Parker vs Flores Undercard
It was an enormous night of action at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch last night, with not only New Zealand’s favourite son Joseph Parker, but also some of the best professional hitters in kiwi boxing. The undercard was explosive and action packed, featuring stars like David Light, Bowyn Morgan and big Junior Fa who gave us more than a few devastating knockouts to savour.
A visibly angry Andrei Mikhailovich showed he wasn’t afraid of Adrian “the Terrah“ Taihia, who barely made it to his feet after being knocked down in the final round. David Light knocked out Lance Bryant in the second, Junior Fa finished Rogelio Rossi in the first, Bowyn Morgan punished the over-weight Sebastian Singh to win his Pro Box title and in the knock out of the night Manu “the Beast“ Vatuvei put “Brown Buttabean” David Letele to sleep just 28 seconds into his first professional fight.
NZ Fighter’s man down south Harry Greenfield brought you all the action with NZ Fighter’s own Jamie Patterson taking pictures ringside. Read on for a full play-by-play of how it went and who went down.
WBO Oriental Heavyweight Title
Junior Fa vs Rogelio Omar Rossi
Undefeated NZ Champion Junior Fa took on Argentinian "El Pequeno" Rogelio Omar Rossi in a heavyweight title bout scheduled for 10 x 3-minute rounds.
Fa took the centre immediately, backing up Rossi and landing a hard left hook. In an early exchange, Rossi lost his footing and fell but returned to his feet for a standing 8-count. On the restart, Fa took the fight to his opponent, his punches carrying more consequence than Rossi’s. Amidst a frantic exchange, Fa herded Rossi to the ropes, cutting an angle and blasting him on the chin with a thunderous right cross that rocked his head back and dropped him to the canvas.
This time it wasn’t a trip and the ref was quick to stop the action, jumping in to wave off the fight at 1:26 of the first round. Another punishing KO victory to Junior Fa who retains his WBO title.
Pro Box Pacific Super Welterweight Title
Bowyn Morgan vs Sebastian Singh
This title fight was set for 8 x 3-minute rounds between Christchurch's Bowyn Morgan and Fijian Sebastian "the Sniper" Singh.
Morgan took the centre early, using the jab to back up southpaw Singh while eating counter jabs in return. Morgan seemed content to throw lighter blows and land volume, whereas Singh appeared to be hunting for heavy shots from the outset. Morgan began to take over in the second, switching stances and mixing up his offence in pursuit of Singh. In the 3rd, Morgan again backed Singh up, tearing into him and dropping him with a vicious flurry. Singh rose from the canvas to take the standing 8, but on the restart Morgan smelt blood switching to southpaw again and pursuing Singh to the opposite corner. The Cantabrian blasted his opponents head with a 5-punch combination to earn the TKO victory at 1:57 of round 3.
Pro Box NZ Women's Welterweight Title
Megan McLennan vs Michaela Jenkins
Two Christchurch women unleashed hell on each other over 6 x 2-minute rounds for the vacant Pro Box championship. Megan McLennan looked to settle the score after southpaw Michaela Jenkins won their first encounter. From the outset, Jenkins was the more pugnacious, advancing onto the straight punch combinations of McLennan to let rip with a ferocious offensive output. McLennan fought well, landing her share of punches, but Jenkins was possessed, eager to put herself in the firing line just to land her own more impactful shots. Jenkins was bloodied in the later rounds but kept up the savage output to take a majority decision victory.
Cruiserweight 6 x 3-Minute Rounds
David Light vs Lance Bryant
Undefeated as a pro, former commonwealth silver medalist David Light took on Lance Bryant in a fight scheduled for 6 rounds. Round 1 was a feeling out process, with Light patiently awaiting his opening. Early in round 2, a hard straight right from Light landed flush, spattering sweat from Bryant's skull. Light was relentless, following up with a hellish onslaught, rapid-fire punches pushing Bryant's head through the ropes and battering it like a basketball being dribbled. The referee had seen enough, stopping the action and waving off the fight for the winner by TKO at 1:05 of round 2 - David Light.
Special Heavyweight - 6 x 3-Minute Rounds
Manu Vatuvei vs David Letele
Former Warriors superstar Manu "the Beast" Vatuvei made his professional boxing debut, facing off against the always entertaining figure of David "Brown Buttabean" Letele. The fight started and finished with a bang, with Letele taking the centre and pumping the jab, eating a right hook in return. The power and athleticism of Vatuvei was palpable; as they exchanged in the pocket Letele quickly found himself backed into the corner. The man they call the Beast unloaded a brutal combination, finishing with a thunderous right uppercut to throw Letele’s head backwards and send him crashing to the canvas.
KO victory to Vatuvei in 28 seconds of the first round!
Catchweight 74kg - 6 x 3-Minute Rounds
Andrei Mikhailovich vs Adrian Taihia
Russian born and Auckland based Andrei Mikhailovich looked like a man possessed as he put on a boxing clinic and outworked elusive veteran Adrian Taihia en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Taihia was quick on his feet, using head movement and coming in low to upset the accuracy of his opponent. However, the 21-year-old Mikhailovich showed why he is such a touted prospect, swinging with abandon and repeatedly targeting a left body rip left uppercut combination with ruthless intent.
Both men landed hard shots in the final round, with Taihia landing a clubbing to the head of Mikhailovich, staggering his younger rival. Not to be outdone, Mikhailovich returned fire with a blistering flurry towards the end of the round. A brutal liver shot sent Taihia to the mat, but the 38-year-old rose miraculously, just in time for the final bell. The judges were unanimous in awarding Mikhailovich the victory.
Heavyweight - 4 x 3-Minute Rounds
Sam Watt vs Alistair Boyd
Christchurch local Sam Watt made his professional debut in the first televised bout of the night, shutting down the tenacious offence of Alistair Boyd over 4 punishing 3-minute rounds. From the opening bell Watt displayed superior timing and accuracy, catching Boyd with swift punches and weaving under the murderous looping counterpunches of his opponent.
Avoiding much damage, Watt took all 4 rounds comfortably. Clearly hunting for the finish in the final rounds, the left hook and right uppercut, though effective, were not quite enough to get the stoppage. Watt wins by UD.
150kg - 3 x 2-Minute Rounds
Bjorn Horrack vs Quintin Poole Nicholas
The curtain-raiser fight saw two Christchurch lads go to war over 3 x 2-minute rounds. Bjorn Horrack took a split decision victory over Quintin Poole Nicholas, who weighed in more than 50kg the heavier.
Horrack used footwork and head movement on the inside to unload rapid-fire body punches to set up headshots. The lighter man showed the advantage of his nimbler frame, avoiding most of the retaliation from the heavy-handed Nicholas and stunning him in the 3rd to take a split decision victory.