Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Boxing: McCrystal leaves genuine legacy

Prominent boxing identity Gary McCrystal is being remembered as "one of the most significant figures in the sport in New Zealand over the last two decades".

McCrystal passed away last Friday aged 68, after a short illness.

As well as being a life member and former president of the Auckland Boxing Association (ABA), McCrystal was the driving force behind the establishment of the New Zealand National Boxing Federation and served as president of the NZNBF since its inception in the late 1990s.

A former rugby referee, McCrystal also served as a boxing referee, judge and ring announcer alongside his many administrative roles.

"Gary was very active in promoting and sanctioning professional boxing in this country, right up to WBO and Pan Pacific level," says Boxing New Zealand chairman John McKay. "He contributed in a very positive way to the professional scene and was one of the more active figures in the sport in recent times."

A long-time boxing fan, McCrystal first got involved with the sport at the 1990 Commonwealth Games, where he served as a volunteer at the boxing venue (Logan Campbell Centre). He then became involved with the ABA, where he assisted as manager on team trips.

"He was a larger-than-life character who offered a genuine, unselfish support of promoters, boxers, managers and officials," says NZNBF commissioner Steve Miles.

- Herald on Sunday

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