Davidson on Twitter @johnnyddavidson

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