TwitterFacebook

Beast v Bean: Manu Vatuvei to make professional boxing debut

Press Release

The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

KO Boxing Forum

Former Warriors star to take on Brown Buttabean in Christchurch on undercard of Parker v Flores, presented by Flooring Xtra

Rugby league superstar Manu ‘The Beast’ Vatuvei will make his professional boxing debut on the undercard of Joseph Parker v Alexander Flores presented by Flooring Xtra at Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on December 15.

Vatuvei will take on David ‘The Brown Buttabean’ Letele, who is coming out of retirement to help create awareness around New Zealand’s obesity epidemic, and help motivate people struggling with obesity.

See Also

Known as one of the NRL’s toughest players for over a decade, Vatuvei has previous experience in the boxing ring, having defeated Olympic rowing champion Eric Murray in a corporate bout in 2012.

The 32-year-old, who tipped the scales at 112kg during his league playing days, scored 152 tries for the Warriors in 226 NRL appearances.

Vatuvei will now attempt to join the likes of Anthony Mundine, Paul Gallen, Solomon Haumono, Monty Betham and Sonny Bill Williams in the ranks of rugby and league players to forge successful careers in professional boxing.

“I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer as a professional athlete and I’ve always loved boxing,” says Vatuvei.

“This is no experiment. I am seriously considering a long-term contract in Australia.

“I want to finish my sporting career with a decent crack at becoming an accomplished professional boxer.

“I definitely see myself dedicating the coming years to the sport and seeing where it takes me.

“This fight is a tough start to my career and a huge challenge. But I’m confident I’m up to it.”

Vatuvei has enlisted elite striking coach Lolo Heimuli – whose charges include Mark Hunt, Shane Cameron and Ray Sefo – to prepare him for the fight.

“Manu has a huge amount of natural talent,” Heimuli says. “It’s very exciting to be working with him.”
The fight gives Vatuvei a chance to avenge the defeat of his brother ‘Horse’, who was beaten by Letele in the ‘Brown Buttabean’s’ first ever boxing match on the undercard of Joseph Parker’s victory over Brian Minto.

Letele tipped the scales for that fight at 168 kilograms. These days he weighs in at a svelte 110 kilograms, and devotes much his time to helping Kiwis who are dealing with the crippling health impacts of morbid obesity.

“I know I was a bit of dick at times when I first adopted the Buttabean persona,” Letele says. “But I’m pretty sure people know that was an act. Boxing helped change my life – I lost over half my body weight – and I’ve dedicated my life to helping others dealing with the negative impacts of obesity.”

Letele’s Buttabean Motivation (BBM) movement now has over 11,000 members in its private facebook group.

“The BBM team have had some great successes helping those who badly need it – but there is still so much work to be done,” Letele says. “I’m coming back to spread that message. My journey continues – start yours today.”

Don Barry, CEO of Flooring Xtra, said he was delighted the company was throwing its support behind Team Parker and what will be a fantastic night of thrilling sport in Christchurch.

“We’re huge fans of Joseph Parker and it is fantastic to be able to play a part in his journey back to the very top of the heavyweight division,” Mr Barry said.

“And, obviously this event isn’t just about Joseph – it’s an incredible boxing card that will thrill fans in Christchurch and throughout the country. We just can’t wait!”

The Beast vs Bean bout – which will be contested over the professional distance of four three-minute rounds – is part of a sizzling support card to Joseph Parker’s must win clash with dangerous American slugger Alexander ‘The Great’ Flores.

The main undercard sees WBO No. 10 Junior Fa defend his WBO Oriental Title against Argentine former world cruiserweight contender Rogelio Omar Rossi.

Other highlights include:

Canterbury star Bowyn Morgan – Current IBO Asia Pacific super welterweight champion

New Zealand Cruiserweight showdown – David Light (NZ #1) – Former Commonwealth silver medalist, takes on “Buster” Lance Bryant (NZ #2).

