Chums to clash in ring

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Fighting talk: Mates Karyn Wallis (left) and Lee Hazlett will meet each other in the Thriller ring

Two local pals are set for a punch up.

Karyn Wallis and Lee Hazlett, contenders in next month’s Thriller charity boxing event, aren’t fazed.

The pair reckon it’s a talking point for others though.

Wallis, a teacher at Shotover Primary School teaches Hazlett’s kids; the duo socialise together and have been mates a long time.

Wallis: “Hitting my friend is pretty easy,” she laughs.

“It was always a possibility because we are a similar weight and have a similar ability. It’s really awesome – she would be my pick out of everyone.”

Hazlett agrees and is pretty stoked to have her mate as an opponent.

Training is going well – but admit fitting it in around three kiddies each is logistically tough.

The focus is on boxing skill and building core strength. A lot of hard graft.

Hazlett: “The technical side is definitely challenging and not something I am a natural at.”

Both say they aren’t the most coordinated but have seen a big improvement since the start of boot camp. The 38-year-olds train four mornings and two evenings each week with fellow contenders as well as cardio fitness in their own time.

Neither are feeling bruised or battered.

Hazlett says nothing regular trips to a physio or chiropractor can’t fix.

Wallis remarks the fitness element is leaving them both feeling pretty good.

Organiser and trainer Simon Green says the calibre of fighters is the highest they’ve seen since it started seven years ago.

All 20 contenders have been put through their paces.

“They have essentially been taught everything they are going to be – now it is fine tuning. [Doing] a lot of light, technical sparring work and the focus is on getting them as comfortable and confident in the ring as we can.

“Technical sparring is so important because they can do an awful lot of rounds. That is where they learn where the shots are coming from, how to react and how to counter punch. That is really the lions share of the sparring we do now – honing that technical side.”

Thriller, November 26, Queenstown Events Centre. Grandstand tickets only, $79.

louises@scene.co.nz