Whangarei's Commonwealth Games boxing hopeful Kahukura Bentson was selected as a late replacement to fight at next week's Oceania Boxing Championships - but there is a catch.
The welterweight boxer needs to come up with $1300 by tomorrow  to pay his own way over to Canberra for the tournament, which starts on August 4.
"We have to pay for ourselves as Boxing New Zealand cannot fund us. It's performance-based - because New Zealand has performed poorly at previous big tournaments, like the last Commonwealth Games, they don't get any extra funding from Sport and Recreation New Zealand," he said.
 
"I have to go because it is a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games, which I have been aiming for all year ... as a last resort I will take out a loan if I have to," the 31-year-old said.
It will be Bentson's last chance to qualify for the team which has already been selected but not confirmed, Boxing NZ chairman John McKay said.
"There is a possibility Kahukura could make a late bid for the Games but the team has been selected, we are just waiting for all the boxers to sign the appropriate forms. If he wins at the Oceanias, he may have a chance to make the Games team, but only as a late entrant."
The team had to be selected at the beginning of July to comply with an edict from the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Committee.
"At that stage Kahukura was third in his division, not No1 which was the requirement," McKay said.
Bentson went on to win his division at the National Golden Gloves tournament on July 17, defeating Christchurch's boxer Bowen Morgan, and replacing him as NZ's No1 welterweight  but the mid-July tournament was too late to count towards Games selection, Boxing NZ's chairman said.
The self-trained boxer's call up for the Oceanias came when Morgan could not fight after the birth of his child.
 Bentson will travel to Canberra with the five-strong Kiwi contingent, who will meet boxers from Australia, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.
The qualifying criteria came as a surprise to Bentson, who had not been informed of the July 1 selection deadline by Boxing NZ and thought, if he won at the Oceanias he would qualify for the Commonwealth Games.
Although he fought at middleweight at Saturday's Whangarei Boxing Tournament, Bentson will fight in the welterweight class at the Oceanias and it is the division he wants to contest in New Delhi after his previous Games attempts at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games as a light-middleweight and at the 2006 Games in Melbourne in the middleweight division. Australian welterweight No1 Cameron Hammond would be the boxer to beat at the
Oceanias, Bentson reckoned.
"He trains at the Australian Institute of Sport and has had numerous fights this year in Europe and has just come back from Canada."
Bentson fought Te Awamutu boxer Kyle Mereweather at Kensington Stadium on Saturday night and won comfortably, out-pointing him 22-18. "I was happy with my performance  - there was some good support from the crowd."
This weekend, Bentson planned to get some ringtime ahead of the Oceanias at the Auckland Championships contesting the welterweight division, but he said he was uncertain he would have an opponent.
While not hearing from Boxing NZ until the last minute about the Oceania Championships and his Commonwealth Games chances was not ideal for any athlete's preparation, Bentson said all he could do, and would do, was to continue fighting and winning.