Battle of the Bridge a success: organiser

Photo: Nick Brook
Photo: Nick Brook
Balclutha's Battle of the Bridge was a raging success on Saturday.

The first big-ticket spectator event at the new Te Pou O Mata Au community centre was charged with adrenaline as 30 warriors squared off for 15 K1 kickboxing matches, including a regional and two national titles.

Novice welterweights delivered an action-packed duel as Ben Harraway, of Dunedin, dominated the first round but seemed blunted for the second, where Callum Berg, of Invercargill, closed in.

Three standing 8-counts featured before Harrington sealed victory.

Levi Smiler, of Invercargill, beat Ieroma Asavale, of Dunedin, in an amateur super heavyweight slug-out.

Amateur super heavyweights Matt Weir, of Dunedin, and Deacon Gough, of Invercargill, had a measured head-to head.

Weir dominated the ring, finishing with a grinding assault, but Gough landed the most telling punches for the win.

Amateur welterweights Akea Simmons, of Dunedin, and Dylan Ward, of Christchurch, fought like machines until Simmons’ devastating second-round left-hand dropped the brave Cantabrian, who could not be saved by the bell.

Amateur lightweight champion Garry Shadbolt, of Invercargill, controlled challenger Dre Flavel, of Christchurch, who took numerous 8-counts until dispatched with a 5th-round TKO.

The vacant, New Zealand International Sport Kickboxing Association (ISKA) Professional Super-Heavyweight title had Lapa Halangahu, of Christchurch and Lee Kara, of Whanganui, feeling each other out for three rounds, cutting Kara.

He came back before the final round and secured the belt in a rare split-decision.

The final fight faced Riini Le Comte, of Rotorua against Dunedin’s Chase Haley for the NZ ISKA Professional Cruiserweight title.

Le Comte favoured kicks while Haley delivered shocking jabs, jarring rights and uppercut combinations through Le Comte’s guard to claim the belt decisively.

Organiser Robert Ngari-Dean was pleased with the success of the event.

 - By Nick Brook