Super 8 draw: Rahman fights Nansen, Sprott faces Rogan

Phil Jay 15/05/2014

The first round draw for the upcoming heavyweight Super-8 in New Zealand on June 4 sees former world champion Hasim Rahman battle Antony ‘Antz’ Nansen over three rounds for a place in the semi-final.

Rahman, 41, is by far the highest profile name in the tournament after his exploits in defeating Lennox Lewis in his hey day, although on recent form the American has plenty to prove.

‘The Rock’ was stopped in two rounds of a shot-shy performance in Hamburg, Germany against Russian star Alexander Povetkin for the WBA title in 2012 and has not stepped in the ring since.

His opponent Nansen has fought just five times in his career, having returned last year from a five year absence. Nansen was defeated over four rounds against 0-10-2 Junior Iakopo and should be a walkover for Rahman if he has anything left.

In the most eye-catching contest, British rivals Michael Sprott and Martin Rogan will collide in a battle of the former UK Prizefighter champions. Both have form in the four-round format as their previous British victories suggest, although both have never met in the ring until now.

Irishman Rogan, 43, was the first ever Prizefighter tournament winner in 2008, whilst 39 year-old Sprott is one of only two fighters (alongside Audley Harrison) to have triumphed in the same event twice, having first won in 2010 and then again in 2013.

The other quarter-finals see experienced New Zealander Kali Meehan fight Aussie champion Hunter Sam, whilst American Alonzo Butler is pitted against US-based Kiwi Brice Ritani-Coe.

Ex-WBC title holder Samuel Peter was forced to withdraw last week through inury.

Details on General Admission and Corporate Hospitality can be found at supereight.co.nz or call Harpreet Bains on+64 09 583 4359 or +64 21 841 401.