By Jake Donovan
Kali Meehan scored a 1st round knockout of Michael Sprott to claim top honors in the 'Super 8 Last Man Standing' heavyweight tournament Wednesday evening in Auckland, New Zealand.
The result was the only knockout of the one-day, eight-man tournament. Meehan floored Sprott twice, the latter prompting the referee to halt the contest without issuing a count.
The official time was 2:53 of round one.
If the fights count against records (some tournaments come with disclaimer that results are not official in that capacity), the 44-year old Meehan advances to 41-5 (32KO). More importantly, he claims a $200,000 grand prize for winning the inaugural edition of New Zealand's answer to England's popular Prizefighter tournament, with all bouts scheduled for three rounds.
Meehan's run on the day included decision wins over Hunter Sam (10-3-2) and Brice Ritani-Coe (4-3-1, 3KO). The former heavyweight contender scored the only knockdowns of the tournament, also flooring Ritani-Coe in the 1st round of their semifinal match to preserve the narrow win.
The tournament opened with former two-time heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman, 41, being upeneded by five-fight novice Anthony Nansen. Rahman, 41, was actually favored by some sportsbooks to win the tournament, perhaps based purely on his name alone.
Instead, the former lineal heavyweight champ in his typical present-day uninspiring fashion, dropping a unanimous decision Nansen, whose six fight have been spread out over eight years, and who hadn't won since Dec. '07.
Rahman has now dropped two straight, with Wednesday's appearance his first since suffering a 2nd round stoppage loss to Alex Povetkin in their Dec. '12 title fight. The American heavyweight has not won a fight since 2011.
Anthony Nansen UD3 Hasim Rahman
Brice Ritani-Coe SD3 Alonzo Butler
Kali Meehan UD3 Hunter Sam
Michael Sprott MD3 Martin Rogan
Kali Meehan UD3 Brice Ritani-Coe
Michael Sprott UD3 Anthony Nansen
Kali Meehan KO1 Michael Sprott
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox