Author’s African journey book launch

Author Ann Hacker on assignment in Africa.THE wilds of Africa will be detailed at the launch of Ann Hacker’s book, Shooting the Breeze, at McCrossin’s Mill on Sunday.

Museum director Kent Mayo said Shooting the Breezewas a fascinating account of Hacker’s work, over five years, as assistant to a well-known wildlife photographer and author in the wild and remote areas of Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa.

The pair alsospent up to six months at a time on safari.

“Before Ann chose to settle in Uralla, she spent more than 30years in Africa, initially as the group creative designer for the largest publishing company in southern Africa,” Mr Mayo said.

“That didn’t really surprise any of us, because Ann certainly has a way with words.”

The museum hadhosted two successful book launches in the past, Mr Mayo said.

“[Shooting the Breeze]is a really entertaining read, complemented with Ann’s own sketches, which gives the story a very personal flavour.”

The launch of “Shooting the Breeze” is to be held at the Mill onMay 3at 3pm, with refreshments to follow.

To assist with catering, anyone wishing to attend this event should phone 6778 3022 to give their details.

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Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao fight: a genuine mega-bout?

Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Boxing’s history is full of so-called mega-fights – bouts that transcend the boundaries of the rapidly shrinking ranks of genuine fans and pique the interest of the wider public. With promoters like Don King and Bob Arum – who this week claimed that his charge Manny Pacquiao had been responsible for saving countrywoman Mary Jane Veloso from execution alongside the Bali Nine ring leaders – the hype can be overwhelming and the fight can often fail to live up to the expectations. This is particularly when one or both of the fighters are past their best, but there are times when an absolute classic results.

But what will this clash between two of the finest boxers of their generation be?

There are many opinions, although the undefeated Mayweather is a strong favourite. Mayweather and Pacquiao have been at each other for years and for good reason as they are among the finest fighters of their generation. Well, if you listen to Mayweather, that is actually doing him an injustice as he believes that he is the best ever, surpassing the universially acknowledged title holders Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. For the uninitiated that is what the ‘TBE’ stands for on the cap that he wears. It was a boast that did not escape Ali’s attention. “Don’t you forget, I am the greatest!” #MuhammadAlipic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/HXaTz39RPM— Muhammad Ali (@MuhammadAli) April 27, 2015

There are fears that there is no way that these two aging champions could ever match the expectations that have been set for this fight. But, there has been so much debate about who is better fighter – and so much sniping between the camps – that if they finished their stellar careers without squaring off, even at this late stage, there would have, perhaps unjustly, been an unsatisfying feeling of unfinished business.

Photo: Reuters

Why it’s a big deal?Long-anticipated clash between two of the best pound-for-pounders of their generation Has generated genuine enormous public interestWill be the highest grossing fight ever. It is expected to generate more than $500 million in ticket sales and global TV revenueIt is the classic good vs bad sporting contest. Mayweather is the flashy, egotistical braggart while Pacquiao is seen as the down-to-earth champion

Why it’s not.  It will be held five years too lateThere is uncertainty as to what we will actually get from two ageing champions in the face of boundless hyperbole and pay-per-view prices that have been significantly increased. Does it really penetrate the public psyche like some of the blockbusters of past that have included names such  as Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Tyson, Leonard, Hagler and Hearns ?Mayweather has not had a knock out in his past five fights. It’s been 10 for Pacquiao.

Reasons why Mayweather will win

There is a reason why Mayweather has never been beaten. He a master of ring craft with an crafty ability to undermine his opponents, so much so that his defensive ways can, according to Marvin Hagler, make fights tedious enough to “put the fans to sleep”. But, when the time comes, he is not afraid to get down and dirty with best of them. He has power in both hands as shown by his 26 knockouts, even if he has not had one in eight years. Add in exquisite timing and footwork and strong defence and Mayweather is an imposing proposition to the significantly smaller Pacquiao whose form has seemlingly deteriorated at a quicker rate. He will likely look to wait out the opening flurries and then pick off the points.

Reasons why Pacquiao will win

The powerful Pacquiao could be the hardest hitter that Mayweather has faced. His hand speed and explosive combinations will be a key to victory. He throws a lot punches and he throws them quick, keeping a relentless pressure on his opponent. Pacquiao has a 59 per cent knockout ratio, but he had not had a KO since Ricky Hatton in 2009. His self belief and fitness keeps him going throughout the fight as he looks to wear down his oppponent, a factor that could have a bearing on an aging Mayweather.

What people are saying

“He (Mayweather) is very delusional … He’s a little, scared man. He’s a very small, scared man,” said Mike Tyson.

“If Pacquiao doesn’t get tired, Mayweather is going to be shooing away that fly for 12 rounds, and Pacquiao might surprise him. I’m inclining more, as the fight gets closer, to Pacquiao,” said Oscar de la Hoya who lost to both fighters.

