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NZ Boxing with Johnny Lloyd:

New Zealand Boxing - February 2010

Johnny Lloyd

Australian promoter George Christodoulou, who also manages world heavyweight contender Kali Meehan, staged a first class promotion at the Auckland Boxing Association's Stadium on Auckland Anniversary weekend, Sunday, January 31st, writes Johnny Lloyd.

A packed crowd saw a well promoted tournament featuring some of New Zealand's up-and-coming fighters.

In the main event over six rounds Oscar Siale (88.6kg) looked a beaten man in the first two rounds of his contest with Vaitele Sale (89.6kg). Soi couldn't seem to miss Siale and Oscar took a pounding from the Samoan in rounds one to three.

Oscar rallied in the fourth when Soi seemed to take a rest and in the fifth twice knocked Vaitele's mouthguard out and actually made him turn away with a wicked body shot which Soi and his corner claimed was a low blow.

The last round was a thriller with both standing toe-to-toe and Soi may have edged it. One judge called it a draw, the other two giving it to Soi.

Steve Heremaia (71.9kg) and late-substitute Harry Venka (70kg) thrilled the crowd in there four rounder. The bout featured smooth boxing from Venka and raw aggression from Heremaia.The outcome was a split decision win to Indian-born Venka. This decision is still causing some debate with many claiming Harry was a clear winner because he landed the most punches and others reckoning Steve forced the fight and landed the harder shots. I didn't keep a scorecard but as an old promoter I always favour the aggressive fighter so would have awarded it to Heremaia. But either way it's not worth causing a furore over.

There was also plenty of action in the Daniel McKinnon (79.8kg)-Fale Siaoloa (79.2kg) scrap. McKinnon trapped Fale in the neutral corner in the second round and looked to finish it off and cut loose with vicious combinations but the Samoan surprised and fought back with two hands. That was it for most of the fight with McKinnon trying to land the finisher but Fale offering solid resistance. Daniel also failed to fight in the clinches instead holding on but still had enough to take a unanimous points win.

In a hard but unspectacular four-round slog Warren Fuiava (81.6kg) outpointed southpaw Faimasassa Tavui (82.6kg).

Star showing of the night was former amateur champion Leti Leti (70.6kg) who kayoed late-sub Aaron Bartlett (74.8kg) with a rip 1m 48s into the first round. Granted Leti didn't have much to beat but in the short time he was on show he looked the goods. I have since learnt Leti has signed a contract to fight in the United States.

In the opening pro bout it was good two-handed action from the girls with Christina Tai landing the harder shots but Michelle Preston the greater volume. Unanimous win over four rounds to Christina.

Two amateur bouts opened the show.

Talking of amateurs Boxing New Zealand promoted an eliminator for the Commonweath Cup; at the A.B.A. Stadium the day before the Aussie's promotion on Saturday, January 30th.

The best amateurs from all over NZ were on display and I have got to say there is some genuine talent coming through. Although of course some of the refereeing and judging left a lot to be desired.

The stand-out boxers were Tauranga heavyweight David Aloua-Rogers and Christchurch welterweight Bowen Morgan.


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