Regional | Alrie Meleisea

Māori brothers from Rotorua to showcase on international boxing stage

Ricaia Warren is the co-main event on the undercard of the Lani Daniels and Alrie Meleisea IBF world heavyweight title fight on Saturday night. Photo / Facebook

Rotorua brothers Tyrone and Ricaia Warren (Ngāti Rangiwewehi) will fight on the undercard of the Lani Daniels and Alrie Meleisea IBF world heavyweight title fight being televised in New Zealand and to the rest of the world from Tāmaki Makaurau on Saturday evening.

Tyrone, 28, will take on Ioane Auvaa, who is making his professional boxing debut, while younger brother, Ricaia, 25, will be the co-main event of the evening, fighting Michael Helg.

With a professional boxing career that began in 2015, Tyrone has a record of four wins, one loss and two draws. He is a former New Zealand national light heavyweight champion and amateur junior champion.

Rotorua's Tyrone Warren (right) defeated Christchurch's Ratu Dawai to claim the light-heavyweight NZNBF national title in 2017. Photo / Simon Eves / NZ Herald

Tyrone has been out of the boxing ring since his New Zealand title win in 2017 but recently made his in-ring return in July last year when he drew with Antz Amouta.

His opponent, Auvaa, who is in the same camp as Alrie Meleisea, is known for his explosiveness as a corporate boxer. Auvaa has sparred with numerous elite boxers, including world title contender New Zealand's Robert Berridge and English-born Kiwi Jerome Pampellone, a current world-ranked boxer.

Ricaia Warren / Facebook

Younger brother, Ricaia, made his professional boxing debut in July 2022 with an explosive stoppage win against Sivan Hermez and is currently undefeated with two wins.

As an amateur boxer, Ricaia is a two-time New Zealand junior amateur champion and represented New Zealand at the 2013 junior world boxing championships in Ukraine.

Ricaia's opponent, Helg, has a record of four wins, with three of those victories coming by way of knockouts.

Outside of boxing, Ricaia is well known for his second place at Rotorua's version of Dancing with the Stars in 2018. He performed with his dance partner Monique Avery in their dance rhumba to raise money for Rotorua Community Hospice.

Tyrone's fight is expected to be the second bout of the night and Ricaia will be the second to last fight of the evening.

The IBF world heavyweight title fight between Daniels and Meleisea is the first time Māori and Pasifika boxers have fought each other for a world title - and the first world title contested between two New Zealand-born boxers.

The event will be televised on the Sky Sports Pop-up channel (ch 600 or 601).