Andrei Mikhailovich has defeated Tauranga’s Gunnar Jackson for the vacant New Zealand Middleweight title.
What is being described as “one of the biggest boxing fights in New Zealand boxing history, took place on Saturday at the Sir Don Rowlands Centre in Lake Karapiro.
“Throughout the fight, Andrei Mikhailovich showed his boxing skills by outboxing his opponent,” says Benjamin Watt, who was sitting ringside for the match.
“Landing the jabs first, loud power punches to the body, landing heavy punches through Gunnar’s guard.
“The most impressive part about the fight was seeing not only how much improvement Andrei has got in the boxing ring, but how much composure he has through the fight, and not letting his emotions taking control or letting go.
“Especially with the amount of talking there was in the ring between Gunnar and Andrei and Gunnar egging Andrei on.”
Benjamin says it was noticeable how much Andrei’s power was affecting Gunnar, especially when Gunnar stopped smiling halfway through the fight and being stunned around round seven.
For the first time in Andrei Mikhailovich career, the fight lasted the full 10 rounds.
“It was a very entertaining fight and certainly lived up to the hype. At the end of the night, Lt Dan Hennessey announced a new New Zealand Champion, Andrei Mikhailovich.
“Two of the judges scored the fight 98 - 92 and one judge 99 – 91, all in favor of Andrei.”
After the fight, Andrei Mikhailovich said that all the trash talk between the two fighters was all part of the game, he had a lot of respect for Gunnar Jackson and was an honour for him to fight Gunnar.
Andrei also announced that he has a baby on the way that is due to arrive in a couple of weeks.
“Gunnar Jackson took to the mic and said his very emotional speech, while the crowd went dead silent.
“He congratulated Andrei for his win and believes that Andrei is a future world champion.”
Gunnar’s wife Jessica entered the ring to stand next to him as he made one of the hardest announcements of his career.
Gunnar Jackson announced that win or lose this fight, he was planning to retire.
Gunner has achieved many things in his career.
He has fought in 46 professional fights, got a WBO 10th ranking in the world, 2x New Zealand Champion, 2x WBO Oriental Champion, former WBA PABA champion, Pro Box Pacific Champion, a former Central North Island champion and has never been knocked down or knocked out in his professional career.
He ends his career with the record of 29 wins, 13 losses and 4 draws, with 12 wins coming by KO.
“As for the Corporate undercard, there were 17 corporate fights on the undercard with all fights really well matched. In the entire fight night, there was only one fight that ended by TKO, which is a good step for Boxing with minimizing injuries,” says Benjamin.
“A couple of honourable mentions need to be made, first one being Laura Woods who fought twice on the same night.
“Laura won her first fight against Francesca Kurghan but lost her second fight against Taiwa Tamaki, both ending in decisions.
“However, Laura woods also won the raffle ticket of the night giving her 2 wins and 1 lose. The one-legged man Quintin Myburgh had his second corporate fight Joshua Wiari.”
It was a close fight between the two, but Quintin Myburgh won the fight by split decision, keeping his undefeated record.
Finally, the last honourable mention goes to the father of 2x Commonwealth gold medalist David Nykia, Simon Nykia.
“He had a very tough fight ahead of him as he took on Jordan Sinclair. It was a very bloody fight for both boxers as their noses were bleeding throughout the fight.
“Jordan was winning the first round of the fight, but Simon came back to win the last two rounds giving Simon Nykia the win.
“After an amazing night of boxing, and an emotional end to the night, the crowd went home happy.
“Promoter Nigel Elliot announced that he will be promoting another event at the same venue on November 23rd.”
More details to be announced.