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Big upset in the New Zealand Women’s Heavyweight Division
Source/PR/Benjamin Watt
October 29, 2016

(OCT 29)    The biggest fight in the New Zealand Light Heavyweight Division happened on the 28th of October, with Robert “The Butcher” Berridge defending his NZ title against Adrian “The Terror” Taihia, However big upsets happened in the undercard with the Women’s division. 

Nailini Helu, took on debutant Arie Masina. Originally Helu was suppose to take on Cheyenne Whaanga, however due to a serious injury, Whaanga couldn’t compete. The bout between Helu and Whaanga was for the Vacant NZPBA Light - Heavyweight title.

Helu has accomplished much in her career including being ranked 1st in NZ, 9th in the world, 8th in UBF, 9th in WBF and 7th in WIBA. She is a three time New Zealand Amateur Champion and had the record of 2 wins and 1 draw. Helu fought Ange Davis on September 24th for the NZPBA and UBF Asia Pacific Heavyweight title, with Helu originally taking home the win with a Split Decision. However an appeal was submit to the commissioning body of the night the NZPBA. In an investigation, NZPBA found an error with one of the scorecards. Due to the discovery of the error the fight was changed to a draw and the two boxers were made mandatory challengers for the vacant title, with the two to fight each other with 6 months.

Masina took the fight against Helu within 24 hours notice and with a chest infection, Helu was heavily favoured to win. Due to Masina taking the fight on 24 hours notice, the commissioning body agreed to have the fight be contested at 3 x 2 min rounds.

Throughout the fight, it seemed like Helu was taking it easy on Masina and holding back on the signature heavy hits. Due to this the bout looked like a closer fight. The bout went the distance with the winner by Split Decision is Arie Masina. With this massive upset, it raises a lot of questions. Will there be a rematch? Has Helu lost her Mandatory position? What is next in Helu’s career? Who is this unknown Masina? And when will we see Whaanga?

The other female bout for the evening was Baby Nansen taking on Debutant Briar Johnston. Nansen is currently the mandatory challenger for Rebecca Jennings NZPBA Super Featherweight title. The bout between Nansen and Johnston was close bout, however the bout went the distance with the winner by split Decision was Baby Nansen.

As for the rest of the card the results were:

Nailini Helu lost against Arie Masina Split Decision (3 x 2 min)

Mohammed Bashir Draw with James Uoka Majority Decision (4 x 3 min)

Baby Nansen Won against Briar Johnston Split Decision (4 x 2 min)

Panuve Helu Won against Peter Tovio TKO (1st round, 5 x 3 min)

Junior Fa Won against Junior Maletino Iakopo TKO (1st round, 6 x 3 min)

Robert Berridge Won against Adrian Taihia Unanimous Decision retaining NZPBA Light Heavyweight Title (10 x 3 min)

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