She famously came second in The Bachelor, but Naz Khanjani was the clear winner in her corporate fight against Bella Henry in Manukau last night.
The reality show star won her bout against Henry, daughter of television personality Paul, by unanimous decision over three rounds on the undercard of Joseph Parker's fight against Alexander Dimitrenko at the Vodafone Events Centre.
Launching a sustained attack in the second round in front of an increasingly concerned looking Paul Henry, sitting ringside, Khanjani showed impressive boxing nous and lateral movement, hitting her opponent freely with both hands. In the third round she boxed sensibly, conserving her energy.
She said in the build up to the bout that she hoped to be hit in the face in order to get a free nose job, but looked remarkably fresh, albeit emotional, afterwards.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"It has not been an easy journey at all to get here," the 26-year-old Khanjani said. "I've been to hell and back, so this victory means everything to me. Everything."
Khanjani was supposed to fight in Christchurch on another Parker undercard in July but had to cancel at the last moment due to illness.
This time she said she trained far more sensibly, and did so with the help of Brian Barry, the brother of Parker's trainer Kevin. Brian was said to be impressed with her dedication and ability.
"I gave her so much respect because I know how tough it is to get in the ring," Khanjani said. "I take my hat off to her. It was a tough fight."
With Paul Henry applauding from ringside, Khanjani leaped into the air on hearing the decision following what was described by the ring announcer as a bout between two "Corporate female featherweight warriors".
Her 23-year-old opponent also applauded.