Hawke's Bay boxer Toa Leutele has signed a contract with retired professional Shane Cameron.
"Details of the contract are confidential but it is a good one. Shane is my manager and promoter now and I'm hoping to fight in Europe in the near future," Leutele said after finishing another day on the job as a kerbside recyclist for Green Sky Waste Solutions today.
The Napier Boxing Club's professional heavyweight, who will still be trained by his father Rocky Leutele at the club, will take on Palmerston North-born Australia veteran Colin Wilson in one of five professional bouts at Cameron's Counterpunch Fight Night in Auckland on March 29.
"This will be my first fight under Shane and my first since October against Thomas," Leutele, 25, said referring to Wellingtonian Thomas Russell who he beat with a second round knockout to capture the vacant Universal Boxing Federation's Asia Pacific and New Zealand Professional Boxing Association's heavyweight titles.
Leutele, who boasts a professional record of five wins and a draw, was scheduled to fight Wellington's Cory Enoka that night but Enoka withdrew on the morning of the bout and light heavyweight Russell drove from Wellington and arrived 30 minutes before the fight to enable Leutele to have a workout. Southpaw Wilson, 46, who has been fighting since 1992 has recorded 35 wins, 21 by knockout, 32 losses, 18 by knockout and one draw during his career.
Since signing with Cameron, who was in the Bay at the weekend hunting at his parents Polly and Graeme Cameron's Tiniroto farm, Leutele has travelled to Auckland most weekends for training sessions with Cameron.
"I'm pretty fit. In another four weeks I'll be ready to rumble at around 105kg. I don't know much about Colin other than he is a bit of a veteran with a lot of experience. Speed and power will be the keys to beating him and it doesn't worry me that he is a southpaw. I've beaten a few of them and you have to adapt to anyone," Leutele said.
A former three-time Australian heavyweight champion, Wilson is a previous opponent of Cameron.
"Having fought Wilson myself in 2005 and able to gain the victory, I know that he is a tough opponent at 6.6ft and over 116kg, so this is just what Toa needs to really test himself at this level. I don't want my fighters to have any easy fights as I believe you learn the most from tough fights and challenging yourself which is what this will be for Toa," Cameron said.
The main event on March 29 will feature undefeated Auckland middleweight Andrei Mikhailovich who was a stand-out on Joseph Parker's undercard when he fought Adrian Taihia at the end of last year in Christchurch.
Mikhailovich will be up against experienced Tauranga campaigner Gunner Jackson. This bout is scheduled for 10 rounds and the New Zealand Professional Boxing Council title will be up for grabs.
The other professional bouts at the Auckland Boxing Association's Eden Terrace headquarters will see Aucklander Joshua Francis take on Whakatane's Esene Pona, Panuve Helu take on fellow Aucklander Vaimoli Ioelu and another all-Auckland clash will be between Xing Loh and Jose Errazo. Two corporate fights will complete the card.
During the night a brief charity auction will be held featuring boxing memorabilia including Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather autographed boxing gloves with the funds raised going to the Shane Cameron Foundation which provides boxing equipment for young boxers around New Zealand.
Another of the Napier club's professionals, super welterweight fighter Beau O'Brien, intends to have a spell for six to 12 months to focus on family commitments.