IT may not command the same saturation coverage as tonight’s long-awaited showdown between Anthony Mundine and Daniel Geale, but Newcastle’s Chad ‘‘Hollywood’’ Bennett hopes to stage his own world title bout this year.
Bennett moved closer to a shot at the World Boxing Organisation’s junior-welterweight belt after beating Ghana’s Ben Ankrah in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Fighting on the undercard to the interim World Boxing Council junior-welterweight title fight between Lucas Matthysse and Mike Dallas Jr, Bennett weathered some early punishment before landing a third-round knockout.
The 39-year-old described his second fight in the US as ‘‘the best win of my career’’, especially given the boost it has given to his reputation abroad.
‘‘He came out strong and landed some big shots on me which rocked me in the opening round, but I came back and smashed him out,’’ Bennett said.
The Novocastrian’s US-based agent, Vlad Warton, will now attempt to negotiate a world-title fight for him in Newcastle in April, possibly against another Ghanaian, Ebenezer Lamptey, the WBO’s African junior-welterweight champion.
Lamptey, 26, has won 22 of 23 professional fights, including 17 by knockout.
Bennett’s record is 31 wins, 22 by stoppage, four losses and three draws.
Bennett’s former manager, Newcastle businessman Richard Claut, said yesterday the win in Vegas would ‘‘open up options’’ for Bennett.
‘‘He was fighting under the banner of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, so there were people there like Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Moseley who have now seen Chad fight,’’ Claut said.
‘‘And his promoter, Vlad Warton, is a guy with contacts throughout the industry.
‘‘A win like this can really give him and Chad some bargaining power.’’
Bennett, a former World Boxing Federation champion, was expected to arrive back in Australia overnight and begin planning his next bout, which is likely to be on April 5 at Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
GAME OVER: Chad Bennett knocks out Ben Ankrah in Las Vegas.