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A PROJECTED 16 bouts will be held at this year’s Southland boxing championships on Saturday night.

Southland Boxing Association life member Tom O’Connor was delighted with the 45 entries this year after the championships struggled to attract competitor numbers in recent years.

“We’ve had a great response from some Christchurch clubs this year. [The entry number] is very good.”

Southland Boxing Association life member Tom O’Connor.

This year’s marquee Southland boxing event will be held at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club, with the first bout to get under way at 7pm.

O’Connor said, subject to the weigh-in, it looked likely 16 bouts would be held this year.

For the Southland boxers on show the event would provide their last chance to impress selectors before the team was confirmed for this year’s national championships.

Gore’s Aaron Lay will line up in the 91kg elite division alongside the well-respected Sam Watt, of Christchurch.

Former national champion Clayton Stewart will yet again line up at a Southland championships in the elite 64kg division.

Jesse Hawken is another Southland boxer to keep an eye on in the youth 75kg division.

There will be three Southland debutants in the junior 70kg division, with Gore’s Nehana Wilson and Tyrel Miller and Tama More, of Invercargill, set to step into the ring.

An interesting match-up is likely in the junior 66kg where Gore’s Reece Holz and Rawiri Tipunu, of Invercargill, are set to go at it again. The pair fought last year with Holz winning in a split decision.

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