Jimmy Thunder

Last updated

James Peau
Statistics
Real nameJames Senio Peau
Nickname(s)Jimmy Thunder
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Height188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Reach196 cm (77 in)
NationalityNew Zealander
Born(1966-02-03)3 February 1966
Apia, Samoa
Died13 February 2020(2020-02-13) (aged 54)
Auckland, New Zealand
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights49
Wins35
Wins by KO28
Losses14
Medal record

Ti'a James Senio Peau (3 February 1966 – 13 February 2020), known professionally as Jimmy Thunder, was a Samoan-born New Zealand professional boxer who held the IBO heavyweight title from 1994 to 1995. He held multiple regional heavyweight titles, including the OPBF title from 1989 to 1991 and the Australian title twice between 1992 and 1994.

Contents

Early life

During his early life and amateur career, Thunder was known as Jimmy Peau. [1] His mother is from the village of Fasitoouta, and his father is from the village of Falelatai. Thunder was born third out of six siblings. They all grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. [ citation needed ]

He went to school at Onehunga High School in Auckland. His friend introduced Thunder to Gerry Preston. Preston took on the young Samoan into his boxing gym in Mangere Bridge. [1] In his early amateur days, Thunder became the first Samoan-born fighter to win a gold medal in the heavyweight division, representing New Zealand at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland. He defeated Dougie Young in his hometown by unanimous decision. It was one of the nine gold medals won for New Zealand in that year. As an amateur he had 89 fights, finishing his amateur career with 83-6 record.

Career

Thunder turned pro in 1988, after being omitted from New Zealand's Seoul Olympic Games team. He changed his surname from Peau to Thunder in 1989 at the suggestion of his manager at the time, Jack Rennie. [1] Later in his professional career he also fought under the name James Thunder. [2] Among his notable victories are wins over Tony Tubbs, Craig Peterson, Trevor Berbick, and Tim Witherspoon. On the 18 March 1997 edition of the USA Network's Tuesday Night Fights he knocked out Crawford Grimsley with his first punch, scoring the fastest knockout in history at 13 seconds, including the count of 10, which was not even begun, so it lasted 3 seconds, during the quick walk from his corner to the ring centre, immediately throwing the first and only punch with his last step.. . [3] He finished his 49 fight career with 35 victories, 28 by knockout. Throughout his career he won regional titles including the Australian Heavyweight Champion twice as well as winning the lesser IBO and WBF Heavyweight titles.

