Robert Berridge v Adrian Taihia: NZ rivalry heading for October date

Benjamin Watt 27/05/2016

New Zealand’s biggest light heavyweight rivalry has been confirmed. Craig Thomson of CTP Boxing has confirmed Adrian Taihia to fight Robert Berridge in October this year.

“CTP Boxing is proud to announce October 26th at Westlake Boys High School Auditorium, 3 years (or more) in the making they are FINALLY going to get it on because they don’t get along.” Thomson announced on facebook.

The two have a long rivalry over last few years. Both fights started their boxing career around the same time as each other and both have climbed the ranks. It has been dubbed by the New Zealand public a dream fight in the light heavyweight division. Taihia has agreed to fight Berridge multiple times, however Berridge has always pulled out, either due to injury or promoter negotiation issues. The rivalry got even more person when Taihia entered the ring during a Berridge post fight interview where they exchanged some words.

Both boxers went through problems in their personal lives. Berridge split with New Zealand’s biggest promoter Duco Events do to an Alcohol and Domestic violence related incident in December 2014. Taihia was arrested and jailed on a drugs charge in October 2014.

Robert Berridge has had an excellent career, peaking at 9th in the WBO and 12th in the WBA. Berridge also has held multiple titles, including WBO Oriental, WBA – PABA, WBC Asian Boxing Council, IBO Oceania and NZPBA Light Heavyweight Titles. The highlight of Berridge career was fighting for the IBO World Light Heavyweight Title against South African Thomas Oosthuizen , unfortunately Berridge lost by a decision. Last time Berridge was in the ring was in November 2015, where he lost to New Zealander Reece Papuni in the final of the Super 8 four man tournament final. Recently Berridge was suppose to fight Ghanaian Joseph Kwadjo, however Berridge pulled out three days before the fight due to injury.

Adrian Taihia also had an excellent career, however Taihia has never been ranked. Taihia has also held multiple titles, including Interim WBA – PABA & WBU Intercontinental Light Heavyweight titles and WBFed Oceania & NZPBA super middleweight titles. Taihia also took part in the Australian version of the reality show competition The Contender. Taihia unfortunately lost in his first bout of the tournament. Taihia biggest win of his career was against New Zealander and former WBO ranked boxer Gunnar Jackson. Taihia will is booked for a busy 2016, already winning one bout and scheduled for three more bouts this year including the bout against Berridge.

Thomson stated the two boxers will fight on the same card in August this year, before facing off with each other in September. The two will be fighting for Berridge’s NZPBA title and most likely for a vacant regional title from one of the major sanctioning bodies.