Willis Meehan will be facing his biggest challenge in April 2016, at Auckland’s Trusts Arena against Julius Long for the International Boxing Organisation Asia Pacific Heavyweight Title.
The rivalry began May 2015 where Meehan called out Long on social media, which Long was definitely interested. The two had trouble finding a promoter to take on the bout, however after six months of social media trash talk, Lisa Lewis of Royal Rampage Promotions decided to take on the bout.
Lewis had this to say about the bout; “I’ve observed Willis Meehan fights where some of the fights matched I felt was watching a Chihuahua versus a German Shepherd”. This was no fault of the Boxers – it was the promoter and matchmaker. I believe that Willis Meehan doesn’t need to be under his father’s shadow anymore, although I am a big fan of Kali Meehan – and HUGE RESPECT to him. Everybody told me you don’t offer a belt to someone so fresh, I feel the opposite. A kid that’s used to a belt is like a child that goes to the candy store every day. I like to give people opportunity. The opponent for Willis Meehan was up in the air. What drew me to Julius Long was quite often he’s always been the one people spar with. I thought how about all these bridesmaids get a shot at being the bride? Sometimes all it takes to find a star is to put a spotlight on them and you will see what they really have. I’ve heard these two have beef and I’ve experienced two professional boxers both wanting a shot and both appreciative that I’m giving them a shot. I’m happy with this choice for heavyweight division at royal rampage.”
20-year-old Willis Meehan, son of Boxing veteran and former World title contender Kalia Meehan, recently came off a second round technical knockout win against Leamy Lakopo Tato. The bout ended in controversy where New Zealand National Boxing Federation president and referee, David Craig, stopped the fight when it was obvious that the fight should have stopped sooner. Most critics say the bout should have stopped at the end of the first round however the referee let it continue. Within the last twenty seconds of the second round Meehan was screaming “Stop the f****** fight.” Meehan showed great sportsmanship by guiding Tato back into his corner and making sure he got the help that he need from the doctors. “I think when the ref sees it’s an obvious outclassing he should step in earlier,” Meehan said afterwards. “But it’s the hurt business we are in. I got the job done and he’s safe, he’s on his two feet at the end of the night.”
38-year-old veteran boxer Julius Long, also came off a decision win against Commonwealth games medalist Justin Whitehead. Long has fought in 37 bouts so far and has been in the ring with the likes of Tye Fields, Derrick Jefferson, Samuel Peter, Ray Austin, Kevin Johnson, Johnathon Banks and Lucas Browne. Long is also internationally recognised as the tallest boxer in the world, standing 216 cm tall, with the reach of 226 cm. In the almost fifteen years of Long’s boxing career, he has never won a boxing title.
The event will also be featuring for the first time in New Zealand history a WBO World title bout being held on NZ soil, American Ronica Jeffrey vs Gentiane Lupi. The event card will also feature nine pro bouts and three corporate belts, including seven world champion boxers.
Lisa Lewis says “The reason I founded Rampage Promotions was to give Boxers and want-to-be Boxers opportunities that other Boxing Promoters were not giving them. This is why at the Royal Rampage event I have such a strong women card not just because the charity is Women’s Refuge, – but because Boxing Promoters tend to ignore female fights yet after the Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey it’s very clear female fighting is here to stay in a BIG way.”