Top New Zealand women’s professional boxer Geovana Peres is preparing for anything as she ventures into the unknown with her defence of the WBO world light-heavyweight title in Auckland this week.

Peres takes on Canadian Clare Hafner at Sky City on Friday night.

It’s Peres’ first fight since she won the vacant world title with a unanimous points decision against fellow Kiwi Lani Daniels in late March.

Peres didn’t want a warm-up fight and decided to instead maintain her relentless fitness and training routines over the past six months.

“The focus has been on defending the title and time has flown by,” she said.

“Since my last fight, I had a couple of days off but I quickly went back to training. That intensity picked up when the camp started, it’s gone to another level now.”

New Zealand’s reigning WBO light heavyweight world champion Geovana Perez will make the first defence of her title against Canada’s Claire Hafner on Friday, October 4 at SKY CITY in Auckland.

The hard-hitting Canadian is ranked the No. 2 female heavyweight on the planet by respected independent website Boxrec – and will drop down a division to contest the WBO strap.

“This is a massive challenge for me but it is one I am 100 per cent ready for,” Peres said. “It was an incredible experience to win a world title but it won’t mean much if I can’t defend it. I’m determined to make sure this fight is just another step on the road to even bigger and better things.”

Peres marked the fight announcement by conducting a training session on the Auckland Sky Tower’s SkyWalk. After a nervous start, she was soon into the swing of things, hitting the pads with trainer Terrence Batchelor on a narrow strip of the causeway over 100m in the air.

“I have to say it was terrifying, but I did what I had to do,” said Peres, who conquered a long standing fear of heights in the process.

“In the ring I am in my element. Out there I wasn’t. I was pretty scared actually. But I faced a really huge fear that I had and that for sure will help me in the ring – because I will fear no-one.”

Hafner, who fights out of Ontario, Canada, is coming off an impressive victory over veteran American Carlette Ewell in North Carolina in June. Ewell, a former IBA light heavyweight champion who has also contested the WBC and IBO heavyweight titles, was comfortably out-pointed by Hafner over eight rounds.

That victory set up Hafner for a shot at Peres’ WBO strap.

“The chance to be able to fight for a world title is something that doesn’t come along every day,” Hafner said. “The opportunity to be a part of women’s boxing on the world stage is long overdue and I can’t wait to bring that belt home to Canada.”

“For too long women have been overlooked in the boxing ring. On October 4th we will once again show the world that we deserve our spot in this sport and put on one of the best fights the WBO has ever seen.”

Perez, a naturalised Kiwi who hails originally from Brazil, captured her title with a thrilling 10-round points victory over fellow Kiwi Lani Daniels in March at a sold-out SKY CITY Convention Centre.

“That contest was rated by veteran ring announcer Lt Dan Hennessey as one of the finest he has ever witnessed – and Dan has seen some fights – but this fight could well top it,” Steve Deane of promoter Rival Sports NZ said.

“Geovana is the type of boxer who never takes a backward step so with a big, tough international heavyweight coming her way it is sure to be an explosive contest.

“With Joseph Parker now fighting off-shore, this WBO world title fight is the biggest event on the Kiwi boxing calendar this year.”

There is a lot on the line for Peres. A victory over a highly-rated international opponent would set up the possibility of a title defence on a major international card.

“We’ll certainly be talking to our friends at Duco and Matchroom about the potential for Geovana to defend her world title on co-billing with Joseph Parker at some point,” Deane said.

“But first she needs to beat Claire Hafner.”

The October 4 date for Peres’ title defence is two days before Kiwi UFC interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya takes on Australian Robert Whittaker in a blockbuster trans-Tasman showdown for the undisputed UFC middleweight title.

“Kiwi combat sports fans are sure in for a heck of a weekend,” Deane said.

The full undercard for Peres v Hafner and broadcast details will be confirmed in coming weeks.

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Photo Credit Calden Scott Jamieson /

#NewZealand For the vacant WBO Jr. Heavyweight Oriental Championship: David Light (13-0, 8 KOs) defeated Mark Flanagan (24-6, 17 KOs) via unanimous decision at ABA Stadium in the city of Auckland. Scorecards: 98-92 (x3)

Geovana Peres Boxing

Geovana Peres has been crowned WBO Light Heavyweight champion of the world after seeing off Lani Daniels in a thrilling 10 round contest at SKY City in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Brazilian-Kiwi becomes New Zealand’s second WBO world champion, following in the footsteps of Joseph Parker.

Peres was a clear winner on the scorecards, earning the decision 98-92, 96-94 and 98-92, with the judges clearly preferring her relentless attack to the Daniels’ classy counter-punching in what was a relentless toe-to-toe affair.

“I’ve been working so hard for this for the last year and half,” an emotional Peres said.

“I have an amazing team behind me.

“Thank you very much to Lani. She is an amazing fighter. I had to step up my game.”

