Cairo George in action. Photo: Ringstar Promotions.
Cairo “The Waikato Warrior” George made his in-ring return, fighting in the Waikato for the first time in nearly two years, and he did it in style.
George took on Australian journeyman James Torres for the vacant Pro Box Pacific Super Lightweight title at the Sir Don Rowlands Event centre in Lake Karapiro.
Australian Journeyman James Torres has a big background in kickboxing, but after a broken leg, he retired.
After a long journey of recovery Torres went to Amateur boxing and eventually turned pro.
Cairo George had not fought in New Zealand since 2017, due to commitments he had with overseas promoters, but, due to a postponed fight he was available to fight in New Zealand for the first time in two years.
Nigel Elliot did an amazing with the show with everything being perfect, says statement released following the fight.
"The change in the venue was an excellent choice, going from his regular venue at the racecourse to the Sir Don Rowlands Event centre.
"The venue looked amazing with little touches including fairy lights on the tables, the ramp, the lighting, the amazing scenery outside and the sold-out crowd packing the event centre.
Some boxing greats who came out to watch the show included, World ranked boxer (WBA 10th) Alrie Meleisea, former top 10 in the world Gunnar Jackson and former Muay Thai world champion John Conway.
It was a stacked card with 16 corporate fights and 3 professional fights.
One corporate fight that is worth a mention and was pleasantly surprising was the Quintin Myburgh vs Sam Hilbers' fight.
Quintin Myburgh came into the fight with a prosphetic leg, which made you think he would come in at a disadvantage fighting Sam Hilbers, who doesn't have any disability what so ever.
Throughout the fight, Sam Hilbers was the aggressor, but Quintin Myburgh had amazing defensive skill.
Quintin slapped away Sam's punches, making him miss and return with clean counter punchers.
Quintin walked away with the victory with the crowd behind him and an amazing story to tell.
After the fight night in an interview with Gladrap, Nigel Elliot was very pleased with the win for Quintin and said that it's Quintin dream to compete at the Paralympics in the sport of boxing.
The first pro of the night were two Waikato heavyweight women.
The Pro debut of former New Zealand Amateur champion Dianne Beazley taking on the former New Zealand title challenger Ashley Campbell.
Once the bell rang, history was made as Dianne became the first ever New Zealand-born boxer from the LGBT community.
Dianne had fire in her eyes and was ready to take on the challenge when she stepped into the ring.
Throughout the fight, it was a pretty even and you can tell both women were putting everything they had into that ring.
However, Ashley Campbell landed the cleaner shots and the more aggressor of the fight. The after 4 rounds the fight went to the scorecards with judges scoring 38 - 38, 40 - 36, 40 - 36 with the winner by Majority decision to Ashley Campbell.
After the fight, Dianne said that she feels she could have won but did not put enough preparation in.
She now feels inspired to return to the ring and is looking for a rematch with Ashley Campbell immediately.
Ashley Campbell said she is happy to get her first win in the professional division and is excited again.
She welcomes the idea for a rematch with Dianne, but her aim is to take on Alrie Meleisea before the end of the year.
She also said she is looking to possibly go down a weight division in the future and is ready for any heavyweight fight right now. In this fight, there were three winners, Ashley Campbell, Women's boxing and the Waikato region.
The next pro was a light heavyweight contest between Auckland's Alex Va vs Taranaki Graeme Dodd.
The fight did not last long, as Alex Va showed his by knocking down his opponent halfway through the first round and the towel being thrown in by his corner.
This is a good start for Alex Va which we hope to see more of in the future.
The main event of the evening wrapped up the night perfectly.
First, it started with everyone on their feet for the national anthems.
After both boxers entered the ring, a spontaneous haka broke out in support for Cairo George.
Throughout the fight, Cairo was the aggressor, landing good punches and showing his good fitness.
Everything was going well to the point that he knocked down his opponent James Torres in the 3rd round.
After James got up he put up a strong defensive game.
James moved, put up a strong guard and when he can hold on when Cairo got too close.
This made it difficult for Cairo to keep landing cleanly throughout the fight. However, the fitness Cairo produced and the skilled punch output he made, he outclassed his opponent.
Of course, Cairo did the occasional showboat, with the swing and a miss reaction, hands down by his side with confidence, and arms in the air knowing he was winning the fight.
After 10 round of the fight it went to a decision with judges scoring 99 - 90, 99 - 90 and 100 - 89 with a winner by unanimous decision and new Pro Box Pacific Champion Cairo George.
This is Cairo fourth title in his professional boxing career.
After the fight, he thanked the crowd, promoter, trainers, undercard and his opponent.
He was very happy to be fighting in his hometown again and hope to be fighting here more. He also announced that he will be fighting again in June that Manny Pacquiao is promoting.
The opponent is yet to be announced but it is confirmed that it will be for a major WBO regional title.
After the event Nigel Elliot announced that he will be returning to Sir Don Rowlands Event centre in August for small boxing show, co-promoting with Dion McNnaby.
More details on that show will be released soon. To watch any of the night's fights, you can watch them on Gladrap Channel on Youtube, which will be released periodically throughout the week.