Gallen fells Thompson, Betham wins NZ title at Super 8 fight night

The rugby league stars were the headline act but the lead up fights laid the platform for some of the most even boxing action one could see.

Paul Gallen gets the unanimous decision!

Round 4: What a slugfest from the two league boys. The punch count was impressive let alone how many clean shots got through.

Round 3: What a round! Thompson stuns Gallen with some brilliant uppercuts which only seem to slow him down. Thompson's round...just.

Round 2: Gallen giving his Warrior opponent a good beating but Thompson managed to get one ungainly combo to connect. The Sharks' skipper well in control.

Round 1: Thompson is one very uncoordinated boxer and is lucky to still be involved. Gallen hasn't found a clean shot yet but someone said Thompson had some talent in the ring....

Main Event: Paul Gallen comes out and it's clear he doesn't like the fanfare. Bodene Thompson a little showier.

Ahio KO! That was brutal from the two big boys. Smashed each other senseless for five minutes and that was enough, Ahio knocking A'sa down twice in the second.

Fight Nine: Time for the big boys with Alapati A’sa and Hemi Ahio coming soon.

Betham wins the fight of very few highlights by unanimous decision. An easy one to make.

Round 10 of 10: Monty Betham has surely emulated his old man and won the NZ Cruiserweight title. Dominated from start to finish.

Round 8 of 10: Betham pegs the next two rounds back with some heavy right hands and body shots. 

Round 6 of 10: Langton has come alive and its only taken 6 rounds, his late flurry catching Betham by surprise. However, the former Warrior still looks as fresh as a daisy in his corner.

Round 4 of 10: Betham has easily built on his lead and Langton isn't quick or savvy enough to catch up with Betham's footwork.

Round 2 of 10: Betham clearly in the lead, making all the play and landing some cheeky blows. Langton needs to get on the front foot.

Here's Monthy Betham v James Langton for the NZ Cruiserweight belt no less.

Reece Papuni is now the NZ Light Heavyweight Champion!!

Great fight between Berridge and Papuni. Two hard heads. Awaiting the judges' decision...

Round 3: Reece Papuni could generate power with those swinging turbines of his. Some clean shots but mostly errant. Judges might make this go an extra round...

Round 2: When one of these fighters connects, it'll be all over. Great viewing but not technically pretty from two tired men who are trying to end it in one punch.

Round 1: Berridge throwing some sloppy left hands and connecting some, Papuni a grappling passenger at this point.

Light Heavyweight Final: Papuni and Berridge are both lucky to still be in the race after being run so close by virtual amateurs. Both went to four rounds in the semis, who has the stamina??

Charity Fight: Big win for TVNZ as Shortland Street's Bree Peters beats Lisa O'Loughlin from TV3's The Bachelor....

Unanimous Decision goes the way of Adesanya!

Round 3: Right on the final bell Adesanya lands a felling blow to Bryant but it was all academic, Adesanya dominating the fight.

Round 2: Bryant worked himself back into the fight but was lacking in accuracy and was easy pickings for Adesanya. Some wild haymakers coming out now.

Round 1: Easily Adesanya's round, ghosting his way to frustrating Bryant who can't connect. Bryant with blood flowing as well.

Cruiserweight Final: Underway between Adesanya and Bryant.....

Super 8 Finals:

Israel Adesanya v Lance Bryant - Cruiserweight

Robbie Berridge v Reece Papuni - Light Heavyweight

Fight Four has gone to the extra round and utterly dominated by Berridge who takes the fight. A shame for Falekaono who arguably deserved the three round decision.

Fight 4: The southpaw style of Robbie 'The Butcher' Berridge is next up against Sosefo Falekaono out of the same gym as Monty Betham. 

Fight Three is a walk-in-the-park for Adesanya who was cruising throughout. Fired up finally at the end of the second and unleashed a few clean uppercuts. Unanimously decided he was to progress.

Fight 3: Israel Adesanya and Zane Hopman get their call and the winner will meet Lance Bryant.

Unanimous Decision! Reece Papuni gets the nod from the three judges and there's an argument for both fighters. Sensational fight with dozens and dozens of clean shots.

