Korkou set for tough semi-final bout

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Oamaru Boxing Club’s Zac Korkou will compete in the semi final of the New Zealand National Boxing Championships at the Queenstown Events Centre today following a bye in the previous round.

Korkou is competing in the Elite Light Welterweight division and will now take on either Cornelius Grobler or Leroy Hindley, who fought after the Oamaru Mail went to print yesterday.

Both of the 25-year-old’s potential opponents are accomplished fighters and pose a major threat to the local fighter’s aspirations of taking the New Zealand title and becoming nationally ranked.

Cantabrian Grobler, of the Burnham Boxing Club, won the National Golden Gloves in July when he defeated Cameron Chow in the elite male 64kg final at the Woolston Boxing Club and narrowly defeated Korkou in Christchurch last month, while Leroy Hindley competed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games where he lost out to eventual silver medallist Junias Jonas.

Korkou has been accompanied by Joseph Cropley, who is assistant coach for the Otago Boxing Team.

Cropley said he has confidence in Korkou and is proud to have an Oamaruvian competing at the national competition.

“It’s really exciting, it’s the first time someone from Oamaru has been at the nationals in a long time and Zac’s got as much of a chance at winning it as anybody,” he said.

The duo met Commonwealth Games light heavyweight boxing gold medallist David Nyika yesterday and will meet David Tua tomorrow when the former heavyweight fighter spends time with the Otago team.

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: FACEBOOK

LOCAL CONNECTION: Zac Korkou met up with Commonwealth Games light heavyweight boxing champion David Nyika in Queenstown. Nyika’s grandparents, Thomas and Jenny reside in Oamaru.