Amateur champion Cameron Kaihau, 25 from Doncaster, is keeping family traditions alive by following his grandfather into the professional boxing ranks with his dad in the corner as his trainer.
Tim Rickson popped into Mexborough ABC in Doncaster to speak to the third-generation boxer.
What made you want to start boxing?
“Boxing is in the family, my grandad was a professional boxer in Tonga and also over here, and my dad had three amateur bouts and won them all.
My grandfather, Alani, boxed professionally between 1958-1964 and fought his first 12 bouts in New Zealand before moving to England in 1961. He was small for a middleweight but still KO’d five of the six opponents that he beat so had some power.”
Who was your boxing hero growing up and why?
“Sugar Ray Leonard was my favourite, but I also liked all the boxers from that same generation like Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns. I like these fighters for all different reasons, some for their heart and aggression, some for their skill.
I really like Lomachenko currently.”
How old were you when you had your first fight and how did you do?
“I started boxing at 12 and had my first fight when I was around 13.”
How well did you do in the amateurs?
“I’ve had 32 amateur fights, boxed for the Yorkshire title twice, boxed in the English title series and the Championships, won the Mayor of Kirklees charity belt and once reached the ABA Novices finals.”
What made you decide to turn pro?
“I wanted to turn over for years but there were a few obstacles in the way, but decided that the time was right. New Year fresh start for me.”
What team do you have around you?
“My dad, Si Kaihau, is my coach and he’s going into pros with me. We train at Mexborough ABC in Doncaster and my manager is Joe Elfidh.”
Are you full-time as a pro?
“I will be after Christmas in the New Year.”
What sort of fighting style do you have?
“I’ll be dropping down to middleweight, maybe even light-middle if I can make it. I’m 6’1” and my plan is to be a tall middleweight and keep them behind my jab. “I like to mix it up but I’m an all-round boxer, I look for jabs and one-twos but I also like to fight on the inside; the left hook is favourite shot. My style is more suited to the pro game because I like to slow it down and pick my shots.”
What ambitions do you have for your pro career?
“I just want to box on home shows and to listen to my dad and Joe [Elfidh]. I’ll box every week if I can, but not worried about selling tickets because I’ve got quite a big following. I just want to go as far as I can, I don’t want to rush it but I’ll take it to the very top if I can.”
When is your first fight and who will be there in support?
“March 9 at North Notts Arena on the next JE Promotions event.”