Jerome Pampellone’s spectacular knockout victory over Mose Auimatagi during last night’s Fight for Life event has put him into world title contention.
Pampellone, a 26-year-old light heavyweight, stopped the resilient Auimatagi halfway through the first round of the scheduled 10 with a devastating series of punches that flattened his opponent.
Auimutagi, a friend and former sparring partner of Pampellone’s, beat the referee’s count, but the official – clearly concerned about the cut near Auimutagi’s right eye and the concussive half dozen or so punches he had received – made the right decision to call it off.
“It was a big statement,” Kiwi Pampellone, who moves to 16-0 as a professional, said afterwards.
“I didn’t know it was going to happen in the first round. I was confident going in and knew it was going to be a really hard fight but I got it in the first round and I’m really happy for my team.”
Auimutagi, who went into the ring with a 15-2-2 record, went 10 rounds in a defeat to cruiserweight world title challenger David Light in 2020 and memorably stopped Morgan Jones in the sixth and final round on the undercard of the Joseph Parker v Anthony Joshua world heavyweight title fight in Cardiff in 2018 after being down himself in the sixth.
So he is tough and can fight but Pampellone’s pinpoint assault was overwhelming and potentially hugely significant.
“Jerome was just outstanding,” trainer Isaac Peach said afterwards.
“No one gives Jerome credit but he’s one of the best guys in the world. People need to start waking up and support Jerome Pampellone because it’s a joke that they don’t.
“Mose Auimutagi is a guy no one will fight. He’s never been stopped, he’s a dangerous beast. And Jerome destroyed him. Jerome cut him and knocked him out.”
Promoter Dean Lonergan before the fight said Pampellone and Peach Boxing stablemate Andrei Mikhailovich, a middleweight who scored an impressive knockout himself against Edisson Saltarin last night, will likely fight in Germany in June.
Mikhailovich will probably fight Denis Radovan to potentially become the mandatory for the vacant IBF world middleweight championship. Radovan is ranked fourth by the organisation, with Mikhailovich ranked fifth before last night’s victory.
Before his victory, Pampellone was ranked eighth by the IBF. The undefeated and formidable Russian Artur Beterbiev is the IBF world heavyweight champion.
“I’m getting closer to that shot,” Pampellone said.
Born in London, Pampellone lived near Peach’s boxing west Auckland gym as a child and is another to discover his chosen sport through a remarkable outfit which prepared Light for his unsuccessful world title tilt in London recently and took Mea Motu to her super bantamweight IBO world title against Canadian Tania Walters in the headline fight last night.
The mild-mannered Pampellone is also going for his plumbing apprenticeship under Peach and said he has only a couple of months to go before he gets his ticket.
“It’s my life,” he said. “I do it every day. I enjoy it.”
The undefeated Mikhailovich’s victory last night was less straightforward. Aggressive from the first bell, he walked on to a left hand from his southpaw opponent before gaining control and winning it by stoppage in the fourth.
“Andrei got a flash knockdown at the start of the fight which I love because it shows his toughness and what he’s about,” Peach said.
“He stuck to his game plan and got the job done.”