Located in the heart of the Pakuranga/Howick region, Lloyd Elsmore Park enriched my youth. Whether it was rugby, badminton, swimming, skateboarding, boxing training or simply venturing down to the netball courts on windy days, I seemed to gravitate there unconsciously. So it was almost a no-brainer that I was at the Pakuranga United Rugby Football Club to watch a night of Pro-Am boxing courtesy of Revill’s Boxing Gym as, geographic alliances aside, their cards have always been outstanding.
Headlined by the much anticipated Jake Revill versus Monte Filimaea rematch, this card would boast nine amateur, corporate and professional fights; which included Kylie Revill Bell’s first professional venture, as well as showcasing local talents Braveley Meti-Matau and Ethan Kulatea.
The East Auckland massive was clearly in attendance as I entered to a crowd full of familiar faces. And as if part of some grand cosmic scheme, I couldn’t be more on time.
Young prospect Braveley Meti-Matau turned out another aggressive performance in winning a decision over Joe Williams early in the card. His hand speed, combination punching and ring generalship held firm for the first couple of rounds, whilst Williams’ efforts were game but mostly ineffective – eating four and only throwing out one punch.
A Williams counter got the attention of his opponent early in the third round, but this only seemed to inspire him further. Meti-Matau’s conditioning and constant pressure still had Williams backing up constantly, from where he was forced to land single counters. By the end of the third, the opinion of both the crowd and the judges was unanimous.
In a corporate welterweight bout, Kylie Revill Bell faced off against Keena Payne. The crowd support was huge for Revill Bell, who had evident advantages in size and strength. Payne was a buzz-saw of activity, throwing flurries of punches, but seemed wary after being caught by Revill Bell’s sledgehammer right hands. She managed a nice right hand counter before the end of the opening stanza, but the ferocity of her attacks seemed draining. Styles were contrasting for the remainder of the bout: Payne attacking like a swarm of bees whilst Revill Bell looked for openings for her right.
Payne’s countering was paying dividends during the second round, as she was able to hurt her foe, and was attempting to walk her down. Fortunes changed, courtesy of a Revill Bell right, and Payne’s legs buckled before she was able to use her footwork and dance out of trouble. The fight was competitive down to the end as Revill Bell poured it on during the final 30 seconds, only too aware that the bout could swing either way. Looking at these two blondes, the saying “a draw is like kissing your sister” only gave the patrons hope, as both participants were awarded a majority equal prize.
Boxing, by nature, is a fairly brutal pursuit. However, some combatants fight with such skill that they help to justify calling the sport “the sweet science.” Enter Siona Fernandez, who displayed one of the most polished and well-rounded skill sets I have ever witnessed in a women’s bout. Although under-powered, she exhibited a rare display of footwork, head movement, hand speed, combination punching and countering that was close to mesmerizing.
Her opponent, Marie O’Neill, came forward throwing power punches, but Fernandez was able to dodge most of these with Matrix-like efficiency while boxing cleverly off the back foot. Every time O’Neill was able to land her right hand, Fernandez’s return efforts made her foe seem almost clumsy in her execution. O’Neill came out breathing fire in the final round; however Fernandez was clearly made of something not of this world, as she shook off anything landed and used her all-around class to take a majority decision.
The first time Monte Filimaea took on Jake Revill, it was an overly messy and heated affair. The ferocity of the bout, regardless of the result, and the obvious ill feeling they both had towards each other, only galvanized the collective desire of the audience at the time for another go around. A grudge match would NEED to happen, and all bets were off.
The animosity between both was clearly visible before the bout, regardless of the lighting, and both burned holes in each other with steely gazes. Filimaea has improved in leaps and bounds since coming under a new trainer, and looked to be in great condition, while Revill was every bit the top 10 Cruiserweight that he is rated.
A Revill right hand had Filimaea down early but his mauling style meant Revill couldn’t get the distance he needed. He took this a little far, though, and was docked a point for hitting after the bell. Revill relaxed a little more in the second, and was winning the exchanges and not letting Filimaea close the distance.
After being penalized another point for excessive holding, Filimaea was again down from another right hand. There was no love lost in this bout as Revill fired combinations with murderous intentions. Clearly frustrated, it seemed Filimaea was not bothered by the final bell and was keen to continue – settings be damned. Revill’s dominance was only confirmed by this return bout as he took a wide unanimous decision.
After this second domination by Jake Revill, one must ask “what’s next?” The best answer (after consulting the rankings provided by BoxRec) would seem to be Areta Gilbert; who has been in losing efforts to Shane Chapman and Robbie Berridge, but currently sits higher than Revill in the rankings. If he could get past him then higher profile bouts with Chapman and Berridge would only beckon.
Johnny Gose (Papatoetoe Boxing) beat Jarrah Swann (Whangarei Boxing) by majority decision
Braveley Meti-Matau (Revill’s Boxing Gym) beat Joe Williams (Kaio Boxing) by unanimous decision
Panuve Helu (Lolo’s Boxing) beat Rangi Rokena (Kaio Boxing) when the referee stopped the contest in the first round
The bought between Kylie Revill Bell and Keena Payne ended in a majority draw
Aneel Pillay (Papatoetoe Boxing) beat Joel Smith (Kaio Boxing) by unanimous decision
Ethan Kulatea (Revill’s Boxing Gym) beat Jarrah Swann (Whangarei Boxing) when the referee stopped the contest in the first round
Siona Fernandez (Focus Fit) beat Marie O’Neill (Boxfit) by majority decision
Anthony Helu (Papatoetoe Boxing) beat Dempsey Wilkins (Lolo’s Boxing) by majority decision
Jake Revill beat Monte Filimaea by unanimous decision