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