Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Judgement Day 2: This Time It’s Not Biblical

Having already survived the now-cancelled Judgement Day on  May 21st, it was only fitting that I viewed any kind of projected apocalypse with relative apathy. For I had sold all my earthly possessions and made peace with anyone I felt I had wronged.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the weird hermit down the street and the librarian who continually fines me Soulan Pownceby beat John Conwayappreciated it. However, as I am now forced to buy another car, find another job and cancel all the sponsorships of children from places I could never pronounce, the whole experience reeked of another “Wolf” call that I was more than willing to heed. 
The absolute storm that was heaved at Auckland on Friday night piqued my interest as an actual precursor to the action. As it turned out, the only judgement came in the ring as a large contingent of fight fans braved the elements to seek refuge from the torrential downpour inside the Auckland Boxing Association Stadium for the Bruce Glozier promoted Judgement Day 2 boxing show.
Headlined by the WBO Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight title bout contested by Soulan Pownceby and John Conway, the evening presented a mix of corporate and professional bouts showcasing the talents of such names as Afa Tatapu and Robert “The Butcher” Berridge. 
Afa Tatapu beat Lightning LupeIn early corporate boxing action, heavyweight Goliaths Becoy Paleaseina and Mike Tauliili thrilled the crowd in a bout that was filled with bombs powerful enough to level a small city. 
Paleaseina went after his opponent from the first bell, winging his dynamite lead hook and throwing everything with bad intentions. Tauliili began to return fire more during the second round, but Paleaseina used his head movement to create countering opportunities. At the end of the round Tauliili had had enough, giving Paleaseina the knockout win.
Top ten Kiwi Heavyweight Afa Tatupu made short work of Lightning Lupe by stopping him in the opening round. Lupe appeared outgunned right from the opening bell. Although game, it wasn’t long before Lupe was trapped against the ropes and under heavy fire that forced his corner to throw in the towel.
New Zealand Light-Heavyweight contender Taito Raturere continued his unbeaten run with a third round TKO win over Peter Tovio. Raturere utilized his advantages in height and reach over the course of the entire bout, becoming more precise as his opponent began to look more wild. Midway through the third round, with their fighter seemingly unable to find a solution, Tovio’s corner wisely halted the fight.
Taito Raturere beat Peter Tovio
Meanwhile in the main event, it was Soulan Pownceby that retained his WBO Asia Pacific Light Heavyweight title with an eleventh round knockout over seasoned veteran John “The Rebel” Conway. 
Pownceby controlled the action for much of the fight, landing sharp combinations and hard crosses. Conway had more success between round three and six, but Pownceby’s punches looked to be wearing him down. It only seemed like a matter of time over the second half of the fight as Conway continued to eat the punches Pownceby was serving up.
Pownceby lost a point in the eleventh round for leading with his elbow, but he immediately came back and landed a right hand which looked as though it rocked Conway. The ensuing pressure eventually put Conway on the deck. And although he was able to beat the count, the legendary fighter looked like he had run out of steam as the defending champion landed a slew of unanswered punches before the referee stopped the fight in his favour.
It was a superb performance by Pownceby, with bouts both dramatic and captivating; and then, with the rain promising to hang up its gloves and the next biblical rapture now scheduled for October, fight fans could return home knowing they had witnessed something significant. 


Coraline Wood beat Chardei Savage by unanimous decision
Andrew Taniwha beat Doug Simpson by knockout in round 2
Becoy Paleaseina beat Mike Tauliili by knockout in round 2
Sione Siale beat Prince Brown by unanimous decision
David Craig beat Steve Raffaelli by unanimous decision
Joe Bethan beat Kuiesa Etuale by unanimous decision
Lee Oti Tupai beat Filiata Mailata by knockout in round 3
Afa Tatapu beat Lightning Lupe by knockout in round 1
Robbie Berridge beat Mose Ioelu by disqualification in round 2
Taito Raturere beat Peter Tovio by technical knockout in round 3
Soulan Pownceby beat John Conway by knockout in round 11NZFighters article here

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rāhoroi Night Is Alright For Fighting: King of the Ring

