Boxing: Boxers win 8 golds at national champs

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

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Young fighters from the RotoVegas Boxing Gym cleaned up at the New Zealand youth, junior and cadet boxing championships last week. Photo/Stephen Parker
Young fighters from the RotoVegas Boxing Gym cleaned up at the New Zealand youth, junior and cadet boxing championships last week. Photo/Stephen Parker

Kahurangi Murray has had a passion for boxing since first pulling on a pair of gloves at school.

She was one of eight boxers from the RotoVegas Boxing Gym to win a gold medal and national title in Hamilton last week at the New Zealand youth, junior and cadet boxing championships.

The championships attracted more than 100 of the country's top fighters aged between 12 and 16.

Murupara's Kahurangi, 12, won a close fight to win her under-60kg cadet title at the Claudelands Arena. The victory was her first national title.

She said she only got into the sport earlier this year after taking part in a school boxing programme in Murupara organised by the RotoVegas Boxing Gym.

"When they were at our school I had a passion for it and just liked doing it," she said.

Kahurangi said she was offered a scholarship to train at the gym and the rest was history.

In an interesting twist, Kahurangi won her national title against a fighter she lost to earlier this year. "The girl I fought bet me on split decision in my first ever fight," she said.

She said it felt good to get payback in the ring.

The other gold medal fighters from the gym included Jessicah Paikea, Summer Lake, Ebony Warren, Leah Warren, Ricaia Warren, and Moana Tahuriorangi.

Five other young fighters from the RotoVegas Boxing Gym and five from the Rotorua Central Boxing Club picked up a silver or bronze medal at the championships.

RotoVegas Boxing Gym head coach Aaron Warren said the medal haul was the best the club had produced at the championships.

"I'm proud that the ones who did the hard yards got the results," he said.

Warren said the athletes had been doing a lot of training and fighting this year in the lead up to the big event.

He said they had also focused on building self belief.

"I put the success down to the kids looking in the mirror and believing in themselves."

Warren said Henare Tahuri had a lot to do with the fighters' success, giving up a lot of time to help coach the young fighters.

The championships were held in conjunction with the New Zealand Youth Games for the first time this year.

Athletes who finished on the podium received one medal for the youth games and one for the boxing championships.

The five silver and bronze medallists from the RotoVegas Boxing Gym included Rangi Biddle, William Te Paa, Rawiri Poumako, Shannon Anaru, and David Faataape.

Rotorua Central Boxing Club fighters who also performed well at the championships included Jayden Jenkins, Bradley Jenkins, Hayden Aman, Anna Aman, Adam Walsh, and Jimmy Walsh.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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