Amidst all the huff and puff of the very first day/night cricket Test a band of kiwi ladies did their nation proud against one of the best football teams in the world. For any kiwi football team to beat their Brazilian counterparts is quite some feat given the football is possibly the first thing you think of when Brazil is mentioned. So imagine going into Brazil's backyard and sneaking away with a 1-0 win?
The Football Ferns, led by that strike from veteran Amber Hearn - who scored her 46th goal in 10 games for the Ferns - did the business in their first of two games against Brazil who have the famed Marta in their ranks. This follows a World Cup campaign a few months ago in which the Ferns toiled hard but weren't quite rewarded for their efforts despite their promise being clearly evident. That World Cup showed me that there is the potential in the Ferns to work their way up world football's ranks and kick it with the best in the business on a regular basis, which has come to some sort of fruition with this result.
Warm weather and a Brazilian team who put the Ferns under pressure both with and without the ball provided the Ferns with challenges, to which they responded as best they could. It's always important to celebrate victories like this as we rarely get to see our kiwi footballers take the same field as Brazil, let alone hand them a loss on home soil. With another game on Wednesday though we have been gifted the perfect opportunity to see where the Ferns are really at as Brazil now know what the Ferns can do. A one-off win is nice, but it would be so much better if the Ferns can either win or draw the second game and reintroduce themselves to the footballin' world.
For two weekends in a row we have had live boxing beamed into our living rooms which is almost as awesome as Mr Tyson Fury. I don't whole-heartedly believe that Fury is awesome - this is the guy who was last seen in the Niche Cache's pages for pretending to be Batman, yet his upset win of Vladimir Klitschko however was very awesome.
While we weren't graced with clinical punching and boundless entertainment as Fury and Klitschko spent a lot of this fight hugging each other in close quarters, the excitement levels shot through the roof as Fury began to emerge as the more threatening boxer. Fury landed a few heavy blows, cutting Klitschko and essentially doing what Holly Holm did to Ronda Rousey a few weeks ago as you could see the shock on Klitschko's face.
For all the shenanigans, Fury beat Klitschko fair and square as Klitschko was unable to let his hands go once he started to fall behind in the fight. Klitschko does however win the 'Kiwi Award' for the manner in which he conducted himself after the loss, just like a true kiwi, so good on ya Vlad.
The kiwi vibes don't stop with the 'Kiwi Award' though as our own Joseph Parker must surely have one eye on Fury, one eye on Klitschko and his third eye on Deontay Wilder. Now, first things first and we have a probable rematch between Fury and Klitschko, which was apparently in the contract for this fight. And then I'll remind myself that Parker is very much on the slow-burn setting as we haven't even seen him step outside his comfort zone and take on an opponent who is in the mix for a title shot, let alone sniffing around for a title shot himself.
However, after watching Parker's fights, everyone should know that a title shot is a definite possibility should he continue on this path. Parker looks a step above everyone thanks to lighting fast hands and David Tua-like power; it's glaringly obvious that Parker is really good at boxing. And after watching this fight yesterday, I don't think it's too outlandish to think that Parker can compete at that level. Fury for example is a huge dude/gypsy who can land a good shot but I couldn't ignore how slow and cumbersome he also looked.
The truth is, while I enjoyed Fury vs Klitschko for what it was, I kept Parker at the back of my mind. As I said, Parker's growth is slow and steady which is evident in the next two fights he has lined up against relative battlers who shouldn't offer him too much trouble. Parker won't be in the mix for a title shot in the next two years as he walks the fine line of deserving better fights and not getting better fights because people are scared of him.
Yesterday's fight did reinforce my view that there is room at the top of heavyweight boxing for Parker, which is excessively exciting. I said it before and I'll say it again that Parker could surpass David Tua as our boxer (within the realms of my memory) to put Aotearoa boxing on the map.
If you have no interest in Parker then just enjoy the fact that we have seen two champions in Klitschko and Rousey lose their spot on the thrones. Nothing lasts forever, nor are there any certainties in sport.