Joshua Francis in action at Shane Cameron Fight Night - Supplied
Saturday night ended up being a short night in the office for up and coming New Zealand heavyweight Toa Leutele.
The Napier based fighter took his record to 7-0-1 with an impressive second-round stoppage victory over Jayson Aloese (1-3-2, 1KO).
The pair faced off in the main event of War On The Shore, which went down inside the Takapuna Rugby Club on Auckland's North Shore.
Coming into this bout, Aloese had only been stopped once in his career, and there was interest in how Leutele would go against a boxer who had gone the distance with Junior Fa and Daniel Tai.
Right from the outset, it was apparent Leutele was a step ahead of Alolese. The Shane Cameron promoted fighter was faster to the punch and more accurate with his shot selection than his opponent, and he patiently took his time in the opening exchanges.
As the round progressed, Leutele began to gradually take control of the bout. After spotting an opening in the final minute he poured on the pressure, firing off combinations Aloese had no answer for. A stoppage appeared on the cards until the bell brought the round to a close.
Leutele started the second frame as strongly he ended the first and with 51 seconds gone in round two, and with Aloese trapped against the ropes, the referee halted the contest. It was the fifth successive stoppage victory for Leutele, whose stock continues to rise with each outing.
The 25-year-old will have little time to celebrate his victory as he is scheduled to appear in six weeks at Shane Cameron's next event on 30 August. While his opponent is yet to be determined, one thing Leutele is sure about is that he has no desire to leave his fate in the hands of the judges.
Toa Leutele - Image Supplied.
"Every fight I go into now, I want to finish them, I can't let it go to the judges when it goes to the judges you can never know what is going to happen, so you make your own decisions," Leutele said during his post-fight interview.
"I want to keep fighting, and get my record up," he continued.
"My training and everything is going good but [I need to] get my nutrition up and do more weights, get my body right,' Leutele said.
The heavyweight division has undergone a revival in popularity over the past 12 months and if Leutele can continue racking up stoppage wins he may soon find himself stepping into the ring in locations much further away from Napier than Auckland.
The evening's co-main event saw Joshua "Chucky" Francis (4-1-1) claim a unanimous win over debutant Andrew Kelemete. The four-round bout was fought at heavyweight despite Francis usually competing at cruiserweight.
The fight was less one-sided than the scorecards suggest as up until the final bell rung Kelemete looked capable of delivering a shot that could alter the course of both men's night. For a moment in the second, it looked like Francis was about to score his fourth stoppage win after sending Kelemete to the canvas.
However, the Gunnar Jackson trained fighter picked himself and returned to the fray with renewed vigor. Despite Kelemete's commitment to the cause Francis like Leutele, was a level above his opponent.
"He was the biggest dude I have probably fought, I felt like I executed well what I was supposed to do, would have been happier with the knockout, I dropped him in the second, but then I wasn't able to knock him over again, but overall I am happy," Francis said post-fight.
"I felt like I just had a bit more knowledge, and obviously smaller and faster I just had to work around his range as he was quite long and heavier."
Francis will now head back to the gym and begin preparations for his rematch with Peach Boxing's Alistair Boyd. The pair drew their first bout which took place on June 2018. The rematch will take place on 30 August at Shane Cameron's Fight Night.