Professional boxing record

Professional record summary
49 fights35 wins14 losses
By knockout287
By decision77
No.ResultRecordOpponentTypeRound, timeDateLocationNotes
49Loss35–14 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Colin WilsonUD106 Dec 2002 Flag of Australia (converted).svg State Netball and Hockey Centre, Melbourne, Australia
48Loss35–13 Flag of Guyana.svg Andre Purlette TKO2 (10), 1:016 Jul 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Reno Hilton, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
47Loss35–12 Flag of Tonga.svg Paea Wolfgramm TD7 (10), 3:001 Apr 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
46Win35–11 Flag of the United States.svg James LesterTKO1 (8), 2:099 Mar 2001 Flag of the United States.svg Reno Hilton, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
45Loss34–11 Flag of the United States.svg Charles Shufford RTD8 (10), 3:007 Sep 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Teamsters Union Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
44Loss34–10 Flag of the United States.svg Monte Barrett TKO7 (10), 0:5224 Feb 2000 Flag of the United States.svg Hammerstein Ballroom, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
43Win34–9 Flag of the United States.svg Eli DixonTKO2 (10), 3:0018 Nov 1999 Flag of the United States.svg Spotlight 29 Casino, Coachella, California, U.S.
42Win33–9 Flag of the United States.svg Tim Witherspoon UD107 Apr 1998 Flag of the United States.svg Harrah's Cherokee, Cherokee, North Carolina, U.S.
41Loss32–9 Flag of the United States.svg Chris Byrd TKO9 (10), 1:0713 Dec 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.
40Loss32–8 Flag of the United States.svg Maurice Harris KO7 (10), 2:4420 May 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Medieval Times, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, U.S.
39Win32–7 Flag of the United States.svg Crawford Grimsley KO1 (10), 0:1318 Mar 1997 Flag of the United States.svg IMA Sports Arena, Flint, Michigan, U.S.Record knockout on first punch recorded in 1.5 seconds
38Loss31–7 Flag of the United States.svg John Ruiz SD1214 Jan 1997 Flag of the United States.svg Hale Arena, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.For vacant NABF heavyweight title
37Win31–6 Flag of the United States.svg Quinn NavarreKO4 (10), 1:388 Oct 1996 Flag of the United States.svg IMA Sports Arena, Flint, Michigan, U.S.
36Win30–6 Flag of the United States.svg William MorrisTKO10 (10), 0:508 Oct 1996 Flag of the United States.svg IMA Sports Arena, Flint, Michigan, U.S.
35Win29–6 Flag of the United States.svg Will HintonKO7 (10), 1:0527 Feb 1996 Flag of the United States.svg Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
34Win28–6 Flag of the United States.svg Melvin Foster TKO8 (10), 1:573 Oct 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut, U.S.
33Win27–6 Flag of Haiti.svg Ray AnisTKO7 (12), 2:568 Aug 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Spotlight 29 Casino, Coachella, California, U.S.Retained IBO heavyweight title
32Loss26–6 Flag of Uganda.svg Franco Wanyama SD1016 Jul 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
31Win26–5 Flag of the United States.svg Bomani Parker TKO1 (10), 2:36 17 Jun 1995 Flag of the United States.svg MGM Grand Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
30Win25–5 Flag of Romania.svg Daniel Dăncuță TKO2 (10), 2:529 May 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Aladdin Theatre, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
29Win24–5 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Trevor Berbick UD1217 Mar 1995 Flag of the United States.svg Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, Minnesota, U.S.Won vacant WBC Continental Americas heavyweight title
28Win23–5 Flag of the United States.svg Tony Tubbs MD126 Dec 1994 Flag of the United States.svg The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.Retained IBO heavyweight title
27Win22–5 Flag of the United States.svg Richard MasonUD1229 Oct 1994 Flag of the United States.svg Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.Won vacant IBO heavyweight title
26Win21–5 Flag of the United States.svg Ed Donaldson TKO2 (10), 2:5227 Sep 1994 Flag of the United States.svg Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
25Win20–5 Flag of the United States.svg Marion Wilson UD101 Sep 1994 Flag of the United States.svg Convention Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
24Win19–5 Flag of Mexico.svg Juan Ramón PerezTKO2 (10)3 Aug 1994 Flag of the United States.svg Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
23Win18–5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Don MackayTKO1 (12), 2:3518 Mar 1994 Flag of Australia (converted).svg ABCOS Stadium, Adelaide, AustraliaRetained Australian heavyweight title
22Loss17–5 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Johnny Nelson UD1219 Nov 1993 Flag of New Zealand.svg Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New ZealandLost WBF (Federation) heavyweight title
21Win17–4 Flag of Fiji.svg Mitieli NavuilawaKO1 (10)9 Oct 1993 Flag of Fiji.svg National Indoor Stadium, Suva, Fiji
20Win16–4 Flag of Jamaica.svg Melton BowenTKO5 (12)23 Jul 1993 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Sheraton Breakwater Casino Hotel, Townsville, AustraliaWon vacant WBF (Federation) heavyweight title
19Win15–4 Flag of Fiji.svg David Ravu RavuKO2 (10)17 Jun 1993 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Central Coast Leagues Club, Sydney, Australia
18Loss14–4 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Henry Akinwande PTS1218 Mar 1993 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Broadway Theatre, London, United KingdomFor vacant Commonwealth heavyweight title
17Win14–3 Flag of Fiji.svg Aisea NamaKO2 (10)30 Jun 1992 Flag of Samoa.svg Apia, Samoa
16Win13–3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Craig PetersenUD1214 Jun 1992 Flag of New Zealand.svg ASB Stadium, Auckland, New ZealandWon Australian and Australasian heavyweight titles
15Win12–3 Flag of New Zealand.svg Young HaumonaPTS126 Dec 1991 Flag of New Zealand.svg Lumpini Stadium, Auckland, New ZealandWon IBF Pan Pacific heavyweight title
14Loss11–3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Craig PetersenUD124 Nov 1991 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Festival Hall, Melbourne, AustraliaFor vacant Australian heavyweight title
13Win11–2 Flag of Fiji.svg Aisea NamaKO7 (10)24 Aug 1991 Flag of Fiji.svg Prince Charles Park, Nadi, FijiRetained OPBF heavyweight title
12Loss10–2 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Derek Williams TKO2 (12)1 May 1991 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg York Hall, London, United KingdomFor Commonwealth heavyweight title
11Win10–1 Flag of New Zealand.svg Rocky SalanoaKO1 (10), 2:4516 Nov 1990 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia
10Loss9–1 Flag of the United States.svg Mike Hunter KO4 (10)14 Aug 1990 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Festival Hall, Melbourne, Australia
9Win9–0 Flag of the United States.svg J. B. Williamson TKO10 (10), 2:4714 Jul 1990 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast, Australia
8Win8–0 Flag of the United States.svg Mark LeeKO1 (10), 1:221 May 1990 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, Australia
7Win7–0 Flag of Mexico.svg Mauricio VillegasTKO4 (12)24 Feb 1990 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, AustraliaWon vacant WBC International heavyweight title
6Win6–0 Flag of Colombia.svg Bernardo Mercado TKO1 (10), 1:278 Dec 1989 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, Australia
5Win5–0 Flag of New Zealand.svg August TanuvasaTKO5 (12), 2:2120 Oct 1989 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, AustraliaWon vacant OPBF heavyweight title
4Win4–0 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Andre Van den OetelaarTKO3 (10)1 Sep 1989 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, Australia
3Win3–0 Flag of Fiji.svg Mosese ViliaKO1 (10), 1:1814 Jul 1989 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne, Australia
2Win2–0 Flag of New Zealand.svg Kevin BarryKO2 (10)13 May 1989 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Silverdome, Launceston, Australia
1Win1–0 Flag of Fiji.svg Niko DegeiTKO4 (6)8 Apr 1989 Flag of Australia (converted).svg National Tennis Centre, Melbourne, AustraliaProfessional debut

