Sam Goodman improved to 19-0 (8 KOs) with a hard-fought unanimous decision win over Thailand’s tough Thactana “Rock man” Worawut, who lost for the first time and is now 25-1-1 (15 KOs).

Junior featherweight contender Goodman won a unanimous decision by margins of 117-111, 117-113 and 119-109, but manager Pete Mitrevski said after the fight the Australian had broken his left hand in the sixth round.

What that means for a proposed fight with Japanese star Naoya Inoue remains to be seen, with Inoue likely to fight again beforehand anyway, possibly against TJ Doheny, before facing his mandatory challenger Goodman.

It was a good fight. Possibly a little more taxing than Goodman had planned, but it certainly made for an entertaining spectacle.

There were indications that the Bangkok visitor was ready for a fight in the opening exchanges, when he was made to miss with some hefty looking swings. Goodman adopted a sophisticated approach, maintaining the distance and trying to dictate terms with his jab.

Goodman’s boxing was more conventional, but he was nailed be a swinging hook in the second although caught Worawut at the end of a long right hand with a minute left in the session in reply.

After the third, Worawut danced and played to the crowd, and while he was having some success downstairs, he was finding Goodman difficult to hit cleanly. There were some fast and fluid exchanges in the fourth, and again Worawut danced after the round, but the better work had come from the Australian, who landed jabs, worked the body and tucked up well when the return fire came his way.

The fifth was a good round for the favorite. Goodman caught Worawut on the end of jabs and right hands and, with the exception of an eye-catching right uppercut, the traffic was one way and there were signs Worawut was slowing.

Goodman seemed to completely have the measure of Worawut in round six, countering so effectively that Worawut became gunshy, was reluctant to throw, and then Goodman went on the attack trying to force more mistakes.

The Thai was still playing to the crowd after each round, but there was less enthusiasm behind his theatrics and the signs were that Goodman was pulling away.

Worawut, however, found another gear in the eighth and they slogged away on even terms. The ninth was unrelenting, phonebooth stuff although the action was paused for the tape to be fastened around Worawut’s glove.

Goodman tried to get back behind his jab in the 10th, but Worawut was content to walk him down and Goodman initiated a clinch for the first time in the fight. Worawut spent part of the round as a southpaw, too, just launching a series of overhand lefts. There was no let up.

Goodman thudded home four straight shots in the 11th but could not put a dent in Worawut, who took several clean blows without even hinting at taking a backward step.

A Goodman left hook earned a respectful nod from the Thai in the 12th and the Aussie used some cute defensive moves to stay either out of the way or roll with the shots that came in his direction as they battled through the 12th of a highly-watchable and brisk 12-rounder.

Heavyweight hope Curtis Scott, aged 26, came out firing and had big Burce Hall looking disorganized from the start of their contest. The former Australian Rules football star, who was beaten in a round by Sonny Bill Williams a couple of years ago, was down first from what was ruled a slip but struggled with Scott’s handspeed, became tentative to throw his own jabs and was repeatedly caught and felled twice in quick succession before he slowly made his way back to his feet. Bleeding from a cut on the bridge of his nose, 47-year-old Hall failed to beat the count and the fight was waved off after 86 seconds.

The 6ft 4 1/2in Hall is now 0-2-1. Sydney’s Scott improves to 3-0 (3 KOs).

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