Organisers say Saturday night’s boxing spectacular in Gore should not to be missed, with four fighters stepping into the ring for the first time.
The annual tournament is being held on Saturday and there will be four feature bouts.
Boxing coach Russell Newton said the bouts would be interesting to watch.
In one, Gore’s Clayton Stewart, the 2014 New Zealand light welterweight champion, will be fighting Richie Hadlow, of Queenstown, the four-time New Zealand champion. Hadlow was on track for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April, Newton said.
“This is preparation for the Games.”
The other features include three-time New Zealand 81kg elite division champion Aaron Lay, of Gore, fighting current New Zealand champion Sunny Teki-Clark, of Christchurch.
“That is four New Zealand champions [Lay, Teki-Clark, Stewart and Hadlow], the cream of Southland boxer in four years.
“This is a big step up for him stepping up from the youths into the seniors.”
As for the new fighters stepping into the ring, Rhent Brunton (11) is a debut cadet at 44kg.
“Reece Holz will be having his first fight against promising Invercargill fighter Rawari Tipina.
“We also have Russell McKay, an elite senior male, at heavyweight, against an experienced boxer from Invercargill, and Licia Beale who is 50kg, so we have some little women having a crack.”
Newton said the chance to get in the ring was based on the boxers’ enthusiasm and skill level.
Also on the bout card are “mate versus mate”, “trucker versus trucker” and “barista versus teacher” corporate fights.
There would be 12 to 14 bouts in total, Newton said.
Judges are coming from as far as Christchurch, as are boxers.
Gore man Christopher Scoles would be on the judging panel too, Newton said.
The boxing begins at 7pm on Saturday at the Gore Town and Country Club. Doors open at 6pm. The cost is children $10 and adults $20.
The Gore Boxing Club’s annual tournament is being ramped up this year.
Club coach Russell Newton said the tournament would include several corporate fights.
“We have three women’s fights also,” Newton said.
“Normally, corporate fights are held for charity.
“This year we are testing the waters, but we hope to have charity fights if this is successful.
“The people fighting in the corporate bouts don’t box – they are just boxing for the event,” he said.
“So if the demand is there, we will eventually hold a charity night.”
Two truck drivers from different companies would be boxing against one another.
As well as the corporate fights, audience members would be able to watch “the cream of the crop” of boxers in action, as Gore man Aaron Lay (19) would be stepping into the ring.
“He is a three-time national title-holder and he will be fighting Sunny Teki-Clark [of Christchurch], the current elite light heavyweight champion,” Newton said.
“The boxers meeting with Gore boxers are coming from as far as Christchurch.
“You will see elite boxing at its best plus supporting bouts, which include a few local boys getting in the ring for their first fights.
“There is something for everyone.”