Full House Fight Night Event Offers Ringside Views For All
There was a true feeling of the traditional carnival boxing match at the recent Northside Boxing Fight Night. There may not have been sawdust on the ground, and it may not have been held in a marquee, but with the ring set into the floor (the top rope at about eye level) a metre from the masses, and the bar a few paces from the crowd, there was an intimacy and accessibility about the fights and the fighters that worked magic on the spectators. From the amateur fights that launched the night, through the corporate bouts that had workmates whooping it up for their staff, colleagues, and bosses, to the explosive professional fight that was the
main event, the tightly packed crowd was able to shake hands with favoured fighters, yell advice from mere steps away, and even take advantage of the opportunity to have their photo taken with NZ's own champion Shane Cameron, who was in attendance.
Building up to a solid, festive wall of faces that embraced the ring, the first fighters appeared from the basement cold of the dressing rooms into the warmth and fever of a full house cheer. Amateur fighter Deanne took down Nicki Arnold (Northside Boxing Club) in a majority decision, after a heated fight between the two fiery women. Northside's own Vegas "The Black Panther" Winters was also put down in another majority decision after fighting on the back foot during most of the match. A win for Bowen Lanning (Northside Boxing Club), by unanimous decision, over Junior Brown was followed by a spirited four rounds between Laura Matthews (John McKay) and Shannon "Crybaby" Balzat (Northside Boxing Club), Matthews won by majority decision, before the highlight of the amateur bouts was called. Fresh from the chilly Russian boxing rings where he conducted a successful campaign, Nikolas Charalampous (The OX) (Northside Boxing Club) went toe-to-toe on the canvas with Kahukura Bentson, winning the ferociously-fought match by majority decision. Speed, explosive power, and skilled footwork were on full display as the well-matched young men traded combinations for bruises and gave the already noisy crowd something worthwhile to shout about.
With just 12 weeks of training under their belts, the corporate fighters that took centre stage were a truly representative slice of New Zealand society; women, men, young and old, from all ethnic backgrounds, donned the gloves, laced the boots, and went out to throw hands against their corporate rivals. One particularly interesting battle pitted Deb "The Basher" against Deb "The Demon" in an over 40's fight that went the distance, and proved that the sport really is for everyone. Cheering for husbands, wives, colleagues and managers during seven corporate fights delivered the onlookers into the serious and capable hands of main event Professional fighters Robert "The Butcher" Berridge (Robust Fitness gym) and Monty "Classy" Fauea (AKO'S Boxing Gym).
From the first bell, it was "The Butcher" who looked the more dangerous, the more serious, and the more powerful fighter as he worked his opponent into the ropes and unleashed a barrage of powerful hooks, upper cuts and crosses that "Classy" Fauea struggled valiantly to deal with, but was no match for in the end. Round one complete, the second round brought more of the same, with an increased ferocity from Berridge as he caught the fearful look in Fauea's eyes with a well-aimed right, then a left. Finally, pinning Monty Fauea against the ropes again, Robert "The Butcher" Berridge broke down his rival's defences and launched him clear through the ropes with a fearfully explosive volley that ended the fight one minute and eighteen seconds into round two - KO. "The Butcher" now holds a 5-0 professional record, with four knockouts under his belt. Satisfied with a climactic main event, and having shouted and cheered their way through five hours of impressive boxing displays, the crowd erupted in one last show of approval for the fighters as they moved through the crowd to the showers.Fight results as follows:
Amateur Boxing Fights:
Deanne Won by Majority Decision VS Nicki Arnold (Northside Boxing Club) - 3x1:30min
James Won by Majority Decision VS Vegas "The Black Panther" Winters (Northside Boxing Club) - 3x2min
Bowen Lanning (Northside Boxing Club) Won by Unanaimous Decision VS Junior Brown - 3x2min
Laura Matthews (John McKay) Won by Majority Decision VS Shannon "Crybaby" Balzat - Crybaby (Northside Boxing Club) - 4x2min
Nikolas "The Ox" Charalampous (Northside Boxing Club) Won by Majority Decision VS Kahukura Bentson - 3x3min
Corporates Boxing Fights:
Ryan "The South Paw" Won by Majority Decision VS Glen "The Mulcher"
Deb "The Demon" Won VS Deb "The Basher"
Darren "Bob da Builder" Won by Unanimous Decision VS Kaz "The Mad Kurd"
Richard "The Swifty Dealer" Draw VS Matt "The Detention Giver"
"GI" Jess Won by Unanimous Decision VS Deb "The Crusher"
Ray "The Hammer" Won by Unanimous Decision VS Bernie "The Slammer"
Dave "The Rock" Won VS Jason "The Juggernaught"
Pro Boxing Fight:
Robert "The Butcher" Berridge (Robust Fitness gym) Won by KO - R2 (1.18min) VS Monty "Classy" Fauea (AKO'S Boxing Gym) - 6x3min