Meehan Admits He Had Second Thoughts About Return

By Duncan Johnstone

Ex-pat Kiwi heavyweight boxer Kali Meehan was thanking his second thoughts as he celebrated a happy homecoming with the $200,000 winner's cheque from the inaugural Super 8 prizefighter tournament in Auckland last night.

There was also a $10,000 bonus for knocking out Michael Sprott in the final and another $5000 for achieving that in the first round as he clubbed the Englishman to the canvas.

The 44-year-old ended a two year hiatus from the ring in remarkable fashion, using his height and power to dominate his way past three rugged opponents and a payday the Sydney security worker can hardly believe.

He initially turned down an approach to fight in the tournament. But encouraged by his sons, he had second thoughts and accepted the challenge.

Once good enough to be right in the mix for serious world title shots, Meehan returned to outclass an eight man field in the elimination series.

He was still struggling to comprehend his turnaround last night.

"After all the headaches I've had with the politics in this sport, I just thought stuff it, I won't fight," he said, explaining his inactivity.

"When this concept came up at first I said, no, I don't want to do it. Then I thought it was in my hometown and I wanted to show Auckland what I could do. I'm just pleased I was able to do that in front of some old friends and family."

Meehan's preparations included plenty of sparring with his second oldest son Willis, who looks capable of representing Australia in the ring at the Commonwealth Games while he's also starring in rugby league, last week being 18th man for the Roosters NRL side.

"Willis really encouraged me and I thought, OK I will do it."

Meehan was reluctant to predict what may lie ahead for him now.

"I never say anything about that straight after a fight because your mind is still fighting and you will fight anyone. So I will wait a week or so and see how I feel."

But he believed the prizefighter concept had a future, feeling it provided constant action for the crowd as seven three round fights were battled out to crown the champion, rather than wading through the traditional way of working up to a main event.

"It's an awesome concept. This is go, go go."

That had proved taxing for an aging body. But to be fair this was an aging field, including 41-year-old former world champion Hasim Rahman who was eliminated in the opening round by Kiwi part-timer Antz Nansen.

The result will surely end Rahman's career and put to bed suggestions he would lure David Tua out of retirement for a rematch. Rahman was ponderous in his loss.

"He looked to have mobility issues," admitted Mark Keddell, the spokesman for Sky TV's first foray into boxing promotion. Keddell admitted there was little hope of Rahman fighting here on another card.

Keddell welcomed the upsets though, believing they added to the night.

They included another Kiwi ex-pat, Las Vegas-based Brice Ritani-Coe getting past big American Alonzo Butler in the quarter-finals.

Ritani-Coe then got on the wrong end of a torrid three rounds with Meehan in the semifinals.

Meehan, who felt he had got the format of resting between fights right, knew he needed to start strongly against Sprott who has become something of a specialist in these one-night tournaments.

Meehan did just that although his finishing combo looked suspect as he hit the back of Sprott's head to send him sprawling and the towel came out of his corner, signalling the end of the night.

Meehan was unapologetic about the decisive flurry.

"Don't ask that," he said of questions over the legality of his punches. "If I get him and he goes down ... that's boxing."

He believed professional boxing was in good shape as it continues to be revitalised with new promoters coming on board.

"It's exciting. I had to go overseas to establish my career ... I stayed in some ghettos in the United States. Now there is a good market happening here where fighters can get fights and get on TV. It's fantastic."

Tags: Kali Meehan image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Tobi.G on 06-05-2014

Rahman is the best example you should not fight with ****ed up legs.

Comment by GhostBlade on 06-05-2014

That's a nice chunk of change. Maybe now he can retire, relax or just get a part-time job. That's enough money to buy or build a house. Not a bad way to retire.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (2)
Top Headlines Fenech: Mundine-Green II is Bullsh*t Fight - Must Be Stopped! Nonito Donaire: I Want The Frampton vs. Santa Cruz Winner Next! Jack Doesn’t Take Much From DeGale’s Tough Fight with Medina Joshua's Fight Will Land on Showtime - Price, Jennings or Molina Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia Could Air on CBS in Prime Time George Foreman: Joshua Could Be Become an All-Time Great Andy Lee Wants Tough Fight, Gennady Golovkin Showdown Carl Frampton: I'll Beat Leo Santa Cruz Even More Convincingly! Jack: DeGale is Very Tough, I’ll Win and Be Best at 168 Arthur Abraham Out Of Martin Murray Rematch In Monte Carlo Craig Cunningham Heading To 154 After Shocker Over Ogogo Photos: Juanma Grinds Hard For Wilfredo Vazquez Grudge Fight Denis Shafikov vs. Richard Commey Set, Heading To Russia Broner vs. Granados on Feb. 11, Thurman vs. Garcia on March 4 Badou Jack vs. James DeGale Unification Set For January 14 Hosea Burton vs. Frank Buglioni Lands on Anthony Joshua Card Claressa Shields Pro Debut Finalized For Kovalev vs. Ward PPV Payano Eyes December Return in Quest For Second Title Reign Jason Sosa Embraces Smith Defense, Eyes Three Fights in 2017 Arum Apologizes To King For Post-Presidential Debate Vegas Spat Felix Verdejo is Very Eager To Get His Hands on Terry Flanagan Bob Arum on The Possibility of Miguel Cotto vs. Timothy Bradley Abel Sanchez: Ponamarev Likely Back on Lomachenko vs. Walters Bryant Jennings Ready To Step In, Face Anthony Joshua on 12/10 Dereck Chisora: Dillian Whyte is Nothing - I Will Stop Him! Vernon Forrest - Third Man Has Been Convicted in His Murder Pacquiao Feels Brunt of Long Flight, Takes Off From Training Marquez: If Canelo Trades With Golovkin - He's Committing Suicide! Lucas Browne Finds Himself in Limbo After Klitschko's Injury Andre Ward Aims To Set The Record Straight With Sergey Kovalev Video: Joe Smith Jr. Very Pumped To Face Bernard Hopkins Haye Explains Why Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina is Next - Not Price Marrero vs. Zambrano Talks Progress As Purse Bid Looms Klitschko's Manager Says Unfinished Contract Led To 2017 Jump Video: Oscar De La Hoya on Schaefer's Return, Hopkins, More Photos: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith Jr. - Face To Face at Presser Anthony Mundine, Danny Green Rematch Set For February 3 Video: Bernard Hopkins, Joe Smith - Go Face To Face Video: Bernard Hopkins Breaks Down Joe Smith Showdown Arum on Parker vs. Ruiz Possibly Heading To The United States

Latest Active Forum Threads