SYDNEY, Australia, CMC – Guyana’s Gairy St Clair was no match for Lenny Zappavigna last night and the Australian dominated the ex-world champion to easily retain his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Pan Pacific light welterweight title.
The undefeated Zappavigna won clearly on all the judges’ cards at The Cube in Campbelltown, logging scores of 120-107, 119-109, 120-108 for a successful first title defence.
With the victory, the 21-year-old Zappavigna improved his record to 18-0 with 13 knockouts.
The Australia-based St Clair, who previously held the IBF super featherweight title, was suffering a fourth defeat in his last six bouts and his ring record declines to 41 wins (18 knockouts) against nine losses and two draws.
Considered one of the brightest prospects in Australian boxing, Zappavigna was a bronze medallist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and he appears to be on course for world acclaim.
Zappavigna had captured the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title in December last year on a sixth round knockout of Tommy Browne.
Before last night’s defeat, St Clair had also lost to Amir Khan, William Kickett and Mlungisi Dlamini in the past year.
This latest defeat is another setback for the 34-year-old St Clair as he has now lost six of his last nine bouts.
In July 2006 in Gauteng, St Clair defeated South African Cassius Baloyi to win the IBF 130-pound super featherweight crown which he held for only four months before losing to South African Malcolm Klaasen on a split decision in Gauteng.
St Clair has been living in Australia for the past eight years.
He had gone to Australia in 2001 for sparring partner duties and remained there. He is married to an Australian and is the fourth Guyanese boxer to win a world title, after Andrew Lewis, Wayne Braithwaite and Vivian Harris.