The New Zealand Golden Gloves will hit Nelson for the first time on Saturday (10 July 2010) - when the National tournament that matches the best boxers from the North and South Islands, takes place at Saxton Stadium.
While the best age group boxers in the country will showcase their skills in the ring in the afternoon session – the countries elite pugilists will take centre stage in the evening.
One of the real rivalries of the last decade looks set to resume in the Middleweight division. Nathan McEwan who hails from the small West Coast (South Island) town of Blackball, is seeded to meet Joe Blackbourn in the Middleweight final stanza.
The two New Zealand representatives dominated proceedings at the 2007 and 2008 National Championships. At 2007 North Harbour championships Joe Blackbourn stamped his mark as the best boxer at the tournament.
Success against McEwan in the Middleweight championship decider, saw Blackbourn win the Cleverley belt awarded to the National titleholder, and the most scientific prize of the Jameson Belt.
The following year in Upper Hutt is was the turn of McEwan to turn the tables. The South Islander boxed with real purpose and aggression, to take both the Cleverley and Jameson belts in a dramatic turn around.
Another much anticipated match-up, will see current National Heavyweight David Aloua-Rogers, take on old foe Glen Craig. While Aloua-Rogers dominated the 2009 National Heavyweight division with none of his bouts going the full distance – the Dunedin boxer has previously beaten the Hamilton resident.
Reece Papuni broke through for his first New Zealand Light Heavyweight crown last year, but could have his hands full with a former New Zealand age group champion. Rotorua’s Tyson Sykes who has returned to the ring this season was a multiple New Zealand Junior champion.
One of the real warriors of the amateur game in the last decade and a half will showcase his undoubted talents. Kahukura Bentson who seems to have been around forever, with four National crowns under his belt, is seeded to meet Nelson boxer Daniel Parkin in the Welterweight class.
However the Nelson Fighting Fit boxing Clubs pugilist won’t make life easy for Bentson. Parkin defeated Bentson in their first match earlier this year at the commonwealth trials and will look for another win against arguably the most experienced amateur boxer in New Zealand. The winner will go on to meet the victor of the preliminary bout other side of the draw – between Daniel Maxwell and Bowen Morgan.
The Lightweight division should also provide plenty of entertainment. Dane Williams and Nort Beachamp will fight off for the right to meet current New Zealand titleholder Angus Donaldson.