Kaeo Boxing Club returned triumphant from the recent Auckland Boxing Association's Championship with two members of their squad gaining places on the national team.

Kyle Chen and Blake Hodges, both from Kerikeri, will compete at the National Boxing Championships in Queenstown from today through to Saturday.

Coach Rusty Porter said both boxers used a combination of smart and tactical boxing to earn their spots in the national squad.

Chen, 13, who weighs in at 62kg, was up against Xavier Hirini of Hamilton.


Having fought each other twice before, these two boxers were familiar with each other's moves.

"This time I asked Kyle to box smarter, run and make Xavier chase him," said Porter.

"He would stop every now and then and throw a right hand straight down the middle. This punch caught Xavier every time, frustrating him and making him run straight into Kyle's combinations."

Chen won the match by unanimous decision.

Seventeen-year-old Hodges (70kg) was up against Hokio Adams of Hamilton.

Hodges used a combination of jabs and moved around to score points from the outside. Porter's advice was to not let Hokio trap him against the ropes or corners. This he did, winning the match convincingly.

The nationals gives both boxers the chance to be champions in their age groups in New Zealand.

Hodges has been a member of the nationals team but this is Chen's first time.

Both boxers have "upped their ante" slightly in preparation for the national tournament and Porter has high hopes for them both.

"I think they both have a good chance."