Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Boxing: Locals take on Aussie southpaws

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Gunnar Jackson, left, celebrates with Anthony "TNT" Taylor after his win over Darren Askew in Tauranga last August.
Gunnar Jackson, left, celebrates with Anthony "TNT" Taylor after his win over Darren Askew in Tauranga last August.

Tauranga's two top boxers will be in action on the same fight card in Auckland on April 2.

Gunnar "The Stunnar" Jackson and Anthony "TNT" Taylor will take on two well-appointed Australian fighters who are both southpaws.

As Joseph Parker is finding out in training for his bout in Samoa against southpaw Jason Bergman, it takes time to get used to an opponent with his right hand and right foot forward.

Boxing trainer Chris Walker. Photo/file
Boxing trainer Chris Walker. Photo/file

The Tauranga fighters are trained by TGA BOX owner Chris Walker, who is more than happy with the intensity both his charges are putting into their preparation for the big bouts in April.

Jackson, 29, who has a 22 win, 7 loss, 3 draw record will take on Fred Tukes, 43, who is based in Australia now but hails from Georgia, USA.

Tukes has a 12-3-2 record and lost to Anthony Buttigieg for the Victoria State Super Welterweight title in August last year.

"He is an old guy who has been around," Walker said. "He is a former Australian Super Welterweight title holder and is pretty handy. He beat Samuel Colomban (in 2013) who is a really good boxer. He is a world renowned sparring partner who has been in the camp with Miguel Cotto, Oscar de la Hoya, Shane Mosley because he is a southpaw."

Walker says Jackson has not had much experience with southpaws.

It is also his first venture down a weight division to Super Welterweight which will be an added tester for him.

His last fight was a points loss to Japanese superstar Ryota Murata in Las Vegas in November.

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"It is a pretty hearty opponent to be testing himself against; someone who has been in camp with some of the best fighters in the world over the years," Walker said.

"The new weight Gunnar needs to be fighting at is 69.97kg and he has been fighting as a Middleweight 72.54kg. It doesn't sound like much but sometimes it can make a difference."

Taylor, 28, will be fighting Joey Williams, 32, from Wagga Wagga for the WBU (German Union) Super Lightweight World title bout.

Taylor has a 12-1-1 record, up against the former NRL halfback with an almost identical record of 12-3-1.

Williams has overcome a highly publicised battle with depression and in 2014 won the WBF junior welterweight world title.

"He is a classy southpaw with some good skills. (Taylor) had a keep-busy fight in December in Auckland and he won by a second-round knock-out," Walker said.

"We are stepping him up levels now so this is an important fight to set him up for the tone for the rest of the year.

We are looking for another showdown in Tauranga in May which we are looking at getting Gunnar on that bill as well."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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