BTW Promotions presents an extremely exciting card featuring debuts, title bouts and North Shore, Auckland’s boxer Kendall Cooper.
The 37 year old boxer began his boxing career with interest in kickboxing.
“I had been watching kickboxing for about 5 years back when K1 was on TV, and I would go to a few kickboxing events in Auckland. A pro kickboxer friend suggested I have a Kickboxing fight. Another friend had been training at Balmoral Lee Gar for about 2 years so I was going to learn Kickboxing defence from him & boxing offence from someone else.
My mate found a boxing gym and had a Personal Training session that killed him so he suggested I go. Little did I know that he told the boxing coach that I like pain and for him to kill me in my one on one. I got along with the boxing coach & he let me in on the secret & so I went along with it & said bring it on, bring the pain. After 1 Boxing lesson I knew I would never have been ready for a kickboxing fight, but I stuck at boxing for 4 months and had my 1st corporate bout”
In 2009 Kendall Cooper fought five amateur bout, qualifying him for New Zealand’s Golden Gloves. In his debut year at the Golden gloves, Cooper won the tournament in the Middleweight division.
“I was really proud to win Golden Gloves that year… mainly cos I like the name of the tournament. The 1st fight was 6 points each, but I got put forward to the next round due to a count back & the officials deciding I was more of a “boxer” on the day (I threw straight punches, my opponent threw more hooks like a brawler). The second bout I won 11 points to 1, so I jokingly said to my coach after the fight that I think he punched me more than once.”
During his corporate career, Kendall built up a massive sparring resume, making him very well known in the boxing community. Kendall has sparred with multiple boxing talent including:
Adrian Taihia (NZPBA, WBA – PABA)
David Light (Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist)
Gunnar Jackson (Two Division NZPBA, WBO Oriental, WBA – PABA)
Iosefa Fue (World Kickboxing Champion)
Isaac Peach (NZNBF)
James Emmerson (Pro Boxer)
Junior Fa (Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist)
Nik Charalampous (Pro Boxer)
Sam Rapira (IBO Asia Pacific, NZNBF)
Taito Ratuere (Pro Boxer)
Thomas Heads (Pro Boxer)
Tino Honey (Pro Boxer)
Vaitele Soi (Super 8 Finalist, Samoa National)
“I’ve really enjoyed sparring over the years, i’ve got a lot of confidence from sparring in preparation for fights, because if I can handle sparring my coach (Regan Foley) who was number 3 in the world, then I should be able to handle whatever my opponents got.
I’d always offer to help with someone’s warm up by doing a few rounds and when ever someone new & tough looking comes into the gym, I always want to spar them, which is the same mentality when I go to another gym.
I want to spar the best that they’ve got. I’ve probably done close to 4000 rounds so now if i’m injured and I can’t spar before a fight, I just concentrate on fitness and believe that I’ve done enough sparring, and also in preparation before a fight I believe It’s okay to miss out on something, because then you can just take it out on your opponent.”
Also during his corporate career, Kendall has fought the lights of Navosa Lota (he took the fight on an hours notice), Sivan Hermez, Jordan Tuigamala, Eric Finau, Josh Ridley and many more.
Kendall’s last corporate bout was in September 2015 against Josh Ridley. After his last bout, Kendall too time off from boxing to focus on his new career.
“I was mainly focusing on wanting to get a new job & boxing isn’t a part time sport, so I wanted to direct all my energy into looking for a new career. But after 4 months past in the year I realised I sometimes function better when my ass is on fire & I have a bit of stress & drama going on.”
Kendall made his pro debut in May 2016 against James Uoka. Originally scheduled to fight Sam Uoka, James stepped in. Kendall won the bout by TKO in the third round, however most of the people in the crowd thought he could have done it earlier.
Shortly after the fight, Kendall was being scouted by multiple boxing managers to be signed to their stables. In the end Kendall signed on with Benjamin Watt’s Stable, being the first boxer on the stable.
Kendall fought again against Gunnar Jackson in August 2016 on two weeks notice. Kendall believed if Gunnar could fight Anthony Mundine on 9 days notice then Kendall could fight Gunnar on 14 days. Despite losing against Gunnar, Kendall was very happy with his performance and the opportunity that he was given. It was noted by the commission body of the night and the audience in attendance that they didn’t expect the bout to go the full schedule five rounds and that Kendall fought amazingly.
Kendall is currently scheduled to fight James Uoka in a rematch on September 10th at St John’s Netball centre. After this bout Kendall will be facing his next big challenge against Jonathan Taylor at ABA Stadium on September 24th. The two will be fighting as the main undercard on BTW Promotion’s first fight night, Fight 4 Charity.
The 30 year old Tauranga native, Jonathan Taylor is the older brother to NZPBA and WBU World Champion Anthony Taylor. Jonathan had his first three professional bouts in Australia, however since coming to New Zealand, Taylor had a fresh start in his pro boxing career. Currently Jonathan record is 2 wins, 3 loses and no draws.
Kendall could potentially have one more bout after Taylor this year before taking a break for the year. Kendall is excited to help out the boxing community and to have a good pro boxing run.
“I’ve got a lot out of boxing but I don’t expect to be world champ. So If I can give back to the sport in some way then that helps my experience in life. If I stay relatively fit then maybe I can help out a few shows at short notice. My Holistic approach to this physical challenge is giving each level a go and get in there to test myself. So I can have a few Corporate, Amateur & Pro fights. A Win, Loss & a Draw and walk the line with my head held high.”
Kendall Cooper vs Jonathan Taylor will be on the undercard of Nailini Helu vs Ange Davis. The undercard will be also feature Zane McNab, Daniel Maxwell, Craig Thomson and more.