​”Floyd would win, but no knockout. We know that defensively Mayweather is the best in the world,” said Juan Manuel Marquez, seen above after knocking out Pacquiao in their fourth fight.

“Someone walked into my house today and said; ‘Jeff, is it five years too late? I said; ‘listen, if it was five years earlier, Floyd would have got 20 million and the other guy would have got 10 million, the timing is perfect’ ” said Jeff Fenech.



Nickname​:  Money

Stance: Orthodox

Age: 38

Fights: 47, 0 losses, 0 draws, 26 knockouts

World title fights: 24.

World titles across five weight divisions

Career earnings: US$420 million


Nickname: Pacman

Stance: Southpaw

Age: 36

Fights: 57, 5 losses, 2 draws, 38 knockouts

World title fights: 19

World titles across eight weight divisions

Career earnings: US$340 million

Notable Opponents


Marcos Rene Maidana, 13/9/2014, Las Vegas, won UD12;  03/05/14, Las Vegas, won MD12

Miguel Cotto,  5/5/2012, Las Vegas, won UD 12

Ricky Hatton, 8/12/2007, Las Vegas, won TKO 10

Oscar de la Hoya, 5/5/2007, Las Vegas, won SD12

Zab Judah, 8/4/2006, Las Vegas, won UD12

Diego Corrales, 20/1/2001. Las Vegas, won TKO10


Timothy Bradley, 12/4/14,  Las Vegas, won UD12; 09/6/12, Las Vegas, lost SD

Juan Manuel Marquez, 08/12/12, Las Vegas, lost KO 6; 12/11/11 Las Vegas, won MD12; 15/3/2008, Las Vegas, won SD12; 08/5/20-04, Las Vegas, draw SD12

Joshua Clottey.  13/3/2010. Arlington. won UD12

Oscar de la Hoya, 6/12/2008. Las Vegas. won RTD 8

Ricky Hatton, 02/05/09, Las Vegas, won KO2

Erik Morales, 18/11/2006, Las Vegas, won KO3; 21/1/2006, Las Vegas, won TKO10; 19/3/2005, las vegas, lost UD12

Mega-fights of the past

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather, 5 May 2007, WBC Light-Middleweight title 

Dubbed “The World Awaits”, this was the matchup that broke all the records at the time. It featured two of the most charismatic fighters of their generation: De La Hoya, known as Golden Boy who was way past his prime after a remarkable career and Mayweather, who was in his prime and regarded as pound-for-pound no.1 fighter. Despite the split decision in favour of Mayweather, the fight ultimately underwhelmed.

Marvin Hagler v Sugar Ray Leonard, 6 April, 1987, Las Vegas, WBC middleweight title

Any of the bouts that involved the Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran were among the most anticipated of the 1980s. While Mike Tyson was terrifying the heavyweight division, it was the exploits of these four brilliant – but vastly different – boxers that made boxing what it was in the 1980s. Out of all the blockbusters, it was probably the matchup between the gritty ‘Marvellous Marvin’ and flashy ‘Sugar Ray’ that was the biggest because of the animosity between the two. It resulted in a great contest that ended in a controversial split decision to Leonard and sent Hagler into retirement.

Evander Holyfield v Mike Tyson, 9 November, 1996, WBA heavyweight title

Mike Tyson’s presence in the ring captured the public imagination more than any other boxer that followed Muhammad Ali. The combination of the way he pounded his way through the heavyweight division, the brutality of his personal life and his return from a jail term for rape, made him compulsive viewing, even later his career when his skills and aura were vastly diminished. The first matchup with Holyfield was the fight people wanted to see before Tyson’s shocking loss to Buster Douglas in 1990 and it was appropriately promoted as ‘Finally’. But Tyson was not the same boxer after his four year absence from the ring, despite regaining one of his titles from Frank Bruno in 1994, and he was no match for Holyfield who stopped him in the 11th round. They met again the following year when Tyson was infamously disqualified for twice biting Holyfiled’s ear.

Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier, 8 March 1971, WBC and WBA heavyweight world titles

The first fight between these giants of the sport may not have been the best – that was the incomparable Thriller in Manilla – but the build up made it the most anticipated fight of its era. Both fighters were undefeated with Frazier the reigning king of the ring after brutal knockouts of Buster Mathis and Jimmy Ellis but Ali and much of the boxing fraternity believed he was the true champion having had the title stripped from him when he refused to drafted into the US army during the Vietnam War. Ali had returned from more than three years out of the ring, but he had lost none of his verbal sting as he launched barrages of insults that often unjustly denigrated Frazier. The fight lived up to expectations with Frazier winning on points after knocking down Ali late with a left hook.  On this date in 1967, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army and was stripped of his heavyweight title. pic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/L8deguDju4— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 28, 2015

Joe Louis v Rocky Marciano, 26 October, 1951. 

