A Queenstown boxer makes his long-awaited professional debut in an undercard bout ahead of Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker’s next fight.
Richie Hadlow, 31, takes on pro Dominic Reed, who’s also a Muay Thai boxer, in a lightweight contest in Christchurch on December 15.
A four-time New Zealand light welterweight champion, Hadlow finished his amateur career as an NZ rep at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast in April, where he lost in his second round.
His first pro bout – which will be televised in the lead-up to Parker’s fight against Mexican-American Alexander Flores – will be over six rounds, rather than the three he’s used to, and he’ll also fight topless for the first time.
Latterly he’s ben training in Christchurch under former NZ coach Phil Shatford.
“I’ll rise to the occasion, I’ve got confidence in that,” Hadlow says.
“[Reed] is tough but he comes forward, and in all my experience, the hardest fights I’ve ever had are against boxers who don’t come forward.”
His former coach, Queens-towner Stewart Mitchell, who’s now his manager, says Hadlow’s had “a lot of good-quality experience [45 fights, 32 wins] that’s going to stand him in good stead, and this is a natural progression, stylistically, for him, without a shadow of a doubt”.
“Richie can potentially do better as a pro than an amateur, and he’s TV-fan-friendly.”
Hadlow’s also thrilled to still have Mitchell in his corner: “Find me a person who knows more about boxing and cares about me as much as Stew, and I’ll give you a million bucks.”
Hadlow adds he’s grateful to sponsors Loan Market Queenstown, Queenstown Health, FreshChoice, Joe’s Garage, Industrial Fitness and Gents Barber Shop.