Brad Pitt wins Super 8, Meehan and McCracken upset locals

AUCKLAND placed host to a memorable night of boxing, where one career ended, another became rejuvenated and a third became stuck in limbo.

In all, the results – albeit unforgiving – were ultimately memorable.

Once-beaten cruiserweight talent Brad Pitt endured an admirable challenge from unbeaten crowd favourite Vaitele Soi (24-1, 16 KOs) to win the second edition of the Super 8 and the $50,000 AUD grand prize.

The run of success for Australians continued on the night, when 44-year-old former heavyweight title challenger Kali Meehan ended the career of Kiwi Shane Cameron and Anthony McCracken scored revenge in the shape of a sensational upset win over world rated cruiserweight David Aloua.

Pitt, 33, showed great character in his three appearances for the night, surviving shaky moments against tournament underdog Joseph Kwadjo and Vaitele Soi en route to his three career revitalising wins.

The Victorian (now 18-1, 12 KOs) showed flashes of world class brilliance, showing great levels of punch variations that has made the talented cruiserweight such enthralling viewing in the paid ranks.

For many, the Super 8 was seen as a platform to build a potential rematch between Pitt and Kiwi compatriot David Aloua – who flattened Pitt in April – stealing his regional titles and world ratings in the process.

Television broadcaster Sky obviously saw potential in building a rematch between the two and did well to create interest in both Pitt and Aloua’s separate fights. However, someone forget to hand the script to durable Australian Anthony McCracken, who upset Aloua in a rematch of their 2012 barnburner.

Aloua, 27, and McCracken, 31, picked up from where they left off just over two years prior, fighting a phone booth style shootout that ultimately lead to McCracken scoring a satisfying technical knockout win.

The sudden halt came in the seventh round when McCracken (now 17-7-1, 8 KOs) stunned Aloua with a short lead hook that left Aloua (11-2, 8 KOs) in no man’s land. Sensing the urgency of the situation, McCracken stormed in to land a further three flush blows, prompting referee Reg Williams to save a clearly concussed Aloua, who was out on his feet.

In the main event of the card, Kali Meehan staked his claim as the best Australian heavyweight not named Lucas Browne when he sent Shane Cameron into retirement with a clear-cut unanimous points win.

Their ten round fight, for the oddly appointed WBA Pan African bauble, was surprisingly one-sided as Meehan dominated proceedings, much to the displeasure of the vocal partizan home crowd.

Cameron, 37, offered the image of a clearly faded figure who hasn’t been the same since his unsuccessful stint as a boiled down cruiserweight.

Once a fearful puncher at heavyweight, Cameron (29-5, 22 KOs) plodded across the ring, offering next to nothing for the best part of six rounds. Meehan (now 42-5, 32 KOs) took advantage of Cameron’s slow start, pounding the Kiwi in an impressive all-round performance.

Despite his age, Meehan appeared to be in great shape, looking like a completely different fighter to the one that was blown into retirement by Travis Walker two years ago.

While the trio of headline fights provided more questions than outright answers, the corporate crowd at the North Shore Events Centre were given a night’s worth of entertainment that will live on for several months to come.

Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images AsiaPac



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