Strength, speed and stamina will be put to the test during the Central North Island Boxing Championships today.

The championships comprise 60 bouts and are being held at Sykes Boxing Gym, which is based at Budokan Rotorua.

There will be plenty of Rotorua boxers in taking part, representing Sykes, Rotovegas Boxing and the Central North Island Boxing Gym.

Sykes Boxing Gym owner Mike Sykes said it was one of the most important tournaments because it was the last one before the New Zealand Boxing Championships in October.


"It's going to be a really good weekend for boxing. There are heaps of good young boxers coming through and pushing for places at nationals.

"You can do all the training you want, but there's nothing like actually getting in the ring and fighting. It will be a good experience for a lot of these young boxers.

"We train pretty hard and we do our homework. When I'm coaching, I tell them to leave it all in the ring and they do."

Sykes Boxing Gym was one of four local martial arts clubs who came together under one roof at Budokan Rotorua last year. By working together the four clubs were able to provide a facility which none would be able to on their own.

"It's good for us that we can hold this event in our gym. There will be some of the best boxing you could see here this weekend.

"We've got a food truck coming in, we'll have music, there's going to be a good atmosphere, it's going to be a great day of entertainment."

Sykes Boxing Gym's Jake Walker, 15, had his first two fights recently, at the Central North Island Novice Championships, where he won the welterweight title.

He will be back in action this weekend.

"[Being in the ring against a new opponent] was a bit harder, because when I spar people at our gym I get used to how they fight, but when I went there I didn't know how the other people fought.

"I was surprised, I didn't think I was going to win the second fight because I was losing after the first round. But, then I think I was fitter than him."

Jake was looking forward to getting back in the ring.

"I'll just focus on straight punches, my jab, the jab is the start of every combo basically. There is a bit of adrenaline, but I just try to do what Mike says."

The Central North Island Championships, at Rotorua Budokan on Lake Rd, start at 12pm today and will run into the evening. Spectators are welcome.