Robbie Berridge determined to avenge his loss

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 13:11 04/02/2014
Robbie Berridge
BEN CURRAN/Waikato Times
BLOODY BOUT: Robbie Berridge raises his arms after defeating Daniel MacKinnon to become New Zealand's best light heavyweight, winning the WBO Oriental title.

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New Zealand light-heavyweight boxer Robbie Berridge does not want to leave his return clash with Kerry Foley in the hands of the Australian judges.

The two will meet in Sydney on February 19, with Berridge's Pan Asian Boxing Association title on the line.

The last time they fought, in Sydney in 2011, the men with the scorecards deemed the fight a controversial draw.

It was a result widely condemned by the boxing critics, with Berridge flooring the Australian twice and Foley appearing to get a helping hand off the canvas by referee Anthony Shipley as he survived an eight count.

When the boxers fronted a media conference in Auckland today, bad blood filled the air.

"Australian and New Zealand fighters have plenty of respect for each other," Berridge's manager, Vasco Kovacevic, said. "But no Kiwi wants to leave a decision to Australian judges ..."

Berridge said "I should've won but was robbed by the Australian judges".

He plans to eliminate them from the scoring equation this time, saying a knockout would be the safest conclusion for him.

"This fight will not go to the judges," he said.

Berridge has fought 13 times since then, helping to fashion a record of 22 wins (18 knockouts), one loss and one draw, which makes him New Zealand's brightest prospect behind rising heavyweight Joseph Parker.

Berridge had an unblemished record from 10 fights before he decided to take on Foley at 48 hours' notice in his first fight outside New Zealand.

There was controversy over Foley's excessive weight, but the fight went ahead despite Kovacevic threatening to withdraw Berridge.

It was a shambles that Berridge wants to erase. It is also a fight that Foley wants to move on from.

It was his last time in the boxing ring before switching his attention to cage fighting, where he won all three of his mixed martial arts fights by knockout.

Foley believes his future is with boxing again and is desperate to relaunch his career with an impressive win.

Berridge and Foley are the main undercard on a night headed by the International Boxing Federation Pan-Pacific middleweight title fight between three-time world champion Daniel Geale and World Boxing Association No 13 Garth Wood.

New South Wales and Cronulla rugby league skipper Paul Gallen, a star of the past two Fight for Life events in New Zealand, is expected to make his professional debut.

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- Fairfax Media

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