TC Priestley defeats Ben Dencio to win Australian Super Featherweight title

NATIONAL CHAMPION: TC Priestley has won the Australian Super Featherweight Title.

NATIONAL CHAMPION: TC Priestley has won the Australian Super Featherweight Title.

Moree's Tc Priestley scored a seventh round TKO victory over Ben Dencio to claim the Australia National Boxing Federation (ANBF) Australian Super Featherweight title.

Ben Dencio is the current NSW State Title champion who recently defeated former Australian champion, Brendon Saunders, was hot favourite to clinch the Australian title in the Main Event at the Hellenic Club, Canberra on Friday, April 5.

Both fighters were originally scheduled to fight for the ANBF NSW State Super Featherweight championship, but the bout was upgraded to the Australian title after former champion Liam Wilson was stripped of the title due to inappropriate social media comments.

Priestley began his preparation 12 weeks ago, knowing this fight would be his toughest contest to date.

Originally meant to be an eight round fight, it was changed to 10 rounds once it was announced the Australian title would be on the line about a week earlier.

Sparring just over 90 rounds against boxing champions such as the Moloney twins, Andrew and Jason, Jacob Ng and Kye McKenzie in preparation for the fight was just what the doctor ordered.

Priestley's great preparation also assisted him to make weight comfortably. He and the whole dressing room were relaxed and confident prior to the fight.

The walk out to the ring was a real buzz knowing that an Australian title was at stake.

The sold out attendance of 1200 fans lifted the roof when Dencio came out to the ring, but Priestley remained cool, and was already in the ring prowling around claiming his turf.

Both fighters started the first few rounds patiently setting up their punches and attack.

In the fourth round, Dencio took it up another notch and was starting to land some of his signature hard over hand rights and big upper cuts.

By the end of the round, Priestley sat down in the corner with a bleeding nose but remained unbelievably calm - he was about to make his mark on the contest.

Rounds five, six and seven were a fantastic display of boxing toughness and skill. 

His bloody nose seemed to inject some urgency into Priestley as he began to throw some more punches and counter more aggressively over the remaining rounds.

His fire power and brutal body attacks made the difference, breaking Dencio down. He became weaker and Tc Priestley became stronger.

Dencio was battered and exhausted, unable to hold his arms up. The referee, Pat O'Connor, waved the fight off 2.05 into the seventh round, awarding Priestley the title by TKO.

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By the end of the contest, the 1200 strong crowd were on their feet for what was considered the fight of the night.

In the ring, a very emotional and excited Priestley, stated that for two years he had put in the hard work and sacrificed so much to reach his goal. 

"I've had big ups and massive lows, but my vision was always clear no matter how dark it got. I pushed on and stuck with it, and here I am," he said.

He dedicated his win to his two sons, Matt and Leo, and his partner Paula Swan. It was also dedicated to his good friend and mentor, Brett Schoupp.

"I'd like to thank the whole town of Moree for their endless support," Priestley said.

Moree Boxing and Fitness coach, Chalky Rice would like to thank Tait Auto Group for their generous support by supplying a Hilux Rugged and fuel to ensure a safe journey to Canberra for the Australian Title and his wonderful sponsors Johnsons Concrete and Quarries, Gwydir Chiropractic Centre and O'Neill Concreting.

Many thanks also to Tc Priestley's manager, Robert Burton for his work in arranging the fight, and number one boxing coach in the country, Mark Pitts for all his work.

"Thanks to the Moree community for getting behind TC. Moree is a fantastic town with some amazing people," Rice said.