Boxing Machine’ fires up for nationals

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A Queenstown boxer selected for the Otago Boxing Team says an upcoming fight in the resort will be perfect preparation. 

Queenstown-based Czech Martin ‘Machine’ Mech heads to Wellington for the national boxing champs with the Otago team on October 25. 

Mech aims to tune up for it with a bout on Saturday night at what’s being dubbed the Epic Boxing Showdown at Memorial Hall. 

The 30-year-old Mech – twice a runner-up at the Czech nationals – takes on Leroy Hindley, 18, from Wellington in the eighth fight of the 12-fight card. 

“It’s a good pre-fight – I need one,” Mech says. 

His last fight was at the Golden Gloves in Gore back in May. 

That one was against New Zealand welterweight champ Bowen Morgan, who beat Mech on points. 

Mech says he overtrained for it and should be in much better condition for the national champs. 

“My body was overtrained – I didn’t feel good,” he says. 

“I’ve rested a lot and now I’ve started training properly again.” 

Mech is on a high after his Otago selection. 

He has also been given an apprenticeship as a chef at the new Queenstown Hilton hotel. 

“Queenstown is full of opportunities, I think,” he says. 

The Epic Boxing Showdown is billed as an amateur night. 

The event will pitch Queenstowners against the rest of the country. 

Other Queenstown fighters are South Island novice champ Eddie Holtslag, reigning Golden Gloves and Southland middleweight champ Nicole-Ann Kay, cruiserweight Steve Dent, middleweight Callum Owen, 16-year-old welterweight Hayden Jones and fellow welterweight Jeremy Thomas. 

Former Queenstown boxer Tui-Maree Sonter – now based in Invercargill and coaching – is bringing over four fighters from her southern gym.