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Manu Vatuvei vs. Brown Buttabean Set For Parker-Flores Card

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.

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.

manu-vatuvei

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

Tags: Manu Vatuvei image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by SkiPete on 11-13-2018

Brown butthole bean sucks. I was watching at the venue when he got his ass beat by Clarence Tillman and they gave him a decision. If Manu is even remotely the physical specimen he used to be then he will…

Comment by aboutfkntime on 11-13-2018

[QUOTE=Jkp;19268324]He's about as talented as dave Allen, or david price. Except with a much better record.[/QUOTE] and a better chin I like The Beast..... on a paddock but yea..... ex rugby/league players, and a " elite [B]striking[/B] coach " *…

Comment by Jkp on 11-13-2018

[QUOTE=BigZ44;19268153]Hell yes!!! The return of the Brown Buttabean! HW boxing south of the equator is off the ****ing chain right now!!!! These fans need to soak it up best they can, cuz they are living in the golden age as…

Comment by BigZ44 on 11-12-2018

Hell yes!!! The return of the Brown Buttabean! HW boxing south of the equator is off the ****ing chain right now!!!! These fans need to soak it up best they can, cuz they are living in the golden age as…

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