Richie gears up for Gore rematch


Queenstown boxer Richie Hadlow squares off this Saturday against the fighter he spectacularly beat to claim a national title last October.
Hadlow, 27, whose win also gained him the county’s number one light welterweight ranking, will box number two-ranked Leroy Hindley in Gore.
The local fighter knocked out the more experienced Aucklander - a Commonwealth Games quarter-finalist just three months earlier – in the first round of the final of the national championships in Queenstown.
Hadlow’s Fight Science Amateur Boxing Club coach Stewart Mitchell says the winner of Saturday’s fight will be in the driving seat to represent New Zealand in international competitions later this year.
That includes the Oceania championships in Canberra, Australia, and the world champs in Doha, Qatar.
It will also help Hadlow’s ultimate goal of representing New Zealand at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next year.
Mitchell is confident his boxer will again achieve a spectacular result this weekend.
Last October’s fight would have damaged Hindley mentally, Mitchell says “because it wasn’t a lucky punch and [Hadlow] did him in the first round”.
Hadlow’s also improved a lot since then, his coach says.
“His footwork’s improved tremendously, and his rhythm and movement are more coordinated.”
The following weekend, Hadlow will attend a four-day international camp in Hamilton with other top-ranked NZ boxers.
“It’s what Richie needs - mixing with all the fighters who are aspiring to that next level,” Mitchell says.
Wakatipu High student Wesley Martin is also fighting in Gore this Saturday.
The 17-year-old is again fighting Laurie Onslow, of Timaru, whom he beat last month to take the South Island heavyweight novice junior title.
Meanwhile, at the Central Otago sports awards, to be announced in Wanaka next Wednesday, Hadlow and Mitchell are on the shortlists for senior sportsman and coach of the year, respectively.