Clockwise from top left. Jerome Pampellone, Panuve Helu, David Nyika and Hemi Ahio
We are only days away from the all-Kiwi heavyweight clash between WBO No.3 Joseph Parker and WBO No.5 Junior Fa. The 12-round bout, airing live on DAZN, will take place inside Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, February 27 (Local time). The country’s success in dealing with Covid-19 means fans will be in attendance, and organizers hope over 10,000 will witness Parker and Fa facing off.
The country’s border controls have also meant the undercard will be a strictly local affair. This presents NZ’s up-and-coming talent with a rare opportunity to introduce themselves to an international audience.
The opening contest sees Jerome Pampellone taking on Anthony Amouta in a light heavyweight bout. The UK-born Pampellone is a three-time national amateur champion and one of NZ’s brightest rising stars. Fighting out of Peach Boxing, Pampellone trains alongside WBO Cruiserweight World No.6 David Light. In 2019 he reached the AIBA World Boxing Championships’ quarterfinals, dispatching number three seed Abdelrahman Salah Orabi along the way. The 24-year-old is fresh off a recent third-round stoppage victory and will be looking to make a statement this weekend.
An Anticipated Pro Debut
Two-time Commonwealth Gold Medallist David Nyika has long been considered a future star of NZ boxing, and the 25-year-old’s pro debut has been highly anticipated amongst local fans. Nyika has already booked his spot for the Tokyo Olympics. On Saturday will be looking to get his first pro win under his belt before targeting Olympic gold. The 6’6′ Hamilton-native will take on Pampellone’s stablemate Jesse Maio in a cruiserweight contest. Maio is an aggressive fighter, and fans should expect fireworks from the outset.
CKB Boxers Get Chance To Shine
City Kickboxing has made a name for itself in the MMA world as one of the sports elite gyms. However, this week it will be the CKB boxers taking center stage. Junior Fa, Hemi Ahio and Panuve Helu will all flying the gyms colors inside the Spark Arena.
At 16-0, Ahio stands on the cusp of making the heavyweight rankings. A noted power puncher Ahio has 11 stoppages to his name. The 30-year-old will lock horns with the towering 7″1 Julius Long. The pair previously fought back in 2019, with Ahio walking away with a unanimous decision victory. It will be interesting to see Ahio’s development since their last encounter and he will no doubt be entering the ring seeking his 12-stoppage win.
Ahio’s stablemate Helu is also noted for his knockout abilities, with 11 of his 12 wins coming via stoppage. The 25-year-old Tongan-born fighter faces the toughest fight of his career when he meets Nikolas Charalampous in a cruiserweight contest. Charalampous is an experienced boxer who has tangled with some of the best fighters in Australasia. At only 28-years of age, the best could be to come for Charalampous, and the winner of this matchup will able to use their victory as a launching pad for bigger fights down the line.
- BOUT 4: Hemi ‘The Heat’ Ahio v Julius Long
- BOUT 3: David Nyika v Jesse Maio
- BOUT 2: Nik ‘The Greek’ Charalampous v Panuve Helu
- BOUT 1: Jerome Pampellone v Anthony Amouta