Article: Rotorua Daily Post - October 1989 (after the event)
Australian Ashley Fox won the south Pacific super featherweight kickboxing title by one point from Clinton Simmonds, of Tauranga, in Tauranga on Saturday night.
Simmonds lost because he failed to deliver the required number of kicks in one of the seven rounds.
Amateur kickboxing rules require a fighter to deliver a minimum of eight kicks above waist heights in each round.
Though both fighters were skilled and fit, Simmonds had won the crowd of 800 that packed the Tauranga Race course for his repeated success with technically difficult spinning kicks to the head and spinning back kicks to the body.
There were mutters of surprise when Fox was declared the winner.
Simmonds, aged 18 and weighing 58kg, is the featherweight champion of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, and Australia. He had previously won seven of his eight fights. The two fighters moved up in weight division for their bout.
The 13-bout programme was the first major kickboxing event to be held in Tauranga. It was organised by the Tauranga trainer, Pat Bishop. It was also the first time a South Pacific kickboxing title had been contested in the lighter division.
The programme included weapon technique and self-defence demonstrations, and took three and a half hours to complete.
The Simmonds-Fox bout was the last event of the evening. In the first five rounds Simmonds made much use of his fast and high roundhouse kicks. They were delivered well enough to score and distance Fox.
By round three Simmonds had effectively used at least four spinning back kicks.
Both men alternated taking the advantage in boxing duels. By round six Simmonds kicks had lost height, and it was in this round, the judges say, he failed to deliver the required kick count.
The Australian boxing promoter Bob Jones, a guest official at the tournament, said he found the result confusing.
Though both men were evenly matched, Simmonds had used the more versatile range of kicks, he said. “I can sleep easily tonight as it was local judges here. If it was in Australia with Australian judges I would have been very disappointed,” Jones said.
The North Island heavyweight champion, Price Harris, aged 24, of Hastings beat the South Island heavyweight champion, Hiriwa Takarangi, 22 of Christchurch, in a TKO decision.
Though Price had his mouthguard knocked out twice in the first round he asserted his small weight advantage (93kg to 91kg) over the taller Takarangi, and after determined punching by Price the referee stopped the fight following a series of compulsory eight counts against Takarangi in the second round.
In the main preliminary bout, Murray Milgrew, of Tauranga, successfully defended his national welterweight title against challenger Shane Bishop, of Hamilton.
Milgrew, aged 23 and weighing 66kg, had previously won nine of his 10 fights – six wins by TKOs.
Bishop, aged 26 and weighing 65kg, is the welterweight Thai boxing champion of New Zealand, a title he has won five times. He had previously won 18 of his 20 kickboxing fights and seven of 14 boxing fights.
In the first two rounds the fighters energetically gave and took kicks and punches. In round three Bishop’s kicking had warmed and he scored with some nice roundhouses.
In round five Bishop ended on the canvas when a low kick failed. Milgrew took the advantage with pacy kicking and punching.
Bishop again ended on the canvas when a technique failed in round six. The pair punched and clinched their way through the round with Milgrew scoring with a punch to Bishop’s face that had the sweat fly off in a spray.
Jason Wiggings (Tauranga), beat Steve Gollop (Thames), Lincoln Muaulu (Tauranga), Justin Potter (Tauranga) beat Dean Dingwall (Christchurch), Shane Wiki (Thames), beat Thomas Webb, Nicholas Wagner (Tauranga) beat Kerry Ngarupo (Papamoa), Ivan Jacobson (Thames), beat David Anderson (Tauranga), Kevin Bruce (Tauranga) beat Thomas Takarangi (Christchurch), Sean Hayden (Hamilton) beat Gary Wallis (Tauranga), Dave Cooper (Christchurch), beat Shane Dargaville (Hamilton).