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Brothers Hussein


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Australia's most famous boxing family are of Lebanese descent. The four Hussein brothers were and are all involved in boxing and pro boxing in some way. The oldest one, Billy (Bilal), was a decorated amateur but never turned pro, instead he became a respected trainer and owner of Bodypunch Boxing Gym. Among his students were world champions Vic Darchinyan, Billy Dib, Danny Green and Sakio Bika, as well as his own brothers Hussein and Nedal. The double-named Hussein Hussein is the second oldest brother who was the first one to break through at world stage and fight for the world title, but was not able to win one. Then there was Nedal, a lanky featherweight, who was one of the first to knock down Manny Pacquiao despite later losing to him via a cut stoppage. He also fought for the world title at super bantam and featherweight. The youngest one, Maz (Marwan), was said to be a promising talent, but his career never quite took off and instead he also became a trainer. Therefore, this thread will focus on the careers and achievements of the two middle brothers, Hussein and Nedal.

The flyweight Hussein was born 29 September 1975 in Sydney and as amateur became a three-time Australian flyweight champion in 1992, 1995 and 1996, as well as a one-time Australian bantamweight champion in 1997. He also qualified for the national team for the 1996 Olympics, where he lost the second fight to Damaen Kelly 20-27 on points. He made his pro debut in February 1998 and went 24-0 with 17 ko's before fighting the legendary Thai technician Pongsaklek Wonjongkam for his WBC flyweight title on 14 November 2003 in Bangkok. HH was down once in the fight and lost by UD but still didn't embarrass himself and won a few rounds on all scorecards. On 6 February 2005, he won the OPBF title (which would prove to be his only title) by stopping Federico Catubay of the Philippines by TKO3 after dropping him twice. This got him a WBC-eliminator fight against Jorge Arce of Mexico, already a multiple weight world champion at the time. 

On 19 March at MGM Grand, Hussein once again showed his worth and gave Arce a tougher than expected fight. He was hurt badly in the first round, but came back to cut Arce on the bridge of the nose in the fifth. In round 10, he was down and his trainer Jeff Fenech stopped the fight, prematurely as it turned out. Hussein was very dismayed with the stoppage and didn't appear to be in a bad enough condition. After winning one minor fight, he faced Arce again, this time for the WBC interim title, 8 October same year, at Thomas & Mack Center. Hussein was dropped once in the first round by a right cross and once in the second by a left hook to the head. Fenech once again acted in haste and threw in the towel, which surprised everyone, as HH was again not in a bad enough shape to be taken out of the fight. That effectively spelled the end of his career and he would not fight at this level until his last fight in 2008, when he took on Moruti Mthalane in an IBF-eliminator, in South Africa. This time, HH lasted the distance but lost by a lopsided decision. He was not yet 33 when he retired, with a record of 31(24)-5-0.

Now we come to Nedal, nicknamed "The Skinny", who would make the family proud by winning several minor titles and fighting in two world title bouts. Nedal (born the same month and year as myself 😉) unlike his brother Hussein didn't have much of an amateur career and turned pro earlier, aged 19 still, in May 1997. He stands 5'7 (170 cm) and thus was tall for a super bantam and feather. Already in his sixth pro fight, he won the Aussie super bantam title by a near-shutout UD against Johnny Binge. He then went down to bantamweight and also won the Aussie title there, by another very wide UD against Dianever Orcales. He then jumped up to 126 and won the IBF Pan Pacific title there on points against Edgar Maghanoy in September 1998. After ALSO winning the WBF feather title on points against Thongchai Treeviset in June 1999, he once again went back to 122 to win the Commonwealth title by UD against Brian Carr in March 2000 and then defended it and also won the Aussie title with a TKO1 against Nathan Sting only a month later. 

He was now 19-0 but had already won SIX titles! He was then brought up drastically against Manny Pacquiao, who back then was practically unknown outside Asia, but would prove to be a whirlwind on world stage soon. The fight was for the WBC International super bantam title, 14 October 2000 in Antipolo City, Philippines. The faster Pacquiao opened aggressively while Nedal was counter punching against the ropes in the first couple rounds and landed some clean wide shots. "Skinny" surprised everyone by knocking Pacman down in round 4 with a quick counter left as Pacman was throwing a punch. However, he was unable to capitalize and Pacman came back to open a bad cut on his left eyebrow, which made referee Carlos Padilla stop the fight midway in round 10.

Nedal would remain undefeated for a while after that and won the World Boxing Union (now non-existing) title at 122 on points against Jaime Barcelona, June 2001. After winning 17 straight fights and also WBO Asia Pacific and IBF Pan Pacific titles at 130, he got his first world title fight against then-WBC champion at 122, Oscar Larios. The fight happened 27 November 2004 at MGM Grand and Skinny lost by a wide UD to the more seasoned Larios. Seeing that jumping back and forth between divisions was a bad idea, Nedal would never return to 122 and fought between 126 and 130 for the rest of his career. On 26 August 2005, he won his final title, the IBO Inter-Continental super feather one, by KO2 against Mick Shaw. He then went to Scotland to fight the WBO feather champion Scott Harrison on 5 November same year, at Braehead Arena in Glasgow. It would prove to be Harrison's last fight as the WBO champion and he retained the title with the scores of 117-111 and 116-111 twice. 

On 16 September 2006, he tried to win the Oriental and Pacific feather title against the 24-0 Hiroyuki Enoki, but failed as he lost by a mostly-close UD. After winning 2 more fights, he fought Takashi Uchiyama for the Oriental and Pacific super feather title, 8 September 2007 and was knocked down in round 8 before the towel came in-official result was KO. That proved to be his final fight and Nedal Hussein retired before turning 30, after 10 years as a pro. His record is 43(27)-5-0. He was only knocked out for real in his last fight and was known as a tough guy who could hit, like his brother Hussein. 

 

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