History is made! Welliver Wins New Zealand Heavyweight Title

By C. Hardie: Chauncy Welliver had no idea where New Zealand was, or even what it was, until he was invited to spend a few weeks in the camp of Kiwi/Samoan Heavyweight KO Artist and Former World Title Contender David "The Tuaman" Tua. It was there that Welliver learned of this country on the far side of the world, and Tua's continual talk of his homeland was the catalist that built a burning desire inside Wellier to find out for himself just what this place they call "Down Under" was all about. In December of 2004 the call came, and Welliver was on a plane to New Zealand, unsure of what he would find on the other side of the world, he knew they bred some tough Heavyweights the late Tom Heeney and more recently Toakipa Tasefa, Jimmy Thunder, Paea Wolfgramm and of course David Tua..

Welliver was scheduled to meet New Zealand Heavyweight veteran Richard Tutaki over 6 rounds in his first bout, in what was to become his adopted homeland. Welliver won the every round of the fight screened live on New Zealand Television, and his cult like following in New Zealand had begun as he was mobbed by fans. The self proclaimed "Fat, Dorky, White Guy" went onto fight four more times, with convincing wins over Bob Gasio, Oscar Talemaira, and Shane Wijohn. An instant hit in New Zealand Welliver returned to the US and reeled off 8 straight wins including a shutout points win for the WBC Youth and WBC Fecarbox Heavyweight Titles over previously undeafeted Chris Lewallen. Yet he wasnt done with the country he had fallen in love with, New Zealand was to become Wellivers second home, and in December 2006 he returned to Kiwiland with a proposed WBO Asia-Pacific Regional Title fight against New Zealand Heavyweight Champion Daniel Tai scheduled. Pumped up at being back in his new country and in front of the fans that loved him Welliver's mood soon changed as 24 hours before the fight Tai pulled out claiming he could box 10 rounds but 12 would be 2 rounds to many. After exchanging some heated words the two combatants went there different ways, Welliver eager not to let his new fans down boxed on, winning every round of a rescheduled 10 rounder against late sub and former foe Richard Tutaki.

Welliver returned to the US and captured the C.A.M (Canadian, American, Mexican) Heavyweight Title stopping Corey Williams in 6 rounds. A month later he was back and faced American Samoan Seiatue Mailata in what was described as one of the best 6 Round fights ever witnessed in New Zealand. Both stood toe to toe and traded bombs all night, many at ringside agreed with judge Pat Leonards decision of 58-56 in favour of the Kiwi/American Welliver, however one other judge scored it a draw, and another in favour of Mailata. Disappointed at not securing the desired result, and through injury and promoters letting him down Chauncy spent 12 months out of the ring, he wanted to fight for the New Zealand Heavyweight Title but needed a tune-up to shake the rust. That tune-up came in the form of Oscar Talemaira the veteran Fijian/New Zealander, Welliver made easy work of Talemaira schooling him to win every round.

Satisfied with getting in some work against Talemaira, Welliver jumped at the chance of fighting for the New Zealand Heavyweight Title especially given it was against the man who had turned him down at the last minute almost 1.5 years ago Daniel Tai. Tai was known as a tough customer who never took a backwards step. He was also known to have an evil streak, and was seen spitting at a fallen opponent in the past, Tai was the sort of guy you didnt want to meet down a dark alley. With a professional record reading 15-4-1 he could fight to, and had only ever been stopped once against hard hitting Former Light-Heavyweight World Champion Danny Green.

Last night at a sold out YMCA Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand Chauncy Welliver and Daniel Tai finally met for the New Zealand Heavyweight Title. After a undercard of 8 Corporate bouts the scene was set for what would be the first time in history that a US born fighter fought for the New Zealand National title. Welliver looked ready, he had worked up a light sweat in the changing rooms and was bursting to get out into the ring, Tai had a determined, concentrated look on his face as both guys met in the corridoor before making there way to the centre stage. As the referee brought the two contestants to the middle of the ring for final instructions the staredown was intense both refused to touch gloves and you could feel the tension. The bell rang for the 1st Round and Welliver pumped his strong jab right from word go, within 30 seconds Tai's face was a bloodied mess as his nose poured blood. Welliver connected with stiff jabs at will occasionally dropping his right on Tai's head landing flush each time. Tai threw a few confused hayemakers not knowing what to make of Wellivers strong start to the fight, as a couple of left hands from Welliver buzzed Tai he turned to dirty tactics in what was a deserate attempt to stem the pressure being applied from the American/Kiwi and hit him low. After a warning Tai hit Welliver low again, referee Mike Lampdin warned Tai he'd be deducted a point if he hit Welliver low again, not even 10 seconds later he does it again, and Lampdin decucts a point from Tai which brought the 1st round to a close. The bell rings again to start the 2nd round and Welliver continues from where he left off pumping jackhammer like jabs into the face of Tai whos nose continues to bleed heavily, Tai AGAIN hits Welliver low and Lampdin deducts another point from him it becomes clear that Tai now wants no part of "The Fat, Dorky, White Guy" and is looking for a way out of the fight, after hitting Welliver low for the 5th time Lampdin delivers his final warning to Tai, keep them up or be disqualified. Welliver rushes Tai, and lands a series of hard shots flush to the body and jaw of Tai who is now visably hurt, desperation takes over Tai hits Welliver low again for the 6th time and Lampdin steps in and calls the fight off. Tai didnt dispute the decision, and left the ring within secods of being disqualified. After the fight a few thaughts spring to this writers mind,

1. This was Wellivers most complete performance in New Zealand to date. Yes he has looked very good in previous fights but the way in which he clearly stripped Tai of all his heart and desire for a fight was exceptional. He did it by fighting his fight, applying constant pressure, and throwing hard crisp jabs and straight lefts.

2. Tai was in poor shape, and clearly preferred the humiliation of being disqualified over going out on his shield as a fighter.

3. Welliver would have stopped Tai within 6 rounds in anycase, Tai has a good chin but the amount of shots he was eating and the fact Chauncy buzzed him 2/3 times meant it was clear it wasnt going 12 rounds.

Due to his popularity, Welliver has been given a spot on a promotion Tuesday 19th of August here in Auckland, NZ as a opportunity to get in some more rounds before a series of big fights back in his native America over the comming months. Welliver will be back in New Zealand to defend his New Zealand Title late November a potential challenger comes in the form of 6'10 280lb Former K1 fighter and New Zealand Cage Fighting Champion Ruben De Jong.

Article posted on 16.08.2008

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