Siosiua Taukeiaho has taken a unanimous decision victory (39-36, 40-35, 40-35) over Jaiman Lowe in his professional debut, although he was controversially credited with a knockdown which Jeff Fenech was far from convinced with.
All the pressure was on Taukeiaho and any expectations of an early finish proved to be wishful thinking, with Lowe doing well to keep distance and avoid any real damage in the opening two rounds.
Neither of two fighters were able to land any punches of note, although Taukeiaho scored one knockdown in the second round, even if Jeff Fenech did not necessarily agree with the ruling.
“Definitely not a punch that knocked him down,” Fenech said.
“Just off-balance. Definitely not a knockdown.”
LIVE UPDATES: Latest from Gallen vs Hodges, Zerafa vs Creati
It was actually Lowe who had scored with more punches after the second round, remaining patient and making sure not to exhaust any of his energy unnecessarily.
That continued into the third too, with Lowe backing Taukeiaho up against the ropes at one point as he searched for the right hand to put the former Roosters front rower away.
“He’s given a very good account of himself on short notice has Jaiman Lowe,” said Ben Damon in commentary.
“A tremendous learning fight for Sio Siua Taukeiaho.”
Suluka-Fifita survives 2nd round BEATING | 01:12
Speaking after the fight, Paul Kent said he was impressed with what he saw from the former premiership-winning prop given what he had seen in the past from others who had made the leap from the footy field to the boxing ring.
“I just thought he showed himself as a very educated fighter,” he said.
“A lot of times when we see these footballers get in the ring they brawl a bit and are very right-hand heavy but Taukeiaho was catching punches with his gloves. He really showed he knew what he was doing in the ring. I’d just like to see himself set himself to throw a few more combinations.”
Although like Fenech, Kent also agreed that Taukeiaho should not have been credited with a knockdown in the second round.
“This was disappointing,” he said.
“I understand how the referee made a mistake but this was not a knockdown.”
Taukeiaho told Damon post-fight that he would welcome the chance to take one fight in the rugby league off-season should the opportunity continue to present itself.
“It was good,” he said.
“It was pretty hard to get him, thanks to Jaiman for the opportunity. I obviously didn’t take him lightly. Of course he’s going to bring power.”