A move down a weight division could well prove to be a master stroke for professional boxer Gunnar Jackson after he won the NZPBA Middleweight title on Auckland's North Shore.
The classy fighter from Tauranga has dropped down to the Middleweight division (72.6kg) from Super Middleweight (76.5kg) and was untroubled in beating New Plymouth's Daniel Maxwell over 10 rounds at the War On The Shore event held at the ActivZone Indoor Sports Arena in Glenfield on Friday night.
Jackson is the first Kiwi fighter since Sean Sullivan to have won a national title in two divisions, after he held the Australasian Super Middleweight title until earlier this year when he lost to Adrian Taiha.
Chris Walker, who trains Jackson out of TGA BOX Health and Fitness, says his fighter is more comfortable at the Middleweight division.
"He is a bit quicker, a bit lighter on his feet. It is a better weight division for him and we are pretty happy with the way he went," Walker said.
"His fitness was there and his work rate in the last round was higher than it was in the first round. He is a lot more active at that weight which is the promising thing, and he has not lost much power dropping down the weight division.
"He was stronger than his opponent and won convincingly. We tried to get his opponent out of there earlier but he was a bit more resilient than we gave him credit for actually. It was a 10-round unanimous decision and Gunnar won pretty much every round quite easily. He did hurt that guy a few times during the fight but Daniel is quite cagey and spat his mouth guard out about four times when he was hurt, which halted proceedings. He knew when to hold and he did a good job of surviving."
Walker has two top amateurs preparing for key fights this month. Lee Garnham is the number one Light Heavyweight and Jamie Price is challenging for the No1 ranking as a Middleweight.