Four Whanganui boxers packed a decent punch at the 2019 New Zealand Amateur Championships in Hastings last week with two making their finals only to be denied national titles.
The four River City Boxing Club fighters were accompanied by three trainers and a sizeable group of supporters.
Fourteen-year-old Cypress Manukau-Atkins, fighting in the 40kg division, won his first bout against Khadyn Kahukiwa from the East Coast in an even contest and then claimed a unanimous decision over Jimmy Tapsell (Central North Island) in his second fight to make his way into the final against four-time national champion Kwhali Beauchamp from Canterbury.
Manukau-Atkins, unfortunately, lost to the older and more experienced Beauchamp in a 3-2 split decision.
Former New Zealand Golden Gloves champion Egelani Taito dropped 5kg to complete in the lightweight 81kg division. The 27-year-old came up against the experienced Trevor Swainson from Christchurch. Both boxers had two good rounds each with some very big hits thrown, but Taito tired in the third round allowing Swainson to take the win.
Trinity Albert, 13, went straight to 70kg finals with only two in her division and had a tough tussle with her opponent, Unique Kahukoti from Central North Island taking the win.
Majre Apiata-Cook, 16, came up against a tough and experienced opponent in Aminio Manu from Auckland.
Apiata-Cook had two really good rounds but unfortunately ran out of energy in the last round and was beaten.
Meanwhile, Whanganui will host the 2020 New Zealand Amateur Boxing Championships for the first time since 1953.
Newly-elected Whanganui Boxing Association president Eddie Tofa and his secretary wife Sandra Tofa successfully submitted the winning bid to Boxing New Zealand.
The husband and wife team, who also run River City Boxing, are negotiating with various parties, including the Whanganui District Council, for a venue to host the four-day event scheduled to begin on September 29, 2020, the second week of the school holidays.