The NZ Real Health team were ringside to experience the Hydr8 ZERO Explosion live boxing action at the Trusts Stadium in Auckland on June 13!
One of the key highlights of the night was watching our most decorated female boxer, Daniella Smith, take on Australia’s Arlene Blencowe. ‘Proper’ women’s boxing for undercard fights has previously been overlooked a number of times in New Zealand in favour of female celebrity matches. so it was great to see two dedicated sportswomen in the ring.
Daniella kept the pressure on throughout the fight, but didn’t manage to thwart Blencowe’s agressive efforts, and the Aussie took out the match by unanimous decision to win the World Boxing Federation World Welterweight title. Somewhat surprisingly, given this was only Blencowe’s third professional boxing match and she had come in at just a few days’ notice to replace Smith’s original opponent, Sarah Howett, who had to pull out of the fight due to injury.
Another noteworthy fight of the night was the little people boxing bout between Matthew Wood and Colin Lane, which fight promoter Dean Lonergan advised was all about equal opportunity to anyone who was up for a contest. The two fighters, who trained for four weeks in the leadup to the big night, threw plenty of punches and received some of the loudest and most positive crowd support of the night from where we were sitting. Wood took out the ‘New Zealand Dwarf World Boxing Championship’ at the end of the fight.
The main event of the night, Kiwi Joseph Parker vs Francois “The White Buffalo” Botha from South Africa, has been touted as the most anticipated heavyweight boxing event of the year. After Botha’s controversial loss to Sonny Bill Williams back in February, the veteran – who has experienced boxing bouts with some of the greatest including Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis – was ready for his next challenge.
However, Parker showed he was a force to be reckoned with after knocking out Botha in the second round; expect to see more of this promising young boxing star in the near future.
All this made us feel like heading into the gym for a bit of a boxing session! If you’ve thought about getting into boxing but don’t want the confrontation, ask your personal trainer if they do 1-on-1 fitness boxing or join a general boxing fitness class. You could also do some research and find out if you have a local boxing gym such as Boxing Alley in Auckland, Round 12 in Christchurch, or Gloves Boxing Gym in Wellington.
Image / NZ Real Health