Boxer has Aussie champ in his sights

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New Zealand no.1 light welterweight, Queenstowner Richie Hadlow, boxes Australia’s newly-crowned champion in Perth this Saturday.

Hadlow, 29, who’ll fight David Haynes in the latter’s home city, will be joined in Australia by fellow Fight Science Amateur Boxing Club fighter, light heavyweight Harrison Hata.

Hata, 22, will fight Western Australian state champion Jordan Falas.

The pair flew out yesterday with a 15-man Auckland team whom they’ll join for a week-long training camp in Perth.

Fight Science coach Stewart Mitchell says the timing couldn’t be better for Hadlow as the NZ team for the Oceania championships on Australia’s Gold Coast will be named after this weekend.

“It’s a great opportunity for Richie to rubber-stamp his claim to be part of that team.

“I expect him to be, anyway, but to get a win against the Aussie champion in his home town would be the icing on the cake.

“Mentally it would be good preparation for the Oceanias [next month] as they’ll probably be the top two contenders.”

Mitchell says it’s also good timing as Hadlow’s now recovered from injuring his right hand when knocking out a Tongan international in his last fight in early March.

“He’s not going to be his fittest but he’ll be fit enough.”

The Oceanias not only serve as part of the selection criteria for next April’s Commonwealth Games, also on the GC, but a gold or silver medal would qualify Hadlow for the world champs in Germany in September.

Hata, meanwhile, lost a majority decision to Hamilton’s Jarrod Banks in the latter’s home city last Saturday, despite imposing an eight count on him as the final bell went.

The pair were competing for the no.1 NZ ranking.

Fight Science welterweight Callum Owen also lost in Hamilton, but he stepped up a weight to get a fight after his original opponent pulled out.

scoop@scene.co.nz