Capital Punishment 32: Wellington vs NZ
On Saturday November 7th, at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua, the 32nd Capital Punishment event took place, which showcased Wellington’s best fighters taking on all comers from the rest of New Zealand. The undercard also featured a series of 6 novice fights, which will surely yield a new crop of fighters in the future.
The first fight of the evening was between Dan Parker of the Muay Thai Institute (MTI) Wellington, and the daunting figure of Sonny Sadler from the Bay of Islands, who weighed in 10kg heavier. Parker was unfazed by the size difference, and took the fight to Sadler from the opening bell, landing hooks and leg kicks. Sadler fired back, and displayed menacing power, but it was the offensive volume of Parker which led to him being awarded the unanimous decision victory.
The crisp punching combinations of Tyrone Brown were overcome by the dynamic elusiveness of Desmond Jones, who took a clear victory in a boxing bout between the 2 representatives of Parkers Boxing Gym in Wellington. While Brown was effective in keeping Jones at range in round 1 with a quick jab and a stiff right cross, in the later rounds Jones did a great job of using head movement and preternatural speed to get inside, landing a maelstrom of left hooks and right crosses to bloody the nose of his opponent, before dodging panther-quick out of range of most of Brown’s counterpunches.
In the only pro boxing fight of the night, NZ Muay Thai champion Katie Quick, of Wild Stables Gym in Auckland, faced Rebecca Jennings of MTI. While Quick found some offensive success with level changes and rips to the body, especially in the 4th and final round, the southpaw Jennings proved too wily and evasive for the most part, and landed the jab-cross combination repeatedly, while avoiding most counterattacks. Jennings held the centre of the ring for the majority of the bout, pressing the action while staying light on her toes and bouncing in and out of range, proving to be the more offensively sound fighter on her way to a convincing unanimous decision win.
Jarome Hall of ETK Northshore met MTI’s Fox Liu, in an extremely competitive fight. Both combatants had their share of success during the bout, with Hall the aggressor for the most part, moving forward throwing straight punches to the head before unloading to the body. Each time the distance was closed, Liu took control of the clinch, and appeared the stronger fighter, landing punishing knees to the body, and throwing Hall to the canvas with an audible crash in each of the 3 rounds. In the end, the judges deemed the aggression and damage dealt by Hall to be more significant, and awarded him the split decision victory.
Representing Maximum Fitness, Theo Andrews battled it out with MTI’s Graeme Willis, in a close and competitive bout. It was Willis who took the centre of the ring, with Andrews circling and throwing a fusillade of hard right hooks to the head. In the end, despite the aggression of Andrews, it was Willis who took the victory by controlling the ring and keeping Andrews at bay with kicks and straight punches.
One of the highlights of the night was the battle between La-Chey Meredith, of Wild Stables Gym, and Lucy Cuthbert of MTI. The fact that it was Cuthbert’s first fight was not apparent, as she displayed aggression and fearlessness, earning a clear unanimous decision victory. Cuthbert pressed the action from the outset with straight punches leading into the clinch, where she landed brutal knees to the body and head of her opponent. When the clinch broke, Cuthbert displayed great timing, and landed punches on the exit. Meredith fought valiantly, and had some offensive success mostly in the 2nd round, but ultimately was overcome by the output of the pugnacious Cuthbert, who blitzed forward in the 3rd round, pressing her opponent to the ropes and landing a punishing flurry of knees to the body, forcing the referee to step in. After the standing 8-count, Cuthbert turned up the pressure again, going for the stoppage, but Meredith refused to be finished, and the fight went the distance.
Next, Tane Kingi of Christchurch’s Proactive Gym squared off against MTI’s Phil Repelis. Repelis was awarded the unanimous decision victory after outworking his opponent, and largely being the antagonist, landing 1-2 combinations to the head, and changing levels to work the body.
In his first fight since returning from a 2-fight KO streak in Thailand, MTI’s Gene “Supreme” Elbourne faced the vastly more experienced Roman Nia, of Wild Stables Gym, in a razor-close fight which could have easily gone either way. Elbourne appeared the more technical fighter, using stance switches and sweeps to stymie the offense of the hard-nosed Nia, while landing teeps and switch body kicks on the outside. In the clinch it was the stronger Nia who controlled the position, but Elbourne who appeared to land the more effective knees. Nia found success with leg kicks, as well as landing some left-right hook combinations in and out of the clinch, and his aggression was ultimately enough to see him awarded the split decision victory.
Davin Brown from the Bay of Islands faced MTI’s Francis Geller in an entertaining clash. Geller was the more technical of the 2 combatants, and took the fight to Brown with stepping knees and hard straight punches. Brown scored with looping punches and body kicks in reply, but it was Geller who pressed the action, using level changes, switch kicks, and knees in the clinch to earn a unanimous decision.
In possibly the most action-packed fight of the night, Arch Angels Gym’s Craig Turner took on MTI’s Lachie “ODB” Bowker. From the opening bell, Turner was the more active and aggressive fighter, moving in and out of range throwing a barrage of punches, while the stoic Bowker kept his feet planted and fired back with counter hooks and leg kicks. As the fight progressed, the relentless assault of Turner took its toll. While Bowker remained calm and unbowed, scoring with knees in the clinch, his nose was bloodied by the onslaught, and Turner took a decisive unanimous decision victory over perhaps his toughest opponent thus far.
The final fight of the evening took place between Piata Komene of the Bay of Islands, and Combat Room Wellington’s Kaysey Warner. Komene was the aggressor from the start of the bout, as she stormed forwards with blistering combinations ended with kicks and knees, but it was Warner who landed the more effective shots, catching the kicks of Komene and returning fire with a dominant clinch game to take the split decision victory.
To get your dose of pugilistic fireworks, make sure you attend the next event in 2016. For details, keep your eye on the KO Promotions Facebook page.