The New Zealand boxing scene stands still to await the result of an important dream fight, which for once did not involve Joseph Parker. Robert “The Butcher” Berridge took on Sam Rapira, in Rapira’s hometown of New Plymouth.
Berridge who is a former WBO Oriental and WBA – PABA Champion and a current NZPBA and IBO Oceania Champion, went the full scheduled eight rounds, defeating Sam Rapira by Unanimous Decision. Rapira who is a former NZNBF Champion and IBO Asia Pacific champion received a serious cut during the fight which could take him out for the rest of the year for healing time.
Berridge who is now 27 – 5 – 1 has only fought once this year (excluding his win against Sam Rapira), coming off a decision loss to WBC Silver Champion, Eleider Alvarez. Rapira who is now 15 – 3 – 0, has been on the quest to get in the top 100 on boxrec. The bout itself was a close fight throughout the bout, however allot of people were disappointed that bout was not scheduled for 10 round and not for one of the many vacant regional title in the pacific region. It is also disappointing that the judges scores was not announced in the ring or after the fight especially with such a major and close fight in New Zealand. Of course the rest of New Zealand was saddened by the fact that the event was not live streamed or televised.
After winning this dream fight against Rapira, Berridge will be defending his New Zealand (NZPBA) title against Adrian Taihia on October 28th at ASB Stadium in Auckland. The bout against Taihia is truly a grudge match with WWE like drama, including Taihia calling Berridge out in the ring, Berridge pulling out of a scheduled bout against Taihia only weeks before the fight and trash talk between each other.
On the undercard of the event Simon Julian defeat Sam Uoka by TKO in the Third round. With so much hype behind Julian (now 2 – 0), there is already people requesting to see a bout against Kendall Cooper (2 – 1), who is going against Jonathan Taylor next week on BTW Promotions Card.
As for Rapira, his future is unclear, however he fought impressively and I hope personally he does not retire yet as he is an incredible boxer.