Boxers heading to the ring

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Southern Queens Boxing fighters Asya Schmidt (left, 23) and Jesse Hawken (17) with their coach Faliu Mauu at the Southern Queens gym. Photo: Sanda Jukic

FIGHTERS from Invercargill, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wellington and Christchurch will compete in the Southland Boxing Championships on Saturday.

The championships will be held at the Ascot Park Hotel from 7pm.

Two fighters from Invercargill’s Southern Queens Boxing will compete.

Seventeen-year-old open youth 75kg division fighter Jesse Hawken holds the 2017 South Island Golden Gloves title.

“My power, my speed and my timing are good. I’m going to do my best and hopefully win the belt,” Hawken said.

Asya Schmidt (23) will fight in the 81kg-plus elite female open category, against Bo Dean Blackburn.

“I’m really excited as it will be a new challenge for me. I’ve fought this girl twice before – she won once and I won once. It will be a big deal for both of us. I’m hoping to win but as long as I do my best I’m really happy,” Schmidt said.

Coach Faliu Mauu said Schmidt and Hawken were both good, strong, technical fighters.

“Jesse will have a tough fight against a Hungarian boy (Szilard Laszlo), who is an international boxer training in Wellington at the moment. That will be the fight of the night. And for Asya, this will be her first fight in three-minute rounds. It will be a challenge for both of the girls who competed in two-minute rounds until now,” Mauu said.

Thirteen-year-old Noble Art Boxing cadet novice 60kg category fighter Rawiri Tipuna from Invercargill will also compete.

Southland Boxing Championships, Saturday, July 15, Ascot Park Hotel, from 7pm. Tickets door sales, $15 adults, $5 children.

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