A burgeoning tax bill forced the Brown Bomber to end a shortlived retirement in 1950 and 10 fights into a comeback he was pitched against the formidible Marciano. Louis was a legendary figure and many believed, as with Ali two decades later, that he was still the true world champion despite his time away from the ring. Despite Louis being well past his best at 37, the fight was eagerly anticipated. It was a brutal fight with Marciano savaging Louis, knocking him down in the eighth round and then putting him through the ropes with a combination to finish the fight.

Jack Johnson v James.J.Jefferies, 4 July 1910, world heavyweight title

This was the sport’s first real mega-figh which reach stretched far beyond the boundaries of ring. Johnson was the seventh man to hold the heavyweight title in the gloved era but the problem for many at the time was that he was the first black to do so. But not only that, he was flashy, drove fast cars and socialised with white women. With racism driving a backlash against Johnson, former champion Jefferies, who had refused to fight black boxers when he held the title, was brought out of retirement as the ‘white hope’. The out-of-shape Jefferies was no match for Johnson and the fight was stopped in the 15th round.

Anthony Mundine v Danny Green, 17 May 2006, WBA super middleweight title eliminator

The biggest fight to ever be held in Australia and the most spiteful since Lester Ellis and Barry Michael slugged it out for the IBF super-featherweight title two decades earlier. There was genuine dislike between the two fighters and Mundine’s outspoken ways and in-your-face brashness earned him little love from the general public. However, after such an intense buildup the fight itself was a let-down with Mundine winning comfortably on points.

How to follow the action

Fairfax’s Phil Lutton will be live blogging the fight. Follow the coverage from midday (AEST) on Sunday.

Where to watch it

TV coverage will begin from 11am (AEST) on Sunday 3rd May. It will cost $59.95 on Main Event. It will also be shown at 150 hotels around Melbourne.

The fight will begin at approximately 2pm (AEST)

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All you need to know about the ‘other’ rugby league internationals this weekend

Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Frank Pritchard of the Bulldogs will play for Samoa against Tonga. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Fiji v PNG

This is a historic first clash between these two sides who will play for the Melanesian Cup. Fiji (ranked sixth) are favourites against the 11th-ranked PNG side. Fiji’s side will be littered with NRL players, including flyers Kevin Naiqama, Marika Koroibete and Eto Nabuli. The trio have scored 12 NRL tries between them this season. The Rick Stone-coached side will feature his Newcastle charger Korbin Sims while Api Koroisau, Jayson Bukuya and Darryl Millard will also play. PNG have 11 players who play for the PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup. Their NRL experience will come from Nene Macdonald, Ray Thompson and Canberra fringe player Luke Page. PNG’s hopes rest with Thompson taking control of the side.

Samoa v Tonga

Samoa showed the progression of the Pacific nations with their performances at last year’s Four Nations. They tested Australia and New Zealand and should have beaten England in their opening pool game. Joseph Leilua will again be a focal point of their team’s attack after he rejected an approach from City to turn out for Samoa. Samoa are now ranked fourth in the world, and have a host of NRL players, including Tim Simona, Sam Kasiano, Josh McGuire, Frank Pritchard and Ricky Leutele. Their lack of playmakers could come to hurt them. Tonga, meanwhile, are the 16th-ranked side, and boast a quality forward pack with Sika Manu, Manu Ma’u and Richie Fa’aoso playing.

Niue v South Africa

South Africa play Niue for the first time. South Africa are ranked 31 out of 34 rugby league playing countries, while Niue are yet to be ranked ahead of their clash at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday. The bulk of the South African squad is made up of local players but will feature Halvor Harris who played under-20s for the Cowboys. Titans under-20s player Shane Gillham will also represent South Africa. Wests Tigers NSW Cup player Wes Lolo will represent Niue alongside brother George. The pair played lower grades at St George Illawarra. South Africa and Lebanon will play each other later this year in Dubai in a World Cup qualifying match.

Malta v Lebanon

The teams will play for the Phoenician Cup on Sunday. Lebanon are ranked 23rd – one spot ahead of Malta. The Lebanese side will feature one domestic player, Wael Harb from the American University of Beirut. Long-serving Newtown prop Ray Moujalli – who made one first-grade appearance for the Sydney Roosters in 2009 – has been named to play. The Lebanese squad features a host of NSW Cup players. Malta is also made up of largely Australian-based players. Former St George Illawarra under-20s player Blake Phillips will play for Malta. It will be Malta’s first game since beating the Czech Republic 34-8  last July.

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The land that binds

The author, Deb Hunt, and the cover of her new book, Australian farming families. Pics supplied.For her latest book, Australian farming families, author Deb Hunttook herself to some of Australia’s most far-flung locations and immersed herself in the stories of eight host farming families.

