After nearly a year out of the ring, Whangarei-based boxer Kahukura Bentson is making his comeback, just in time for the New Zealand Championships at the end of this month.
The former Commonwealth Games representative, who was born and raised in the Far North, has been training hard over the past few months. Part of that training has included several bouts in preparation for the nationals, which are to be held in Wellington on October 25-29.Bentson has his sights set on taking the New Zealand heavyweight title.
"I had a break for about a year, my last fight was in 2010 at the New Zealand Championships on September 13 so was out of the ring for 11 months," Bentson said.
Bentson took a spell after failing to qualify for the Delhi Commonwealth Games last year, despite winning his division at the 2010 National Golden Gloves Tournament to become the New Zealand No1 welterweight, as the mid-July tournament was too late to count towards Games selection.
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He returned to the ring in August this year, at Lollo Heiumi's August Challenge Tournament held at Auckland Boxing Association.
Fighting in the light-heavyweight (75-81kg) division against Sosefo Falekano of Tappy's Boxing Gym, in South Auckland, Bentson won the bout on a majority points decision.
A week later, Bentson won a bout against Te Awamutu's Floyd Masson in the same weight division and won on a unanimous points decision.
His most recent fight was early last month, where he fought Brad Robinson of Lance Revills Gym, in Pakuranga. Again, Bentson convincingly won the light-heavyweight category fight, on an unanimous points decision.
"My preparation has been okay. I've been training myself in Whangarei, and sparring with Josh Bowman at Whangarei Boxing Gym once a week. I travel down to Auckland most weekends and train at City Boxing Gym.
"It is the same old story though, it's hard to get matched for bouts because of my experience, with 179 fights and 138 wins," Bentson said.