Peres said she hoped claiming the world title would empower women to chase their dreams and boost the profile of women’s boxing in New Zealand.

“Everybody please support women’s boxing in New Zealand. We have amazing fighters here,” she said.

Daniels, who could count herself an unfortunate loser after putting in a tremendous performance, was gracious in defeat.

“To Geovana, Kia kaha well done. Awesome win,” Daniels said.

Daniels pledged to rebound from the loss, saying it would make her team stronger.

“The lord brought us together for a reason. We ain’t done yet,” she said to her corner.



World ranked heavyweight contender Chauncey Welliver (51-5-5, 19 KOs) looks to continue his climb up the world rankings next Saturday in his adoptive home of Auckland, New Zealand when he defends his WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight championship and his WBC Asia Council heavyweight title against tough African brawler Moyoyo Mensah (21-8-1, 9 KOs) at The Corporate Box in Auckland on January 28th.

Welliver, who is ranked at #6 by the WBC and #11 by the WBO hopes to land the coveted shot against one of the reigning champion Klitschko brothers in 2012, and recognizes that anything less than a dominant performance at this point could jeopardize that potential fight.

Welliver is the winner of his last sixteen fights and has established himself as one of the most recognizable heavyweights in all of Asia with nine fights in New Zealand and two in China since 2008.

Although criticism does exist over the level of his competition in that period of time, even his critics admit that he is proving to be the most active heavyweight contender in the world, with six regional championship fights in 2011 alone. Many insiders recognize that, with his name recognition in China, Australia, and New Zealand, he proves to be an attractive potential opponent for the Klitschko’s.

However, boxing insiders also recognize that the smaller Moyoyo Mensah is still a dangerous fighter in his own right. The Ghana born Kiwi is the reigning WBO African cruiserweight champion who has also held the ABU cruiserweight, PABA cruiserweight, WBA Pan African, and holds wins over former “Contender series” star Max Alexander as well as Nigerian cruiserweight contender Chidi Enoma in his first reign as WBO African Cruiserweight Champion back in 2003.

Although Welliver is also seen as the biggest, and most accomplished, fighter he has ever faced, most still see Mensah as a live underdog in this fight.

The Corporate Box is located at Level 5, 92 Albert Street, in Auckland. Tickets can be obtained by calling Craig Thomson at 021-717-014 from inside New Zealand, and 011-64-21-717-014 from the United States.


By David Finger

“2011 was just a year for setting up 2012. This next year will be big for me.”

 2011 was certainly a good year for WBO Asia Pacific and China Zone heavyweight champion Chauncy Welliver. The “Hillyard Hammer” continued to bang as the 28 year old Welliver stormed to a perfect 6-0 for the year and he pushed his win streak to 16 straight. As 2012 begins, Welliver’s record is an astounding 51-5-5, and he plans to continue moving up in the division’s ranks.

 I spoke with Welliver today and he assured me that 2012 would be a year for his fans to savor.

 “I have stepped it up slowly, but surely. I consider my career to really have started after the Solis fight. That is when I realized I could fight.”

 Back in October of 2008, Welliver last tasted defeat at the hand of the unbeaten Odlanier Solis in Germany. A little over three years later, a focused Welliver has not looked back…until now.

 “We’re pushing for a rematch with Solis” a confident Welliver told 8CN’s Darren Barcomb. “It’s not solid yet, but being negotiated.”

 If Welliver wants to make a statement in the heavyweight division and take home some personal redemption, beating Solis would be a great way to do it. The 31 year old Cuban Solis (17-1) is considered a top tier heavyweight and is coming off of an unsuccessful WBC title shot against Vitali Klitshcko back in March. Solis injured his right knee in that matchup and saw his title dreams dashed in the opening round. He is now healed and has a lot of nay-sayers to prove wrong himself.

 Since their initial bout in 2008, Welliver has stayed the busier of the two at 16-0, while “La Sombra” has gone 5-1. Activity is not the only thing leaning Welliver’s way though; a new training regimen has done wonders as well.

 Working with Joe Hipp and trainer Ali Crosbie has gotten Welliver into the best shape of his career as he now weighs in a bit over 230, down about 50 lbs. from the Solis fight. “I went in nervous last time” Welliver admits….and that was 50 lbs. ago.”

 “Joe is my first trainer ever and we’ve come up with how to beat Solis. Ali gets me in the best shape I can be in, so I know I can go 12 easy. Last time I went 2 and was done at the end of the 2nd. I’d come in prepared and not nervous this time.”

 Ring jitters shouldn’t be a concern this time around though; Welliver seems at ease in the ring, has travelled the world to fight, and has picked up some serious title gold along the way.

 On January 28th, he will defend his WBO Asia Pacific, WBC Asian Boxing, and New Zealand titles against Moyoyo Mensah (21-8-1, 9 KO’s) in a 12 rounder in Auckland, New Zealand.

