Tuigamala makes winning start in ring

LIAM NAPIER AT TRUSTS STADIUM
Last updated 22:41 13/06/2013

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Jordan Tuigamala showed just as much speed as his father to make an immediate impression in his professional debut in Auckland last night. 

The 22-year-old super middleweight, son of former All Black Va'aiga "Inga the Winger" Tuigamala, stepped up after a 15-5 amateur career to easily dispose of Jody Allen and claim a unanimous points victory.

In a dominant four-round display, Tuigamala's lightening quick hand speed was evident. He also had a deft side-step which paved the way for his favourite weapon, the right hook.

Tuigamala, also David Tua's cousin, couldn't ask for more after a two-year hiatus from the sport where he worked in hospitality, door-to-door sales before landing a job as a cadet at a logistics company.

All that could be behind him if he can build on this performance. The only criticism being couldn't put opponent away the 45-year-old Allen, a late call-up for James Uoka. Allen took some powerful blows but showed guts to fight on and last the distance.  

Earlier, tears flowed from Arlene Blencowe after she pulled off a major upset over Kiwi veteran "Diamond" Daniella Smith to claim the WIBA women's light welterweight world title.

Smith and Blencowe, a late replacement for compatriot Sarah Howett, proved they should have been the lead undercard with a brutal, stand-and-deliver 10-round title brawl.

There was wide-spread controversy when the dwarfs were awarded the privileged sixth fight undercard slot. These two women justified the criticism.    

In just her third professional fight and with a mixed martial arts background, Blencowe's unanimous points win was deserved. The Australian was busy from the start. While she didn't always connect the supremely fit 30-year-old was the more aggressive fighter throughout.

Monty Betham-trained Smith attempted to get in close and unleash. She stalked her shorter opponent and dictated the opening rounds, hiding behind her solid defence.

But the 40-year-old didn't open up enough and suffered the fourth loss of her 16-fight pro career. There were no protests when the decision was delivered, either. Smith knew she hadn't done enough.

Blencowe was out on her feet at the finish but the emotion was written all over her face. She is now a world champion. This was worth it.

Francois Botha also watched his son, Marcel, score a unanimous points win for South Africa over Australia in his professional debut.

The 23-year-old Botha put together some nice combinations to prove too much for Guy Sebastian's younger brother Jeremy.

Durban-based Botha started slowly but found his range and a decent overhand right hook towards the end of the four-round welterweight fight, though he appeared to have a weight advantage after weighing in three kilograms over the limit.

In his second pro fight, Taranaki's Sam "The Terror" Rapira maintained his undefeated record, stopping Viliami Taofi with a first round TKO.

Right from the opening bell light heavyweight Rapira - cousin of Warriors forwards Steve and Sam - produced several powerful body blows before pounding the defenceless Taofi with straight jabs and a lethal combination to finish the one-sided fight inside two minutes. 

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The controversial dwarf fight, with Mathew Wood defeating Colin Lane, was a farce, while Bryce Casey from the Rock also defeated Nickson Clark from Mai FM. 

- Stuff

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