Boxing: Haumono's last shot at ring glory

By Steve Deane

Solomon Haumono has won 18 of 20 fights, 16 by KO. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Solomon Haumono has won 18 of 20 fights, 16 by KO. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Ex-league player will add extra credibility to celebrity event.

His mum famously ran on to the field when he was injured in a big tackle during a league match and he once ran away with a model dubbed The Pleasure Machine.

Who better, really, than Solomon Haumono to fill a spot on a boxing card that will also supplement the entertainment on offer from Shane Cameron's tilt at Monty Barrett with a catfight between a couple of shapely reality TV desperadoes?

While the sporting merit of Jaime Ridge's "fight" with Rosanna Arkel doesn't even qualify as debatable, Haumono can at least bang. He's won 18 of 20 fights (16 by knockout) in an 11-year pro career interrupted by league and injury. On July 5 in Auckland he'll face Joey Wilson, a hulking 2.01m meat delivery man ranked by some as New Zealand's third-best heavyweight.

While there is nothing in the 36-year-old former Australia and New South Wales league representative's record to suggest his stated aim of become the heavyweight champion of the world is credible, Haumono appears earnest enough.

A shoulder reconstruction and surgery to repair an elbow mean he has fought just once in close to three years, but he is now ready for one last shot at boxing glory.

"I feel as a fighter I am more complete and I'm really looking forward to showcasing what I've learned," he said. "I've got a plan in place - watch it unfold."

The first step of that plan will be to negotiate Wilson, a fighter who first came to public notice when he campaigned for the chance to fight Sonny Bill Williams in the wake of Richard Tutaki's enforced withdrawal.

Haumono probably possesses too much pop to be a future victim for SBW, however Wilson is likely to be keen to remain a ticketholder in that potentially lucrative sweep. With Cameron headlining and the hugely promising Joseph Parker making his pro debut, the Duco Events promoted Godfather of all Fight Nights should capture the attention of genuine boxing fans. However, co-promoters David Higgins and Dean Lonergan appear keen to broaden the event's appeal, including the potential train wreck that is the clash of the female celebrity wannabes.

Ridge is the daughter of former league international Matthew, while Arkel appears on much maligned reality TV show The GC. Although Ridge is being trained by Monty Betham, early indications are she could have a tough time against Whangarei-raised Arkle.

Asked if she was aware people might tune in to the fight in the hope of seeing her get hit, Ridge said: "Absolutely, I mean totally."

- NZ Herald

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