The full line-up is almost complete for the June 4th “Super-8” heavyweight tournament that will take place in New Zealand. According to a report in The New Zealand Herald, former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter is out, but Wladimir Klitschko trainer and top-ranked heavy Johnathon Banks has been given an offer to take part.
Peter, who would likely have been one of the most attractive/intriguing names had he boxed in the tournament, injured his calf and says fighting three times in one night (as per the formula of the tournament) is “too risky.” As a result of Peter’s withdrawal, Kiwi heavyweight Anthony Nansen has stepped in, taking on what he calls a “life-changing opportunity.”
The full line-up is expected to be officially announced tomorrow, but as of now the following seven names have been confirmed as taking part:
Kali Meehan, 38-5(31)
Brice Ritani-Coe, 3-2-1(3)
Anthony Nansen, 3-2(1)
Alonzo Butler, 30-2-1(22)
Hasim Rahman, 50-8-2(41)
Michael Sprott, 40-21(17)
Martin Rogan, 16-5(8)
Looking at the group of fighters, it seems as though any fighter may have a good shot at winning. Former champ Rahman, the biggest name in the field, has experience, while Butler has never been stopped. Meehan, Sprott, Rahman and Rogan are getting on in years, while relative unknowns Ritani-Coe and Nansen have youth, if not experience, on their side.
However, according to The New Zealand Herald, Sky Arena, who are promoting the event that will see the winner collect a sweet $500,000 prize, have made an offer to Jonhathon Banks to participate.