He rebounded with three victories, including one
for the IBO Asia Pacific title, before another
setback when he came up on the wrong end of a
split decision to Rob Powdril (5-1) for the IBO
Inter-Continental title in August of 2015.
Rapira won four of his next
five fights convincingly, only losing a close
decision to world class Robert Berridge
(27-5-1), and, at 15-3 (10), was given a shot at
the vacant Universal Boxing Organization™
(UBO) World Light Heavyweight
title in Singapore on February 17, 2017.
the opposite corner was undefeated Canadian Ryan
Ford (9-0), who lived up to his nickname, “The
Real Deal”, and stopped a game Rapira in nine
Three months later Rapira
returned in New Plymouth to win the PABA title
with a unanimous decision over Tipene Maniapoto
(5-0). He subsequently announced his retirement,
and it looked like he would leave the ring on a
But one year later he
returned to fight Ratu Dawai (3-7-1) for the
vacant New Zealand national title, and was
shockingly beaten in seven rounds.
Sam runs a gym with his
brother Jake, and does regular charity work for
his local community. Sport runs in the family
bloodline, as he is a cousin of New Zealand
international rugby player Sam Rapira (no typo).