For a Gloucestershire native who has lived in some of the biggest cities in the world, some of the outback locationsmust have seemed like another planet.

Contrary to being alien, however, she found the land and its inhabitants more of this world and real than most.

“What I must stress is I had the best fun researching this book as every family was incredibly entertaining. Some of them quite eccentric, but all of them entertaining,” Deb enthuses.

To illustrate her point Deb relates a story from the book from Ian Jackson who lives at ‘Tirlta’ Station 100km northeast of Broken Hill.

In the story Ian and his three brothers take their governess for a drive to do a bit of ‘roo’shooting. Once the governess is out of the car,having been told it is her turn to shoot,the cheeky ladstake-off on her leaving her alone in the outback.

“It took Ian’s parent’s hours to find her, the poor sobbing governess,” Deb says.

Deb HuntAustralian Farming Families by Deb Hunt, Macmillan Australia, RRP $29.99, is out now.

Families encouraged by care conversation

CONCERNED FAMILY: Marilyn Dalley and Sue Davis raised concerns with Mr Foley. Picture: PETER WEAVINGSANDHURST Centre residents, workers and parents remain optimisticafter the Andrews Labor government committed to providing $7.9 million worth of housing options.

Housing, disability and ageing minister Martin Foley visited Bendigo on Friday to announce the funding and meet with residents, workers and parents.

Sue Davis attended the meeting as hersonresides at the Sandhurst Centre.

She said she hoped for certainty and consistency from disability services.

“Today I felt like itwas nearly the same words and nearly the same sentences,” she said.

“The only difference is they are not pushing the non-government places on us.”

Though, she said she felt the government had recognised the desire for services to not become privatised.

“We have specific staff who really know how (my son) behaves,” she said.

Ms Davis said new staff may not understand her son like the current staff.

The 29 residents of Sandhurst Centre – due to move into the new units in 2016 – will choose whether to be cared for by non-government providers, Melbaand Karden Disability Foundation, or continue to receive caredelivered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Health and Community Services Union state secretaryLloyd Williams said discussion with the minister was welcomed.

“We are confident through thisprocess that the families and residents here will choose the DHS option because they know that the experienced staff who have cared for them for so long are needed to provide future continuity of support and their future care needs,” he said.

“It has now been two years since we began campaigning for certainty for our members.

“We will continue to campaign to stop the contracting out of disability services in this state, because we are of the firm view that it is not in the interest of people with a disability.”

Ashift toa community-based model for residents of the Sandhurst disability support facility in Bendigo was announced on Friday.

Housing, disability and ageing minister Martin Foley announced the Andrews Labor government plan to provide $7.9 million to build five new community residential units to replace the existing style of care.

Mr Foley said the choice lay in the hands of the residents and their carers.

“Yes, this place will close down mid next year, but we will give the families the choice as to whether they will go for the Department of Human Serviceshomes provided in the community or whether they will go with thecontractor employed by the former government,” he said.

“People are wanting to give certainty and closure to this issue and that’s what we have come to give them today.

“We will fund 7.9 million worth of community-based specialised housing for the residents here, so they can live their life with dignity and respect.”

Mr Foley said a mix of services was possible.


SHADOW Minister forDisability Services Jenny Mikakos says Labor will give certainty to Sandhurst if elected.

Ms Mikakos said under an Andrews Labor Government, SandhurstCentre residents would be able to havecontinuity of care at five newly-built DHS residential care homes when the centre closes in 2016.

Ms Mikakos said residents would be able to choose to remain in state-run care or opt for private residential care.

Ms Mikakos made theannouncementto Sandhurst staff and supporters during a visit to Bendigo on Friday.

“We know that families of people with disabilities, their carers and the staff have been living with a great deal of uncertainty since the government made the announcement of the closure,” she said.

“Labor supports the transition of the Sandhurst residents to community-based residential units but we want to make sure that people will be able to continue to live in government-run units and that they will be able to maintain the existing long-term relationships that they have developed with the staff at Sandhurst.”

Ms Mikakos said Labor opposed Premier Denis Napthine’s “privatisation agenda” and, under an Andrews Labor Government, the state would continue to provide residential care.

Meanwhile, Ministerfor Disability Services and Reform Mary Wooldridge announced on Friday thefuture living arrangements for the residents of Bendigo’s Sandhurst Centre were nowfinalised.

“The Department of Human Services received more than 40 submissions in response to theproposed new living arrangements for Sandhurst’s residentsand has refined the originalservice design plans to reflect the preferences and advice of residents, their familiesand staff,” Ms Wooldridge said.

“We now have a clear idea about which residents will be living together in the newaccommodation, where their new homes will be and what types of features their homes willhave.

“Moving to a new home is a big decision in anyone’s life, so as we celebrate this milestone inthe Sandhurst redevelopment, it is important that residents now have some time to considerthe proposed models.”

Read more here.

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