Francis Waitai (4 - 0 - 0) is set to defend his Pro Box New Zealand National Super Middleweight title against Jerome Pascua (7 - 4 - 0) in a rematch at the YMCA Stadium in Hamilton on June 12th.
The two first fought each other back in October last year on Shane Camerons televised fight at North Shore Event Centre in Auckland. The fight saw Francis clearly winning the fight, but somehow Francis only won by Split Decision. This fight will clear up any doubts what so ever on who the true winner is. This is the first defence for Francis in his New Zealand title career. He was originally going to defend his title in his last fight, however, due to two boxers pulling out he settled for a 6 round fight against a tough Joshua Tai in his professional boxing return. Francis won that fight in Thames.
This will be Jerome Pascua first New Zealand title fight in his career. It's amazing how far Jerome has come in his boxing career as he was originally just a corporate boxer that had a one time fight in Tahiti back in 2014. Jerome returned in 2017 just for a last-minute replacement, with no one expecting him to take home the win against Joshua Hatherly. If there were any doubts after that fight, they faced each other again, with the same circumstance of Jerome coming in as a last-minute replacement and Jerome winning the fight. Jerome finished up his 2017 boxing year in July where he got a nice win over Rob Ramsey.
Jerome made his in-ring return as part of the Auckland eight dare to be great eight-man tournament that was hosted by Craig Thomson in April 2018. Jerome came second in the tournament after stopping James Uoka, going the three-round distance with Josh Masters but losing by stoppage against WBA Oceania and WBA ranked boxer at the time Tej Pratap Singh. Jerome next took on Andrei Mikhailovich in a war. Andrei only had one fight at that point and also took the fight on a weeks notice, which showed how tough Andrei is. Jerome lost the round fight by Decision. Jerome went on to having victories over Harley Love (win by 4th round stoppage) in 2018 and Marcus Heywood (win by decision) in 2019. Then we came full circle with his Split Decision loss to Francis Waitai.
As you can see Jerome made a big impact on New Zealand boxing, and you can almost say it is criminal to have Jerome not fight for an NZ title as of yet. There are a couple of fights that we as fans still have not seen that we would have loved to see including Jerome vs Beau o Brien and Jerome vs Gunnar Jackson. Unfortunately, both boxers have retired now.
Francis Waitai you could say has made an equal amount of impact in just a short time in his professional career. Already since his pro debut he has won the New Zealand Super Middleweight title and has big victories over Chase Haley, Dylan Wright, obviously Jerome Pascua and Joshua Tai. After this fight, if he wins, there are talks for him to fight Adrian Taihia next. Which such big fights that he is winning, after the Taihia fight if he is undefeated, he would be ready to not only take on Australia but also possibly be qualified for major regional titles with WBC, WBA, WBO or IBF.
However, as a fan, I would also love to see three more fights in New Zealand before heading overseas. Francis Waitai vs Reece Papuni who fights at super middleweight now, Francis Waitai vs Mose Auimatagi Jnr for a major regional title from the big four, and Francis Waitai vs Andrei Mikhailovich in some sort of catchweight fight.
More information about the event will be released in time when the event poster is released, including the cost of GAs, Tables and times. I can also confirm that amateur boxer Rangi Hetet will be making her professional boxing debut on the undercard. The event will also feature a mixture of amateur boxing, corporate boxing and obviously professional boxing.
Benjamin Watt is well known to all has one of the leading experts in New Zealand Boxing. He is a man of many jobs including, first openly gay boxing judge in the world, boxing writer, boxing promoter, boxrec editor, boxing commentator, Wikipedia editor and backstage event co-ordinator.
He has the nickname of "Mr Controversy" with his none filter comments he would usually make when being interviewed, on commentary or just peoples mixed feelings about him. However, despite this, he is one of New Zealand boxings biggest assets, one of New Zealand's best judges and have accomplished so much in this industry.
If you have an upcoming event and would like it covered, feel free to get in contact with him on:
Email: Bennyaha2@gmail.com Phone: 02108679097
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Mose Auimatagi Jnr moving to Australia to focus on boxing
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