Relentless Sam Rapira powers to fast TKO

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2013
Sam Rapira
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ

SAM THE MAN: New Plymouth’s Sam Rapira moves in to finish off Tongan Viliami Taofi in the first round of their pro light heavyweight boxing bout in Auckland.

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"Whatever it takes."

Sam "The Terror" Rapira has the words tattooed across his chest and it didn't take much as the New Plymouth boxer needed just over two minutes to win his second fight as a professional.

Rapira's barrage of punches midway through the first round brought an early end to his light heavyweight clash against Tongan Viliami Toafi on the undercard of Joseph Parker's bout against South African Francois Botha in Auckland last night.

Rapira rocked Toafi with an early left-right combination, followed soon after by a powerful body blow.

The relentless Rapira bided his time then unleashed a series of punches that doubled up his opponent, with the referee stopping the clock at 2 minutes, 6 seconds.

The 29-year-old Rapira was rapt with the win over the Oceania Games bronze medallist by a technical knockout.

"I could see he was uncomfortable. I knew I'd hurt him and knew he wouldn't last long," he said afterwards.

"Being patient. It's something we've worked on. In my first fight as a pro, I looked for the knockout punch. This time, I was patient and looked for the right shots to put him away."

Rapira said he knew he had hurt Toafi with a couple of shots to the body. "He was hurting and I knew it was over," he said. "I'm stoked, all the hard work has paid off. There was a good group of supporters from Taranaki who came up for the fight and I'm glad I gave them a good show."

Rapira said he would now sit down with his coach and manager and start planning for his next fight.

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 fellow Australian Sarah Howett, produced a brutal, stand-and-deliver 10-round brawl.

In just her third professional fight and with a mixed martial arts background, Blencowe's unanimous points win was deserved. The 30-year-old was the more aggressive fighter throughout.

Monty Betham-trained Smith, 40, didn't open up enough and suffered the fourth loss of her 16-fight pro career.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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