4 Sep 2015

Monty Betham to fight for NZ cruiserweight belt

12:29 pm on 4 September 2015

Former Warriors and Kiwis forward Monty Betham will fight for the New Zealand cruiserweight title in Auckland in early November.

Monty Betham

Monty Betham Photo: Photosport

The 37-year-old became a professional boxer briefly after retiring from rugby league, fighting eight times with seven wins and just one loss.

That was against Shane Cameron in 2011 - Betham defeated on a unanimous points decision.

Shane Cameron (white trunks) and Monty Betham (red trunks) during the Fight For Life charity boxing event, Saturday 3 December,The Trusts Stadium Arena. Photo: Dion Mellow / photosport.co.nz

Monty Betham in action against Shane Cameron in 2011. Cameron won on points Photo: Photosport

He's trying to follow in the footsteps of his father, Monty Betham Senior, who's a national boxing icon.

Betham Senior held the New Zealand middle and light heavyweight crowns, and the Commonwealth middleweight title on two occasions.

"Although my professional career path has been different to Dad's, he instilled that same drive and ambition in me to achieve," Monty Betham said.

"As a kid I dreamed of winning a title like dad, now 30 years on I get a chance to do just that."

Monty Betham saw off a spirited challenge from Carlos Spencer

Monty Betham beat former All Black Carlos Spencer in December 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Betham is challenging current cruiserweight champion James Langton at the next Super 8 show at Sky City on November 3rd.

Langton, who's on a nine-fight winning streak, including knockout wins over former champ Monty Filimaea, former title challenger Scott Talialui and David Tua's cousin Junior Pati.

Langton's sure he's a match for Betham.

"I'm a real test for Monty, he's picked on a guy who's won 9 in a row with 5 KO's and has been fighting regularly," Langton said.

"Monty's a top class athlete with some great skills, but he's only fought two celebrity novices in two years.

"He hasn't been 10 rounds which is experience he's going to need, because the title is going to go to the guy who can go to dark places, battle through pain to take a win - and that will be me."