New Zealand’s # 1 light heavyweight Robert “The Butcher” Berridge 19-1 is set to take on Japan’s # 1 light heavyweight Shintaro Matsumoto 10-2 in Auckland at the ABA Stadium on July 5.
Berridge who is renowned for his heavy hands stopped World rated Serge Yannick by TKO in his last outing. Berridge is now looking to build on his momentum and had the flowing to say, “I’m feeling really excited and everything is coming together at the right time. My training camp is perfect and I’m looking forward to breaking down and stopping Matsumoto.”
I asked Berridges coach and co manager Vasco Kovacevic what he knew about the japanese opponent and he replied, “without giving to much away we had a look at some footage and we saw some things we will exploit come fight night. Matsumoto has an 80% KO rate in his victories so you need to respect someone with that kind of power but we are very confident.”
After racking up several impressive wins on the road Berridge is happy to be fighting in front of his home town fans once again. I asked Berridges International manager Brendan Bourke how his charge is looking, “Robert is blessed with a great coach in Vasco Kovacevic and trainer in Cleve Langdon and together they put Rob through his paces. Rob now trains full time and he’s improving each fight. I think Matsumoto will be in for a very hard night, Rob is really up for this fight.”
Keeping the International flavour of this card going we will see Australian fighters Damien Hooper 2-0 and Liam Hutchenson 6-1 take on New Zealand fighters. Damien “Super Hooper” Hooper competed in the London Olympics losing to the eventual Gold medal winner. Hooper has fast hands and caries his own power well with both of his fights ending in stoppages. It is understood Hooper will join Berridges sparring camp in the lead up to July 5 fight.