Veteran trainer Angelo Hyder says West Australian flyweight Alex Winwood has a punch so hard he can be fast-tracked to a world title “faster than Fenech”.
Aussie great Jeff Fenech won the IBF world bantamweight title in 1985 in just his seventh professional fight.
But Hyder, who trained WA’s Danny Green and Vic Darchinyan to world titles and has twin brothers Andrew and Jason Moloney poised to do the same, says Winwood has the power to beat them all to the throne.
“I have had Danny Green and Vic Darchinyan and between them there’s about nine or 10 world titles and he (Winwood) is a bigger puncher than both of them,” Hyder told The West Australian.
Winwood, 25, makes his professional debut on Friday night against Indonesian Mario Bunda as the main event of the 40th edition of Dragon Fire Boxing’s Thunderdome Series at Metro City in Northbridge.
“I want to fast-track him. Winwood could do it, win a world title faster than Fenech did, because of the way he can punch,” Hyder said, pointing out his boxer had to fight two-to-three kilograms above his natural weight as an amateur and fight bigger, taller opponents.
“You can’t put a rover in with a center-half forward.”
Hyder also said his fighter had to curb his natural aggressive ring craft in 56 fights as an amateur.
“It’s like trying to tell Tyson to go in the ring and just score points. Just jab and touch and try and beat your opponent that way,” Hyder said.
Winwood fought at 52kg at Olympic flyweight and 51kg in the Commonwealth Games but will box at his more natural weight of 49kg for the vacant WA light flyweight title over six rounds.
He claimed six national amateur titles, fought in two world championships as well as the Tokyo Olympics and Birmingham Commonwealth Games, where he was controversially stopped.
The Mandurah boxer, a nephew of former West Coast Eagle Troy Ugle, now prepares out of Hyder’s gym near the Gold Coast, and says his manager Tony Tolj and trainer have prepared him perfectly for the step up from amateur to pro ranks.
“The longer rounds (than three at amateur level), we are not looking to score points and win two out of three rounds. We are looking to go to the body a bit more and as they say in boxing, put some water down in the basement,” he said. “Hard punches count more in the pros than in the amateurs. It suits my boxing ability quite nicely.
“Angelo has thrown me in the deep end. I have worked 15 rounds in the gym sparring so six rounds is going to be a good night.”
Winwood lost his Commonwealth Games quarter-final, controversially ruled to have been knocked out at the start of the second round against Zambia’s Patrick Chinyemba after he’d taken the first round.
He got straight to his feet, but was not given an eight-count and was stopped by the referee, with both TV commentators questioning the decision.
Winwood, a proud Noongar man who says he wears his Indigenous heritage “on my skin very day” but was proud to represent all Australians, said he would provide an answer to that decision in the ring.
“The point is going to come across with all the wins I am going to gather up,” he said.
“It’s still a bit bizarre. The fall out was crazy, it went viral and my phone blew up. It got me a lot of attention but I would have preferred the attention for winning a gold medal.”
Bunda, 25, is an aggressive, come forward boxer with a 3-2 pro record but has never been stopped.
“I don’t have to go looking for him. He is going to be right there all night long,” Woodward said.
“I am very strong at these smaller weights. Since the Olympic Games I have almost gone down three weight divisions so I am almost at my natural weight class now.
“For him to stand flat footed and come forward it is going to be his wrongdoing, but I don’t think he can box on the back foot so if need be I can change but I don’t think he can.”