Megan McLennan faces current NZ Muay Thai champion Michaela Jenkins in a five-round professional contest for the PRO Box NZ Woman’s Welterweight Championship

MAIN EVENT
International Heavyweight Contest (10×3 min rounds)
Joseph Parker, NZ 24-2 (18KO) vs Alexander Flores, USA 17-1 (15KO)

MAIN UNDERCARD
Heavyweight Contest – WBO Interim Oriental Heavyweight title fight (10×3 min rounds)
Junior Fa, NZ 15-0 (8KO) vs Rogelio Omar Rossi, ARG 20-6-1 (13KO)

UNDERCARD
7th TV fight
PRO Box Pacific Welterweight Championship (10×3 min rounds)
Bowyn Morgan, NZ 18-1 (8KO) vs TBC

6th TV fight
Cruiserweight (6×3 min rounds)
David Light, NZ 9-0 (6KO) vs Lance Bryant, NZ 12-4 (5KO)

5th TV fight
Special Heavyweight Attraction (4×3 min rounds)
David ‘Brown Butterbean’ Letele, NZ vs Manu Vatuvei, NZ (pro debut)

4th TV Fight
NZ Women’s Welterweight Championship (6×2 min rounds)
Megyn McLennan, NZ vs Michaela Jenkins (NZ Muay thai Champion)

3rd TV fight
Middleweight (6×3 min rounds)
Andrei Mikhoilovich, NZ 4-0 vs Adrian Taihia, NZ 15-4-2 (7KO)

2nd TV fight
Lightweight (6×3 min rounds)
Richie Hadlow, NZ vs Dom Reed, NZ

1st TV fight
Heavyweight (4×3 min rounds)
Sam Watts, NZ debut vs Alaister Boyd, NZ 1-2-2

Pre-broadcast
Heavyweight (3×2 min rounds)
Quintin Poole, NZ v Bjorn Horrack, NZ

Read more articles about: ,
red-speech-300×267

Click Here, If you wish to add a COMMENT to the above article or any of the Ringnews24 boxing articles.

FITE – BOXING TV FIXTURES

TOP STORIES

Sergiy Derevyanchenko wants rematch with Gennady Golovkin, says he won…

Sergiy Derevyanchenko wants rematch with Gennady Golovkin, says he won first fight

Sergiy Derevyanchenko 13-2 (10) believes he did enough to win his last fight against Gennadiy Golovkin 40-1-1 (35). The pair clashed at New York’s Madison Square Garden for the vacant IBF middleweight title in a back-and-forth brawl that was award…

Frank Warren wants 50-50 revenue split for Tyson Fury vs…

Frank Warren wants 50-50 revenue split for Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua

Frank Warren insists his boxer Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) is willing to accept a 50-50 offer to face heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21). Fury claimed the WBC title with a dominant seventh-round knockout of Deontay Wilder in February, while Jos…

Boxing twins ready to take over Las Vegas for 'Moloney…

Boxing twins ready to take over Las Vegas for 'Moloney Week'

Australian boxing twins Andrew and Jason Moloney are champing at the bit to get back in the ring for ‘Moloney Week’ in Las Vegas later this month. WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight champion Andrew will defend his title and his undefeated 21-0 (14) rec…

Filip Hrgovic targeting Anthony Joshua when boxing returns

Filip Hrgovic targeting Anthony Joshua when boxing returns

Heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic 10-0 (8) wants the opportunity to challenge unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21). The 27-year-old Croatian, who is ranked number seven by the IBF and number eight by the WBC, had an extensive am…

Canelo Alvarez in discussions about facing Ryota Murata in Japan

Canelo Alvarez in discussions about facing Ryota Murata in Japan

World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36) could face popular Japanese boxer Ryota Murata 16-2 (13) in the Land of the Rising Sun. Murata, 34, claimed Olympic gold as a middleweight in 2012, breaking a 48-year gold medal drought…

Carl Frampton still wants Jamel Herring after quick tune-up

Carl Frampton still wants Jamel Herring after quick tune-up

Former world champion Carl Frampton 27-2 (15) is expecting to be back in the ring by the end of July or early August in the UK. The 32-year-old Belfast man was expected to challenge WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring 21-2 (10) before t…

Welcome

Welcome to Ringnews24; read the latest boxing news from around the world.

The site is run by boxing fans James Tonks and Lee Daley.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free toEmail Us

Write for Ringnews24

KO BOXING FORUM

CONNECT WITH US