|June 4, 2014|
June 2014 marked a new era in Australasian professional boxing, with the highest quality heavyweight field ever assembled to contest the inaugural SUPER 8, last man standing eight man elimination tournament.
Headlined by former linear and two time world Heavyweight Champion, Hasim Rahman, the field also included another world titleholder, two Commonwealth champions, former world No.1 contender, two Prize-fighter (UK 8 man elimination) winners and two Kiwi wild cards who fancied their chances of upsetting the odds.
Tagged as pre tournament favourite, Rahman assumed he would be the man to take home the cash and set up a lucrative trilogy match with David Tua. But enter kiwi wild card Antz Nansen, a World Kickboxing Champion and two-time 8 man winner in his own code who was panned by boxing writers as a club fighter.
The aging Rahman started slowly while Nansen piled up the points and ghosted out of trouble through the first two rounds, by the time Rahman started to find range in the third round the fight was gone and the kiwi wild card had rocked the boxing world.
On the other side for the draw the other wild card, Brice Ritani Coe, out hustled second seeded American Zo Butler taking a narrow split decision – turning the tournament completely on it’s head with the two favourites sent packing by the kiwi under dogs.
In the mean time unheralded former number one contender, Kali Meehan, displayed his renown big power to account for Australian Heavyweight Champion Hunter Sam in close bout, and then eclipsed a tiring Ritani Coe in the semi-final .
Two-time UK prize-fighter winner Michael Sprott, also paved the hard yards outpointing countryman Martin Rogan in the quarterfinal and out hustling Nansen in his semi, setting up a an enthralling final between two world class professionals.
After being caught flush early by a left hook, the Kiwi landed his prodigious right hand again and again leaving Sprott prostate on the canvas and claiming an emphatic first round KO, $215,00 in prize money and the title of inaugural SUPER 8 Heavyweight Champion.