Welterweight Jeff Horn has continued his impressive rise to the top and is within touching distance of a big-money fight against Manny Pacquiao after knocking out Ali Funeka at Vector Arena tonight.
In front of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, Australian Horn, a stablemate of Joseph Parker's, Horn put on an at times brutal show against Funeka, winning with a TKO in the sixth round. The fight was the main undercard bout to Parker's world title fight.
Both fighters received cuts from accidental head clashes, with Funeka also knocked down in the fifth round. In the sixth round he got to his feet but was clearly unwell after a traditional flurry of punches from the man known as the "Hornet".
The tall South African presented a unique challenge to Horn, who was unlucky to receive a standing eight count by the referee at the end of the third round after a clash of heads with Funeka.
Horn is ranked No2 by the WBO, with Pacquioa, who is promoted by Arum, the champion.
"It was a very awkward fight so it was hard to impress with that but with the stoppage, maybe that impressed him," Horn said of Arum.
John Parker continued his winning start to his professional career with a unanimous points decision on the first televised undercard fight.
Parker, fighting at catchweight but aiming to continue at light heavyweight, won all four rounds against Ash McConville from Christchurch.
McConville proved a tough opponent for the 22-year-old Parker, who fought for the first time as a professional on the undercard of his big brother's last fight in October, another win.
Parker impressed with his jab, but struggled to find his range at times. He landed far more punches than McConville, including several right hooks, and neither man was hurt.
Joseph, watching ringside ahead of his world title fight, appeared satisfied with his little brother's work.
South Auckland heavyweight Junior Fa took his professional record to 10-0 when beating Argentine Argentine Pablo Magrini by TKO in the third round.
Fa was never troubled. The 27-year-old, who famously beat Joseph Parker as an amateur, weighed in a whopping 27kg heavier than Magrini, and dropped his opponent with a left hook to the body. The visitor had no interest in getting up and was counted out.
Super bantamweight Isaac Dogboe, of Ghana, extended his unbeaten professional record to 16-0 with a TKO victory over Julian Aristule from Argentina.
The busy Dogboe, who wore a silver fern and small New Zealand flag on his trunks, dropped Aristule with a left hook to the chin in the seventh round and then finished his opponent with a flurry of body shots.
Super bantamweight Shannon O'Connell, from Australia, handed Argentine Laura Griffa her first defeat when winning by unanimous decision after eight rounds.
Dave "Brown Buttabean" Letele celebrated what he said was his final professional fight with a TKO win over Che Barlow.