End of an Era: Robert Berridge officially retires

After the loss to Issac Hardman last week, Robert Berridge has decided to hang up the gloves on his 12-year professional boxing career. Berridge ends his career after fight 39 times in his career with a record of 30 wins, 8 loses and 1 draw with 22 wins coming by way of KO.

Berridge began his boxing career as an amateur boxer. His amateur career was a 50/50 win-loss record, having 25 fights. He decided to turn pro at the age of 24 in 2009.

His first big significant win was against world title contender Trent Broadhurst in 2011. At the time Trent was undefeated with 7 wins and at that point, Berridge had 11 wins and 1 draw. Berridge was awarded his first title in 2013 when NZPBA gave him the New Zealand national (NZPBA version) Light Heavyweight title when no one would take him on for the title.

Berridge started taking on significant-good quality international boxers and winning titles including boxers like Serge Yannick (15 - 2 - 0 at the time), Shintaro Matsumoto (10 - 2 - 0) for the WBC ABCO Light Heavyweight title, Mariano Jose Riva (11 - 4 - 0), Daniel MacKinnon (21 - 7 - 1) for the WBA - PABA and WBO Oriental Light Heavyweight title, Kerry Foley (14 - 1 - 1) and Rogerio Damasco (10 - 1 - 0). After gaining regional titles and having a good winning streak against good international opponents, he reached multiple top 15 rankings with the international boxing bodies including ranked 15th on Boxrec, 12th WBA, 8th WBO and 27th in WBC.

After receiving his second loss in the USA against Vasily Lepikhin, Berridge took some time away to regroup and split from Duco before returning to the ring in Australia with a TKO win over Togasilimai Letoa. A month later, Berridge won his next fight against Andrew Robinson in his hometown of Wanganui, successfully defending the NZPBA title for the first time and winning the IBO Oceania title which qualified him to fight for the IBO World title.

Berridge fought for his first World title fight in South Africa against a boxer that failed to make weight for the fight, Thomas Oosthuizen. Berridge fought again in New Zealand, coming second in the 4 men Light heavyweight tournament, losing against Reece Papuni. Berridge took a massive opportunity where he took on former World Champion Eleider Alvarez.

Berridge started gaining a winning streak again, but this time he is fighting locally. He had some massive wins against New Zealand Light Heavyweight legends including former NZNBF New Zealand National, former IBO Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight champion and UBO World title contender Sam Rapira (15 - 2 - 0) and former NZPBA New Zealand National Super Middleweight and former WBA PABA Light heavyweight champion Adrian Taihia (15 - 2 - 2).

After another two bigs, he was awarded another world title opportunity against Dmitry Bivol for the WBA Light Heavyweight title and was ranked 13th in WBA. Berridge had one more world title shot in mid-2017, taking on Ryan Ford for the UBO Light Heavyweight title. Berridge last win was in December 2018 where he Knocked out in the first round against Bordin Peepueh (12 - 3 - 0).

Due to Covid and a string of multiple injuries, Berridge was unable to fight for many years. Berridge got his last international fight opportunity where he took on Isaac Hardman. Unfortunately, Berridge lost the fight by TKO in the last round. Berridge also tore his right bicep muscle in the 4th round. After the fight he decided to call it quits, stating the reflexes are not the same as they use to be and boxers like Isaac are just getting better.

Robert Berridge left a major legacy in the sport of boxing after being ranked as high as 8th in the world, winning 3 different types of major regional title and one of the longest New Zealand national boxing champions. It is very rare to find a boxer from New Zealand in modern times to have more than 30 fights in their career, let alone 39 fights. He has done impressive work and has made New Zealand proud.

Written by Benjamin Watt

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:

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