Headlining televised professional boxing presentations in New Zealand has been the preserve of David Tua, Shane Cameron and Sonny Bill Williams.

Tonight a Tauranga pugilist will join the celebrated trio when he steps into the ring at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama, Auckland.

New Zealand middleweight champion Gunnar (The Stunna) Jackson will put his belt on the line against Mose Auimatagi Jnr in the main event of the Big Bash V to be televised free-to-air on TV3 from 9.30pm.

Jackson has had a sterling career since his first fight at the QE2 Youth Centre in Tauranga in May 2010.


During the six years since then he has been one of the busiest professional boxers in the country, having 34 professional bouts for 24 wins (10 by ko), three draws and seven losses.

Jackson never shirks a serious challenge and has been in the ring with a former world champion and a potential world titleholder.

He went the distance with Anthony Mundine in Brisbane in early 2014 and last year he received a late notice call-up to fight 2012 Olympic champion Ryoata Murata in the Mecca of world boxing in Las Vegas. Jackson showed courage in spades to go the distance with a boxer that fight critics are predicting will win a world title in the future.

His opponent tonight Auimatagi has had a relatively short time in the pro ranks with three wins, two draws and a solitary stain in his record book.

All three wins have come by knockout, with his latest victory over Australian Reagan Dessaix who was 6-0 before squaring off with Auimatagi.

"Our camp is wary of Gunnar's opponent, who has shown that he has power in both fists with three stoppage wins," Jackson's coach Chris Walker said.

"He holds the NZBF version of the New Zealand middleweight title and has a reputation as a genuine banger.

"Gunnar will draw upon his experience which has seen him win four championship belts. He has never been off his feet in his career and knows how to soak up pressure before dominating his opponents.

"He has recently returned from Melbourne where he had a week-long camp sparring with Zac Dunn, who is the IBO world super middleweight champion.

"While we are expecting a tough fight our camp is confident of victory."

It should be well worth Kiwi fight fans staying the course tonight.

The Jackson v Auimatagi fight follows the TV debut of another genuine New Zealand heavyweight prospect in Junior Fa who fights Junior Pati. Fa has beaten Joseph Parker in the amateur ranks and is talked about as the next serious Kiwi heavyweight contender.

Tonight's card also features Shane Cameron's undefeated protege Ricky "The Ghost" Murphy - the current NZPBA super welterweight champion - and David "The Brown Buttabean" Letele.