Fight Two is going to extra time! Pure boxing from Papuni and debutant Riddell. Papuni won the first and buttoned off substantially, allowing Riddell to arguably edge the Kiwi champ. The judges have spoken though...

Fight 2: Current NZ champion Reece 'Lightning' Papuni up now against Bradley Riddell in the Light Heavyweights and Riddell is a late edition to the undercard - usually a kick boxer.

Fight One is over! Lance Bryant outclasses Jamie Porter in all facets, a great display of controlled aggression. Porter was passive throughout and became worse as the beating got worse.

Fight 1: Former Queensland Cruiserweight champ Jamie Porter and Lance 'Buster' Bryant first up tonight in the Cruiserweight semi finals.


There’s a distinct NRL flavour in the air as polarising NZW Blues captain Paul Gallen returns for another boxing instalment and it appears he’s a marked man. There’s no shortage of fighters wanting a crack at him and the Warriors Bodene Thompson is at the front of the queue.

Bodene Thompson of the Warriors

No one really knows what Thompson’s pugilistic pedigree is but hopefully he puts up a better showing than his rugby league team did at the foot end of this season.

Former Warrior and boxing personality Monty Betham wants some belt silverware and he has the chance to secure the NZ Cruiserweight Title by beating Taranaki champion James Langton. Betham’s technical ability is well renowned however it’s time for some hitting.

In the Super 8 itself, the weight classes have been split into light heavyweight and cruiserweight and features some of New Zealand’s most promising fighters.

Unorthodox Robbie Berridge gloves up, as does Joseph Kwadjo in the lighter division while previous winner Israel Adesanya returns for some more cash.

Kicking the night off is 6-0 All Samoan champ Alapati A’sa up against 8-0 Hemi Ahio who has come a long way since a brutal attack three years ago left him with a large stab wound on his chest.

Monty Betham

And, last but not least, Shortland Street's Bree Peters slugs it out against The Bachelor entrant Lisa O'Loughlin.


Four-man Cruiserweight Tournament: Israel Adesanya, Lance Bryant, Jamie Porter, Zane Hopman

Four-man Light Heavyweight Tournament: Robbie Berridge, Reece Papuni, Bradley Riddell, Sosefo Falekaono

Hemi Ahio v Alapati A’sa

Paul Gallen v Bodene Thompson

Monty Betham vs. James Langton

Paul Gallen celebrates

Bree Peters v Lisa O’Loughlin


Kiwi UFC veteran Mark Hunt to battle fellow over-40 star in Moscow

UFC veteran Mark Hunt and his Russian opponent will strike plenty of blows for the over 40s in mixed martial arts, when they headline a historic card in Moscow on the weekend.

Sydneysider Hunt, who's fight catalogue bulges with bouts against other leading heavyweights, faces another world ranked adversary in Alexey Oleynik, in the first UFC promotion in Russia.

NZ-born Hunt, who is 44, is ranked eighth, three places above 41-year-old Oleynik.

The Russian, who is nicknamed "The Boa Constrictor," is a submission specialist renowned for his ground game, while Hunt remains one of the most feared stand-up fighters in the organisation.

"I think it's a classic striker versus grappler," said Hunt, whose bout will take place early Sunday (AEST).

It's the second last bout on Hunt's existing UFC contract.

While not looking past Oleynik, Hunt is eyeing a spot in Australia's next UFC show on December 2 in Adelaide.

"If I'm not injured (on the weekend) i'm going to to try and get on the (Adelaide) card," Hunt said.

The show in South Australia will be headlined by rising Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa, who regards Hunt as his mentor.

Kiwi-born heavyweight blows up after UFC reveals Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance immediately after beating Mark Hunt.
Source: 1 NEWS


Conor McGregor being sued by UFC lightweight fighter after attack that left him with facial lacerations

Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor is being sued by UFC lightweight fighter Michael Chiesa after and alleged attack in April.

Chiesa is seeking damages he suffered when McGregor allegedly threw a dolly (a cart for moving heavy items) at a bus window, injuring Chiesa and forcing him to withdraw from the UFC 223 card on April in Brooklyn, New York.

The incident was captured on camera at the Barclay's Centre.

TMZ reported that the lawsuit was filed overnight and alleges Chiesa suffered "serious personal, economic, other injury" and "severe emotional distress, mental trauma and bodily harm."

