Former Cook Island Heavyweight Champion and Cook Island descendant Teremoana Teremoana will enter the ring Thursday night to go head-to-head with Drew Jackson for his professional boxing debut.

At just 22 years of age, standing at an enormous 6’6 and weighing roughly 118kg, Teremoana reflected on his journey.

Speaking to NIT at Wednesday’s weigh-in, he said it was only this year that he decided to put in some serious work towards his boxing career.

Teremoana said a big factor was his grandfather passing away a few months before his 21st birthday.

“I’m his namesake … His name is Teremoana Tangauru, and I’m Teremoana Teremoana,” he said.

“After I turned 21, I just looked at everything and thought, nah stuff this, I’m going to give it a go, give it a crack, because what can you lose?

“Everyone says boxing is a young man’s sport, so I thought if I want to do it, now is the time.”

Teremoana Teremoana (L) and opponent Drew Jackson (R) face off at the weigh-in. Photo by Rachel Stringfellow.

Teremoana said the support he’s received has helped him to do what he does best, box.

“He hadn’t had a fight for three years, so he started training with me two years ago,” said Coach Gareth Williams and co-owner of The Boxing Shop.

“He’s already gone head to head with Justis Huni (the current Australian Heavyweight champion) twice, where they each won one.”

In preparation for Thursday’s debut Williams said it’s “the best sparring he could get”.

Independent Boxing Manager Matt Clark said very few boxers get to make their debut on a “big card” such as this.

The fight will take place at the Fortitude Valley Music Hall in Brisbane with Tasman Fighters management company as the promoter.

Tasman Fighters Manager Michael Francis said they are expecting up to 670 patrons to attend.

“It’s a very vocal crowd, the people that are coming will witness something special—there’s going to be the birth of a superstar,” Francis said.

“There’s talk of him being one of the best fighters Australia’s had since Justis Huni for quite a while.”

By Rachel Stringfellow