Local trio ready to rumble in Chch

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Three Oamaru Boxing Club fighters will be vying for titles at the Canterbury Championships in Christchurch this weekend.

Chontelle Watson is competing in her first amateur tournament.

The 21-year-old will be fighting in the Elite Novice female welterweight division and last fought at the Portside Punch charity event held in Oamaru in June, where she scored a points-decision victory over Melanie Tavendale.

Watson said she was feeling nervous and excited, but coach Joseph Cropley has confidence in her.

“As a coach, I have been extremely impressed with her dedication and the hard work she puts into training,” he said.

“She is a fantastic learner and implements the skills learned to a high standard. I am looking forward to seeing her competing over time.”

The club’s most experienced fighter, Zac Korkou, is competing in the Elite Open light welterweight male division and will be looking to return to his winning ways after suffering a loss in the Golden Gloves earlier in the year.

Cropley cited Korkou’s dedication as the catalyst for his continued improvement and expects his fighter to thrive in the competitive weight class.

“Zac continues to impress me with his enthusiasm and motivation to become better at what he does,” he said.

“He is a very hard hitter and is training hard in preparation for the upcoming national championships. His division has some very talented boxers and Zac is right up there with them. His experience is an asset to the club.”

Haimona Huria will be competing in the Elite Open Light Heavyweight division and will face a tough challenge against three of the most accomplished boxers the South Island has to offer in the division.

Huria is aiming to qualify for the national championships and will be intent on maintaining his 100 per cent record over the weekend.

“Haimona has been performing well all season,” said Cropley.

“He is undefeated after three tough fights and always pushes himself beyond his abilities. I am always impressed by his drive to push himself further and harder. He accepts challenges with a smile and then gets to work, taking this same attitude into the ring.”

Cropley said he was proud of the continued progress of the fighters at the club.

“After last weekend’s win at Redwood for another member of the club, Mike Cant, I am extremely proud and honoured to coach a group of such talented, driven and dedicated people,” he said.

“They are inspirational in the ring and especially in the gym. With many young potential fighters coming through the gym now, it is awesome to have these guys as role models and leading the way.”

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Zac Korkou, Chontelle Watson and Haimona Huria will be competing in Christchurch this weekend.