 After that, nothing is definite but Welliver added “Let them know we can bring the fight to China”, where he has amassed solid fan base and is a big draw. “In China, I’d not worry at all. I was on his turf last time and worried. Now he’s rolling in my neck of the world.”

 It sounds like the ball is in Odlanier Solis’ court. 2012 is looking promising already……


By: Darren Barcomb


Telstra Clear Events Centre, Manukau City, New Zealand – Heavyweight veteran Monte Barrett (35-9-2, 20KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over David Tua (54-4-2, 43KOs). The scores were 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112. Barrett captures the WBO Asia Pacific and WBO Oriental heavyweight titles.

The fight was a rematch of their twelve round majority draw from last July in Atlantic City, which saw Tua get dropped for the first time in his career in the twelfth round.

Tua was very sluggish from the very start. Barrett had few issues with landing his punches. A cut opened up above Tua’s right eye in the third round. Tua began to pick up the action in the fourth.

Barrett was using his jab to control the action. Tua was making the mistake of resorting to a heavy amount of counter-punching. Tua landed a few good lefts in the sixth, but Barrett took them well and countered back.

Tua started landing his right hand in the seventh. Barrett switched his stance to avoid further punches. Barrett continued to use his jab to set up other punches. He was moving, making Tua follow and miss.

Tua started to rally again in the tenth round with big left hands there were landing. He hit Barrett with a big combination in the final minute and Barrett was in big trouble. Barrett stayed on the move with Tua not throwing anything. Instead of trying to finish Barrett off, Tua was playing to the crowd.

They were trading punches in the eleventh round. Barrett’s legs did not look steady and yet he was still outlanding Tua during exchanges. In the final ten seconds, Tua caught Barrett again and started working him over until the bell.

Tua, knowing that he was likely behind on the cards, was looking for one big shot in the twelfth. Barrett was holding and surviving. In the final minute, Tua landed a big combination of punches to send Barrett down for the first time in the fight. Barrett barely made it up and somehow Tua once again let him off the hook with thirty seconds left and he survived until the final bell.

By Chris LaBate–42608

On his home patch in South Auckland, with blood and a smirk splattered on his face, David Tua was shocked when his return to the heavyweight division was quashed tonight with American Monte Barrett awarded a unanimous point’s decision.

Barrett is the only man to knock Tua to the canvas and appeared to be out on his feet in the last rounds.

He was knocked down in the 12th and struggled to get up but must have done enough in the early rounds to convince the judges.

The sold out crowd’s raptures turned to stunned glances when the decision was announced. They thought their Samoan-born Kiwi had his redemption revenge.

Tua bided his time and picked his moments, slowly building his power and intent as the bout progressed, but wit the loss, just the fourth of his career, means he gives up the WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental belts. The 38-year-old said he would not retire but will take time out to consider his credible future in the sport.

Barrett kept the initially inactive and sluggish Tua at bay with his reach advantage and left jabs in the first three rounds. With a flurry of punches and his go-to overhand right hook bearing down, Barrett had Tua bleeding from a small cut above his right eye. The visitor was well on top, but briefly.

Tua was patient. He waited for an opening, a weakness in Barrett’s defence. The infamous left hook made a belated appearance at the end of the fourth round, as he lifted.

But Tua began to consistently rock the 40-year-old New Yorker with powerful combinations and a busier work rate. Barrett slipped behind in the points as the fight changed complexion. “Two Gunz” was out of ammunition, but he did enough early.

Tua hurt Barrett in the 10th round, pinning him against the ropes. He raised his arms in delight to the crowd and thought it was in the bag. Barrett appeared done. The judges thought otherwise.

The 3000-strong, vocal crowd waited through the undercards expectantly and booed Barrett on arrival. Tua received a standing ovation. There was an airy, yet electric atmosphere about this belt. It was career-defining for both fighters. The winner would carry on; the twilight loser faced an uncertain future.

Tua admitted, from his heart, Barrett should have won their first fight in Atlantic City last year, which led you to believe he was motivated and would deliver. He did that, but left it too late.

He needed a statement, either a knockout or convincing point’s victory, to ripple the division of giants that has become stagnant. His last convincing performance was too long ago, against Shane Cameron in October, 2009. Ultimately the 38-year-old was chasing a second world title shot after his defeat to Lennox Lewis in 2000. This could have been a stepping stone. He will now struggle to gain another.

In matching records alone, Tua’s impressive 52-3-2 scorecard dwarfed Barrett’s 34-9-2 in both experience and class. But records often don’t make it into the ring. As was the case tonight.
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New Zealand’s next heavyweight hope, 19-year-old amateur Joseph Parker, easily took care of Australian Nathan Mackay in a three round contest. Parker forced Mackay into two standing eight counts and spit his nose as he builds up to next month’s World Games in Azerbaijan, where he can qualify for next year’s London Olympics.