Bell rung on pro boxing debut

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A Queenstown boxer’s shocked he’s been robbed of making his professional debut but still respects the decision.

Former four-time New Zealand light welterweight champion Richie Hadlow had been due to fight Dunedin’s Ricky Curline in an undercard bout ahead of Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker’s Christchurch fight this Saturday.

Promoter Duco Events, however, decided to make pre-fight MRI scans mandatory for all fighters, following the recent death of a Christchurch man knocked out in a charity event.

And Hadlow’s scan found he had a brain abnormality.

The 31-year-old admits the abnormality could stem from when he broke his neck in gymnastics about 10 years ago, but says “who knows?”

“I’m just not really qualified to comment on it, I’ve got to see a specialist.”

Asked whether that ab-normality could have been picked up five years ago, before his amateur career took off, Hadlow says “I think they wouldn’t have found it, because the technology’s getting better and better”.

He’ll still travel to Christchurch for Saturday’s Parker fight and undercard bouts, in particular to support his training partner Bown Morgan.

“The funny things is, I got the scan done on the Thursday and then from the Thursday to the Sunday I did 24 [sparring] rounds with Bown.

“Hopefully [in Christchurch] I’ll talk to the Duco guys there and see what the next steps are.”

Hadlow, whose amateur career peaked at this year’s Commonwealth Games, says he respects Duco’s decision.

“I value it, in all honesty.”

As for whether he has a future in pro boxing, “only time will tell”, he says.

Meantime, he enjoyed his experience dancing with the Remarkable Men’s Ballet at last Sunday’s Shotover Jet Christmas Shows.

“I minced my heart out.”