UBO Challenger: Sam Rapira                 

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March 26, 2021 / BY UBO PRESS OFFICER

UBO  -  Universal Boxing Organization™

Sam “The Terror” Rapira, 16-5 (10), was born in November of 1983 in New Plymouth, New Zealand, which is still his home-town today.


After a seventy bout amateur career fighting at a high international level and defeating the likes of Indian Vijender Singh who was the world number-one at the time, Rapira turned professional at nineteen in the spring of 2013.

Rapira was the promoter of his first pro fight, and he continued throughout his career to promote most of his own fights in New Zealand.

After winning his first seven, Rapira beat Richard Hackney (3-6) to lift the vacant New Zealand Light Heavyweight title on September 12, 2014 at TSB Stadium in New Plymouth.

He lost the title in his first defense to Reece Papuni (7-0), whom he had both beaten and lost to in the amateurs.


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.

In 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 rounds.

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 high note.

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).








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