Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Leuila Mau’u Newest South Pacific Heavyweight Champion After Stinging Second Round TKO Over Richard Tutaki

New Zealand’s top ranked super heavyweight boxer is on the rise to the top of the professional ring after winning the South Pacific Heavyweight Title over the weekend.

Heavy hitter Leuila Mau’u, 31, claimed the title against Richard Tutaki with a TKO in the second round of the title bout in Takapuna on Saturday night.

Landing lots of single heavy shots, he made easy work of his veteran opponent, one minute and 26 seconds into the second round.

“It was mentally challenging, it was a title fight but I tried my best to treat it just like another fight to get the job done,” Mau’u said.

Although disappointed he didn’t get to showcase his full capability and his signature “Wymondley Punch”, he was still pleased to take home the title.

“I think every fighter wants to finish in spectacular form so there’s always room for improvement and plenty to learn to walk away better from every fight.”

Training out of Mayhem Boxing with coach Terrence Reid-Batchelor, Mau’u has exploded into the professional arena, punching his way to a record of 5-0, five wins and five knockouts since March.

Reid-Batchelor said Saturday night was a key fight against a good opponent in veteran Tutaki who has done the groundwork with some of the world’s best fighters including Shane Cameron and Joseph Parker.

“It was Leuila’s first time doing 10 rounds so we had to change his training to anticipate a full ten round fight and go the whole way,” he said.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Leuila is the younger up and coming fighter so we didn’t look past Tutaki because it was a risk, he has been with some really good fighters and it could’ve gone the other way if Leuila didn’t stick to the game plan.”

Reid-Batchelor is training Mau’u to work from the body, land his power and understand how to work the full 10 rounds against a taller fighter as a short heavyweight.

“His power sets him apart as a fighter, it’s his biggest strength and now he’s really learning how to set up his power and understand it. He’s got a heart and he can think, I believe he’s a good thinking fighter too.”

“Our goal is for him to go straight to the top and be the heavyweight champion of the world and I expect nothing less from him as well,” Reid-Batchelor said.

Mau’u started boxing as a hobby in 2015 and has never looked back.

He cemented his position as one of the country’s heaviest hitters at the recent Commonwealth Games, winning New Zealand’s only boxing model with a stinging knockout in the quarter finals.

The Bronze podium finish was his last bout as an amateur before turning professional in February 2023 after leaving an 11 year career in the New Zealand Defence Force based out of Burnham.

“For the last nine years I’ve balanced the heavy demands of working within the military and performing well in the amateur ring. I’ve worked full time and trained full time which was extremely challenging at times but definitely prepared me for the journey into pros,” he said.

A promising athlete whilst serving, he won national and Golden Glove titles within the North and South Island as an amatuer, was part of the NZ Olympic Trial team in 2019 and competed at the 2020 Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifiers.

The Kiwi born Samoan, born and raised in Ōtara is extremely proud of his heritage and reps it on the international stage, naming his signature punch after the street he grew up on.

Proving he’s got what it takes to get to the top, he’s looking for long term sponsorship in his corner to help him go toe to toe with the best.

“At this stage, everything is self funded and we rely heavily on sponsors to cover the costs associated with training twice a day every day, nutrition, travel and everything else that comes hand in hand with being in the ring,” he said.

Mau’u and Reid-Batchelor are currently eyeing bouts across the ditch, hoping it will give Mau’u the chance to showcase his true strength, skill and talent.

“It would be great for him to get to the day where he’s fully sponsored and doesn’t have to worry about the daily struggle of paying the bills, so can focus fully on being an athlete and getting his head in the game,” Reid-Batchelor said.

With five knockouts under his belt, Mau’u is also looking forward to where his future in professional boxing leads him.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.