Arts student eyes up Pacific IBF title

14 November 2003

Sydney University's Paul Miller won his third professional fight with a seventh-round technical knock-out of Fijian Iobe Ledua in their super-middleweight (76.2kg) contest at the University of New South Wales Roundhouse.

The Commonwealth Games boxing gold medallist, who won his first professional bout by TKO and had his second fight declared a technical draw after suffering facial cuts, is now looking at a bout in 2004 to put him into the world professional ratings.

The Sunday Telegraph's Grantlee Kieza says Miller's trainers, Justin Rowsell and Johnny Lewis, have started negotiations for the 24-year-old southpaw to fight for the IBF Pan Pacific super-middleweight title vacated by world title challenger and former Olympic Games team-mate, Danny Green.

Should the negotiations prove fruitful, Miller would probably meet Australian rivals Shannan Taylor or Marc Bargero for the Pan Pacific crown around June. Miller began his professional boxing career with an eighth-round stoppage of Brad Reid in their super-middleweight bout in July.

Paul Miller salutes his victory against Iobe Ledua.

Paul Miller salutes his victory against Iobe Ledua
Paul Miller salutes his victory against Iobe Ledua

The Bachelor of Arts student had been out of the ring since winning the middleweight gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Having recovered from back and shoulder problems during his lengthy spell on the sidelines, Miller spent the early rounds finding his range and timing but showed glimpses of his undoubted talent. Astute judges believe he has a big future.

Having moved from Brisbane to study at Sydney University, Miller now trains at the H.K. Ward Gymnasium under the guidance of the veteran Lewis, the mentor of former triple world champion Jeff Fenech. He is studying for his BA on a part-time basis and conducts boxercise classes three times a week.

Miller has stepped up a ranking since outpointing England's Steve Birch to win the gold medal in the middleweight division (up to 75kg) at the Manchester Commonwealth Games. With the scores level at 11-11 going into the final round, Miller unleashed a flurry of punches, highlighted by some powerful left jabs, to win the bout 20-14.

While fighting in the amateur ranks, Miller was Queensland boxer of the year in 1999 before representing Australia at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and in two world championships. He won five Queensland titles and four Australian senior titles, a gold medal at the 1999 Liverpool Gold Cup - one of the world's main amateur boxing tournaments - and a silver medal at the 2000 President's Cup in Bali.

He took up boxing to get fit for football while attending Brisbane's Marist College, Ashgrove.

Flames fight back
Led by the in-form Emma Randall, the Sydney Uni Flames fought back to defeat the Perth Lynx for the second time this year 76-66 in front of their home crowd at Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre.

In a see-saw battle that saw Perth take the lead by two points at half time, the Flames fought back to eventually cruise to victory, even though only six points separated the teams one minute from time.

The 18-year-old Randall was the standout performer during the match, constantly penetrating the Perth defence and combining effectively with Belinda Snell. She finished the game with a haul of 21 points.

The win ensures that the Flames remain in the top four of the competition.