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: Michael Chiesa enters the Octagon against Anthony Pettis in their lightweight fight during the UFC 226 event inside T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Michael Chiesa enters the Octagon against Anthony Pettis in their lightweight fight during the UFC 226 event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Source: Getty

The lawsuit accuses McGregor of assault, battery, negligence and infliction of emotional stress.

Chiesa is also named the Barclay's Centre as a defendant, saying the organisers at the venue failed to take "proper security measures to protect the plaintiff and other patrons."

The American fighter doesn't specify the amount he is after, but is asking for compensation lost which includes "lost opportunities".

He argues that the incident robbed him at a shot at a UFC title, with the UFC needing a last-second replacement for the lightweight title fight at the UFC 223 event, which Chiesa was unavailable for due to injury.

Mixed martial arts figher Conor McGregor, center, is escorted by court officers as he leaves a Brooklyn Supreme court, Thursday, June 14, 2018, in New York.  McGregor is in plea negotiations to resolve charges stemming from a backstage melee at a Brooklyn arena. The 29-year-old Irish fighter and co-defendant Cian Cowley remained free on bail after a brief court appearance on Thursday. They are due back in court July 26.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mixed martial arts figher Conor McGregor is escorted by court officers as he leaves a Brooklyn Supreme court. Source: Associated Press

McGregor agreed to a plea deal with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office in July which allowed him to avoid a criminal record.

He pled guilty to a single charge of disorderly conduct. The 30-year-old is set to return to the Octagon at UFC 229 on October 7 (NZ time).

Chiesa recovered from his facial lacerations and went onto fight Anthony Pettis at UFC 227 in July in Las Vegas.



Watch: Jets wide receiver slices Lions defence during stunning punt return to score long-range touchdown

Sam Darnold rolled right and made a rookie move, lobbing a football across the field that was picked off and returned for a touchdown.

It might've been his only mistake all night.

Darnold made a stellar debut after throwing a pick-6 on his first NFL snap, and the New York Jets intercepted five passes and also scored on special teams in a 48-17 rout over the Detroit Lions this morning.

The 21-year-old Darnold became the youngest quarterback to start a season opener since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and looked his age on the first play.

"Licking my chops a little bit too much, I think, on that play," he said

Quandre Diggs intercepted his ill-advised pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown 20 seconds into the game.

"On that interception, I was pretty nervous," Darnold said. "After that, I put it behind me."

The former USC star, drafted No. 3 overall, shook off the nerves and finished 16 of 21 for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

"He didn't flinch," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "He didn't even blink."

The Jets dominated in all phases.

They scored 31 straight in the third quarter to pull away, sending Detroit's fans for the exits and setting off a jolly green party in the Motor City. It was the highest-scoring third quarter in team history and trailed only the 34-point second quarter the Brett Favre-led team scored in 2008 against Arizona.

New York scored on the ground and through the air, on defense and on a punt return by former Lion Andre Roberts.

The Jets could've piled on even more in the final minutes but turned the ball over on downs after kneeling to take time off the clock.


Most read: Italian Moto GP rider sacked after terrifying attempt to pull rival's brake

Disgraced Moto GP2 rider Romano Fenati has been sacked by his Marinelli Snipers Team, after attempting to pull a rival's brake in San Marimo yesterday.

Coming down a straight, Fenati rode alongside compatriot Stefano Manzi, pulling his brake while travelling at speeds of 225km/h.

Fenati was quickly disqualified for the incident, although there are now calls to see him never race again.

The Italian was initially given a two race suspension, before his contract was terminated by the Marinelli Snipers.

"We can communicate that the Marinelli Snipers Team shall terminate the contract with the rider Romano Fenati, from now on, for his unsporting, dangerous and damaging conduct for the image of all," a team statement said.

"With extreme regret, we have to note that his irresponsible act endangered the life of another rider and can't be apologised for in any way. The rider, from this moment, will not participate in any more races with the Marinelli Snipers team."

Fenati, 22, has since apologised for his behaviour, saying:

"I apologise to the whole sporting world," he said in an official statement.

"This morning, with a clear mind, I wish it had been just a bad dream. I think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man!"