NRL premiership winner Jaiman Lowe says there’s no way his bout with Sio Siua Taukeiaho will go the distance, after confirming he’ll fight the Tongan World Cup star on the undercard of Paul Gallen’s rematch with Justin Hodges.
Lowe has agreed to take on Taukeiaho despite having just days to prepare for Wednesday’s fight, and he concedes not everyone in his family was thrilled with the news.
The father of three says his 14-year-old daughter, Dakotah, didn’t thin her words when she found out the details.
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“They’re like me and the wife, they’re pretty straightforward with their opinions,” he told Wide World of Sports.
“The oldest was pretty happy for me, the middle one is a bit more cheeky.
“When I told them who I was fighting she ducked off and googled Sio. She came back out and said, ‘Dad, you’re going to get killed’.
“She’s probably not wrong really. If you stacked him up against me you’d probably have your money on him every day. You can’t really argue with that comment.”
The 39-year-old said he had no hesitation in agreeing to the fight, even committing before he found out who his opponent was.
”I’ve been in contact with a few different promoters over the last few years, my wife and I like to call it my mid-life crisis,” he chuckled.
“I’ve always loved boxing and I want to have a crack before I get too old.
“To get on a big card was always the plan, I’ve had a couple of fights but nothing of this magnitude.
“I didn’t even know who I was fighting, and I know it’s short notice, but I’m keen.”
Taukeiaho has been dubbed ‘The next Gallen’ but even once Lowe found out who he was fighting, he wasn’t backing out.
“If I was going to have second thoughts I probably would have asked who the opponent was before I said yes,” he explained.
“I’m not worried about it, I’m not building a career off this, it’s an opportunity.
“But don’t get me wrong, I’m as competitive as anyone, I’m going there to win. I’m confident enough in my ability and the short notice is probably good for me, I don’t like the training as much as I should!
“But that competitiveness never leaves you. You need that to get to the top in any sport. I’m going into the ring to knock him out.”
Lowe played 142 NRL matches for the Cowboys, Rabbitohs and Storm, coming off the bench in Melbourne’s 2012 grand final win over Canterbury.
But he says his boxing experience goes back to his teens, while he made his pro debut earlier this year.
“I’ve been sparring and fighting and training in gyms for 20 years, I’ve sparred Solomon Haumono, I’ve sparred some other guys,” he said.
“I’ve fought the biggest up-and-coming heavyweight in Australia, John Maila, in June.
“He’s a bit of an unknown now but he won’t be for long.
“He’s knocked everyone else out in round one and we went three rounds, so I was pretty stoked with that, because I know how big he’s going to be.”
It’s that experience, however limited, that he says will hold him in good stead against Taukeiaho.
“I take some confidence from the fact Sio has never been in the ring, that’s something I found in my first fight,” he explained.
“You can spar all you like but there’s no substitute for getting in the ring. It’s like footy, you can play all the trials you want, but the real thing is different.
“I think I’ve got the edge there.”
“Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, if footy hadn’t gone the way it did, I would have liked to have taken up boxing,” he added.
“Who knows what could have happened? I signed with the Cowboys when I was young, I’m not the smartest guy going around, I was never going to run a company, it was always going to be sport in some capacity.
“I’ve always wanted to have a crack.”
Lowe said it was “crazy” it took so long to find an opponent for Taukeiaho.
“It frustrates me a little bit that you’ve got all these good heavyweights in Australia right now, and none of them were that interested,” he said.
“I know the Rose brothers can’t ask every single boxer, and maybe there would have been someone out there if they kept asking around.
“I know a few blokes knocked it back, that’s crazy to me. If you’ve got an opportunity like that, and that’s your sport, you take it.
“But I’m happy to step in.”
Lowe wasn’t afraid to throw a few during his NRL career, famously earning a four match ban for knocking out Gold Coast’s Brett Delaney in 2007.
He said his plan against Taukeiaho is simple.
“He’ll have a big overhand right, anything he hits you with is going to be hard and it’s going to hurt, so I’ll be looking to keep him away from me,” he said.
“My biggest strength is similar to him, I’ve got a good right as well. If he relaxes in any way and I hit him with my right, he’ll be struggling to stay on his feet, and I’ve got no doubt if he hits me flush I’m probably doing the same.
“I don’t think it’s going to go four rounds, put it that way! It’s a case of seeing who gets in first.”
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