Maybe it’s the unpredictability, maybe it was a childhood of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, or maybe it’s just the fact that I am a product of the YouTube generation, with an attention span so incremental and sporadic that I expect to view an event that is a whole career jammed into one digestible evening. Whatever it may be, I always found myself Nato Laauli (Alpha Thai Boxing, Wellington) beat Tafa Misipati (ETK)attracted to tournaments as they always provided unpredictable battles of attrition where there is no way to plan for your opponent. 
And so the ASB Stadium would hold the Elite Thai Kickboxing promoted ‘King Of The Ring’, an action packed affair including an 8 man heavyweight tournament combined with contests for national and world titles. 
Favourites Antz Nansen and Nato Laauli established themselves early with strong performances in their preliminary bouts. In many people’s eyes, the two finalists were sown up however the semi-final matches would test many of the certainties Josh 'Jaguar' Hetagained for the initial bouts. Antz Nansen would turn out another strong performance in decisioning Henry Taani with the other semi-final, an excitement fest between Joshua ‘Jaguar’ Heta and Nato Laauli, going right down to the wire. After seeming dominant during the first two rounds, Laauli has the fight brought to him by Heta, who is looking to mix it up. The draw declared by the judges only whets the appetite of the crowd as they thirst for another round much like the heavily contested third. When the dust finally settled, it would be Heta whose hand would be raised in a bout that could of gone either way. 
Bronwyn Wylie (ETK) beat Tegan Papasergi (HANGAR 4, MELBOURNE)
In the first world title bout contested of the evening, Bronwyn Wylie took on Melbourne’s Tegan Papasergi for the WFBK Featherweight title.  The aggressive Wylie pushed forward early while Papasergi tried to establish distance with her kicks.  The Australian just couldn’t keep her opponent off her as Wylie simply walks through anything Papasergi throws. Roger Earp (Elite Thai Kickboxing) beat Joseph Concha (BULLDOG GYM, SYDNEY)This unrelenting pressure would prove decisive as Wylie is awarded both a unanimous decision and the WKBF Featherweight belt.
Roger Earp was pushed to the wire by Joe Concha in defending his WKBF Junior Lightweight title. Earp started the bout landing combinations however Concha began to work him out and counter effectively. Every round was up for grabs as the two combatants did everything they could to win each three minute stanza. The split decision awarded to Earp would be testament to the competitiveness of the bout.
'Notorious' Antz Nansen (ETK, Auckland)Three 3 minute rounds is now the only thing that stood between either Antz Nansen or Joshua Heta, $7,000 in prize money and the King of the Ring title. Eleven minutes between challenger and champion with the final a classic battle of pairing an unstoppable force with an immovable object. 
Nansen comes out early exerting pressure and he slips a Heta attempt and lands a four punch combination before the bell.  The intensity is thick in the second round with ‘Notorious’ landing heavy punches. Heta is as tough as they come and exchanging willingly but a spinning backfist gets his attention. In one of the most exciting rounds witness in New Zealand kickboxing, Heta EVE GORDON - King Of The Ringand Nansen go toe-to-toe in the final stanza.  Nansen’s spinning backfists and right hands seem to be the defining factors, although this is something that can only be assumed by the sound they make as Heta doesn’t believe in taking backward steps. After three gruelling battles, ‘Notorious’ Antz Nansen would be crowned ‘King of the Ring.’
The crew at Elite Thai Kickboxing succeeded in putting on another entertaining show.  All bouts exciting and consequential, all fighters game and without any lull in the action. This would lead to one reporter being heavily entertained.

King of the Ring Results

Oneil Wiperi (SMAC) beat Ricky Hita (ETK) by unanimous decision

King of the Ring Tournament Preliminaries
Nato Laauli (Alpha Thai Boxing, Wellington) beat Tafa Misipati (ETK, Auckland) by unanimous decision
Antz Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Junior Ioane (Highlanders, Napier) by TKO-R1    
Josh 'Jaguar' Heta beats Omar Gabriel by unanimous decision
Henry Taani (South Auckland Lee Gar, Auckland) beats Sasha Kunts (City Lee Gar) by unanimous decision

King of the Ring Tournament Semi-Finals
'Notorious' Antz Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Henry Taani (South Auckland Lee Gar, Auckland)
The fight between Josh 'Jaguar' Heta (Sa Ming Jai, Northland) and Nato Laauli (Alpha Thai Boxing, Wellington) was declared a draw after three rounds. After a fourth round, Heta was declared the winner.

James Gordon (ETK) beat Rod MacSwain (STRIKEFORCE) by split decision
Bronwyn Wylie (ETK) beat Tegan Papasergi (HANGAR 4, MELBOURNE) by unanimous decision
'WILD' Roger Earp (Elite Thai Kickboxing) beat Joseph Concha (BULLDOG GYM, SYDNEY) by split decision

King of the Ring Tournament Final
Antz 'Notorious' Nansen (ETK, Auckland) beat Josh 'Jaguar' Heta (Sa Ming Jai, Northland) by unanimous decisionNZFighters article here