Personal life

Peau married his second wife, Iris Whitemagpie, a Native American in 2008. The two met in 2006 and got married at Whitemagpie's reservation in Arizona in a cultural ceremony. He had three children in New Zealand, from his first marriage. [4] His eldest son, Louis, was selected for the Samoa national rugby league team to play an Australian selection side in 2010. He also represented the Mt Albert Lions at domestic level, playing at second-row. [5]

After retirement in 2003, it was reported Peau was in financial debt. The Sunday Star-Times discovered he had been living homeless on the streets of Las Vegas in Sunset Park. World Boxing Hall of Fame inductee, Thell Torrance reported Peau would ask for handouts and turn up to boxing gyms, offering himself for sparring work and was often turned down due to poor conditioning. [6] It was later revealed by close family he was given casual laboring work in a rehab center run by Native Americans and became a personal trainer and part-time bodyguard. [7]

Peau was arrested and charged for battery and substantial bodily harm after an altercation at a Las Vegas street party. He was released from the Southern Desert Correctional Center, north of Las Vegas, to US immigration, after his case was considered by an Immigration Court, seeing Peau in threat of being deported to New Zealand. Peau also had previous immigration issues, after being held by US immigration authorities three years prior until Whitemagpie paid a bond for his release after it was discovered he did not hold a US green card. [8]

Peau died in his sleep in Auckland on 13 February 2020, following brain surgery. [9] [10]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Coffey, John (3 July 1998). "Trainer adamant Jimmy Thunder can go all the way". The Christchurch Press .
  2. Pascoe, Bruce (10 May 1995). "Thunder scores easy TKO". The Las Vegas Review-Journal .
  3. "Jimmy Thunder vs. Crawford Grimsley - BoxRec". boxrec.com. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  4. "Former boxing champ held as US illegal alien". Stuff.co.nz . 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  5. "Tough son of 'Thunder'". Stuff.co.nz . 29 June 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  6. "'Thunder' Jimmy Peau on the canvas". Stuff.co.nz . 21 March 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  7. "Whatever happened to Jimmy?". Stuff.co.nz . 29 June 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  8. "Jailbird Peau likely to be deported Down Under". Stuff.co.nz . 21 September 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  9. "Samoan-born New Zealand boxer Jimmy 'The Thunder' Peau dies, aged 54". 1news. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  10. "Boxer Jimmy 'The Thunder' Peau dies aged 54 after brain surgery". Stuff. 13 February 2020.
Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Mark Saris
OPBF heavyweight champion
20 October 1989 – 8 May 1992
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Justin Fortune
New title WBC International heavyweight champion
24 February 1990 – 21 January 1992
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Herbie Hide
New title IBF Pan Pacific heavyweight champion
6 December 1991 – 3 November 2000
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Kali Meehan
Preceded by
Craig Petersen
Australian heavyweight champion
14 June 1992 – 26 March 1995
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Vince Cervi
Preceded by
Craig Petersen
Australasian heavyweight champion
14 June 1992 – 25 September 1993
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Craig Petersen
Vacant
Title last held by
Riddick Bowe
WBC Continental Americas heavyweight champion
17 March 1995 – 21 July 1995
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Jeremy Williams
World boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Lawrence Carter
WBF (Federation) heavyweight champion
23 July 1993 – 19 November 1993
Succeeded by
Johnny Nelson
Vacant
Title last held by
Danell Nicholson
IBO heavyweight champion
29 Oct 1994 – 12 January 1996
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Brian Nielsen