He may be 31 but Gunnar Jackson still has plenty of left and right hand combinations in him.

The Tauranga boxer is itching to get his hands back on an international belt again after losing his NZPBA middleweight and UBF Asia Pacific middleweight titles to rising South Auckland star Mose Auimatagi Junior in July 2016.

Earlier this month Jackson travelled to Canberra to take on Australian David Toussaint for the vacant Australian National Boxing Federation Australasian middleweight title.

The judges scored it an unanimous points decision against Jackson, his 10th defeat in 41 pro bouts.


But Jackson said he could have taken Toussaint in the second round if it wasn't for the untimely intervention of the bell to end the round.

"In round two I was all over him for the last 20 to 30 seconds. I caught him with a nice punch and it was like a delayed reaction and he started doing the chicken dance. By the time I reacted, I got a few punches in but he was saved by the bell.

"Being early stages of the round, he pretty much recovered in the break and I didn't want to go out there and finish him off because it was so early in the fight. In hindsight should I have gone in harder? Yes, and no. It was a good fight and I put up a pretty good scrap."

Jackson says he has no thoughts of hanging up the gloves just yet.

Gunnar Jackson with Willow Cameron, left, and Charlie Jackson at BOP Boxfit. Photo / Andrew Warner
Gunnar Jackson with Willow Cameron, left, and Charlie Jackson at BOP Boxfit. Photo / Andrew Warner

"The fire is still burning in me, especially fighting with the younger guys that are coming through now. I definitely can still mix it with the young guys. That fight has definitely given me good confidence. The dream is still there."

Jackson has been in the ring with the best in the Asia/Oceania region, winning international titles in the light-heavyweight, super-middleweight and middleweight divisions.

He took former world champion Anthony Mundine to the wire, losing a points decision in Brisbane in 2014, then went 12 rounds with 2012 Olympic gold medallist Ryan Murota in Las Vegas in November, 2015.

"That was definitely a career high," Jackson says.


"Every boxer's dream is to fight in Vegas. I hope to still get there one more time to top my career off. It is still achievable. I just need to try to win the next tough fight."

Jackson has been busy outside the ring setting up his own group fitness and boxing gym, Bay Boxfit, along the Newton St strip of fitness centres at Mount Maunganui.

He says his motivation to go into business with former fighter Leo Ryan was to pass on the knowledge from 17 years in the fight game to the younger generation.

"Without them our sport would not be alive so that's the goal. We have some good kids coming through who want to carry on with the sport.

"Boxing is definitely growing, particularly with Joseph Parker who has definitely lifted the game up big time."