Golden Gloves Boxing
Story by: - Photo by: Evan Barnes / Shuttersport
Dawn Dickey (nee Chalmers) won the women's open under-75kg title unopposed after the only other competitor in that class, a fighter from Queenstown, opted not to enter the ring. Having initially weighed in at 67kg and with no competitor in her division, Dickey had stepped up to the heavier division.
An absence of competitors also saw Marcus Jones step up from the cadet (13-14 years) open 60kg division to the junior (15-16) division where he proved too strong and skilful for Temuka's Ben Lewis, winning 17-11.
Coach Alan Dickey said Jones' significant development was underscored by him being awarded the tournament's most improved boxer. He has also been selected for a South Island training camp to be held at the Burnham Military Camp over Queen's Birthday Weekend as part of a development team.
Natalie Stuart contested the under-69kg novice division (one to five fights) involving four competitors.
She proved too fit and fast for Faliu Manu from BT's Gym in Invercargill in her first bout, winning 24-11. Stuart took the fight to Manu and gave her no room to move, piling on the points in the last round.
She was scheduled to fight the other semifinal winner, Melanie Hastings, but Hastings pulled out, apparently concerned about a mismatch, handing Stuart the title.
Andre Ayer fought Burnham's Jayden Morgan in the under-60kg junior novice (one to five fights) division.
In a close, hard-fought bout, Ayer went into the last round three points down. He worked hard and attacked Morgan for the whole two minutes scoring with strong combinations. The match ended in a 9-all draw, with Ayer being awarded the fight on countback due to his higher work rate.
"Andre is learning how to win and when to dig deep," said coach Dickey.
"I was absolutely thrilled with all my boxers' efforts and the manner in which they went about their work.
"They all should be so proud of themselves as the hard work they put in in the gym is paying off."
Ethan Taylor from the Whakatu Gym fought strongly to win his semi-final bout against Jack Cross from the Riverside gym in Christchurch 24-4 on a points decision,which put him into the final against Mike Molly from the Elite gym Invercargill two well drilled boxers fought toe to toe to the end Ethan scoring cleaner blows and winning the final on points decision 5-0 to take the under 69kg South Island Novice title.
Hayden Snape also travelled and was expected to fight but his opposition had pulled out.