I am instantly impressed with the setup inside the ASB Stadium. ‘Judgement Day' looks remarkably like a ball and, like the balls I encountered in high school, I once again find myself dateless. However, this evening would provide 13 corporate and professional bouts, which is significantly more than my high school ball provided (although I hadn't been power chugging cheap alcohol in the car park tonight). Ahead of me was a regional world title fight, a four man tournament and the return to the ring of New Zealand kickboxing and boxing legend John "The Rebel" Conway. People were slow to file in but the stadium was all but full by the time the card began and the room brimmed with anticipation.
Patrons got to view a great stylistic match up between power-boxer Filipo Fonoti and defensive counterpuncher Atalili Fai. Fonoti came out looking very sharp in the opening round, rocking his opponent with solid right hands. Early in the second round, Fai is dropped to one knee by a Fonoti right hand before he is able to create countering opportunities and capitalize on his opponent's mistakes. Fonoti's muscular frame provide his fists with more than enough gunpowder and, although Fai is able to slip most his punches, those that do land hurt. The intensity hasn't waned in the third round and, every time he seems hurt, Fai manages to move and counter which is keeping Fonoti honest. The bout ends with all three judges giving it to Filipo Fonoti.
After an eight year absence, John "The Rebel" Conway returned to the ring to match his skills against Nuisila Seiuli. Conway comes out superbly confident and his pedigree immediately shows as he is able to land with his nifty hands. Although Seiuli his some sting in his punches, he is unable to worry Conway who is generally a couple of skillsets above. The veteran of 150+ fights in both boxing and kickboxing, is putting on a show for the crowd however you would think that he would be better served focusing his efforts on stopping Seiuli as he is clearly overmatched. The education in his hands and the granite in his chin have Conway winning every round on his way to a decision that was never going to be anything but unanimous.
The four man tournament final pitted dual southpaws Roger Adlam against Ryan Atkins. Adlam boxes clever early but, as he tires, Atkins is able to walk through his punches. The second round sees Atkins able to start open up with his hands and stringing together punches. The final stanza is heavily contested as both gladiators fight fiercely. An Atkins left wobbles Adlam, which is the most definitive punch in the fight, and swings the round in Atkins' favour. Ryan Atkins walks away the winner of the Judgement Day Four Man Tournament with a hard fought majority decision.
In the headlining fight, Serge Yannick defended his interim PABA supper middleweight title against Prince Hamid. Yannick sets the tone early, walking Hamid down, landing hard combinations and cracking his opponent with hard lead hooks. Yannick is winning every exchange from the get go and Hamid seems frustrated. He is not establishing any kind of jab as Yannick is able to close the distance untouched. Hamid's frustration is ever more evident after taking a shot that was slightly south of the border as he complains vigorously to the referee and to his opponent. It is more of the same until the middle of the fourth round as Hamid's anger towards his imminent defeat boils over and he unleashes a knee to Yannick's torso. The referee is merciless and immediately disqualifies Hamid to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
Glozier/Raffaeli and Ring Side promotions fared ok in their latest card. They were seriously hampered by a lot of withdrawals and, due to the mismatches that were a result of this, weren't quite able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Full credit to both Filipo Finto and Atalili Fai, who provided the most interesting match up of the night. Ryan Atkins seems to thrive in any type of tournament format given his Judgement Day win and success in taking out the Last Man Standing tournament. He is a veritable warrior, like something out of a Jean Claude Van Damme movie, and his style of fighting is always entertaining to watch. Lastly, Serge Yannick looked strong and sharp in able to press all night and force Prince Hamid to disqualify himself. He seemed to simply break Hamid's will and, although the conclusion to the bout was disappointing, his display of skill was impressive.
Contact Stacey Simpkin to order images from specific fights onStacey@NZFighters.com
Denis Suka beat Charley Takanui by knockout in the first round
Jordan Roberts beat David Close by technical knockout in the third round
Barvi Colati beat Danny Ugapo by majority decision
James Anthony beat Tookes Teariki by unanimous decision
Judgement Day Four Man Tournament Preliminary 1
Ryan Atkins beat Ricardo Collado by unanimous decision
Judgement Day Four Man Tournament Preliminary 2
Roger Adlam beat Brendon Lochner by knockout in the first round
Isaac Peach beat Edwin Samy by unanimous decision
Filipo Finot beat Atalili Fai by unanimous decision
Lee Oti beat Fale Saialoa by unanimous decision
John Conway beat Nuisila Seiuli by unanimous decision
Afa Tatapu beat Ronnie Vaasa by knockout in the second round
Judgement Day Four Man Tournament Final
Ryan Atkins beat Roger Adlam by majority decision
PABA Super Middleweight Title Bout
Serge Yannick beat Prince Hamid by disqualification