Newly-crowned: Queenstown kickboxer Rob Horrocks, who's now the 'King in the Ring'. PICTURE: MATT FINLAY


A Queenstown fighter’s out to impress in the quarter-finals of the Turf Wars Apex Muay Thai Warrior tourney today in Auckland.

Fight Science head coach Rob Horrocks is ranked 4th in New Zealand for the 64kg weight category and he’s eager to get one over opponent Nate Chizzy.

Horrocks has upped his game this year, with the help of coaches Diego Beneduzzi and Mark Barnes.

He first turned pro at the age of 16 back home in Manchester, UK, breaking away after a few years to go travelling.

He started coaching at Fight Science three years ago, entering one fight a year to test himself.

But, now with the help of experienced sparring partner Beneduzzi and Muay Thai local legend Barnes, the 31-year-old’s hitting the pads hard.

He says Chizzy’s a wild fighter and he plans to pick holes in his technique, catching him off guard when he makes mistakes.

‘‘He’s going to come forward and I’m going to move my feet a lot and set up some big shots.

‘‘Turf Wars are the best Muay Thai fights in New Zealand… the promoter is working really hard to boost the port in a professional manner.’’

On the undercard is fellow Queenstown man Mark Solan, taking part in his sixth competition.

‘‘I really expect Mark to perform to the highest level and turn a lot of heads, I think he will impress,’’ Horrocks says.

Meantime, CrossFit Queenstown was celebrating a different show of strength last week, after Joel Steven secured 16th in scaled male division of the New Zealand National CrossFit competition.

Steven qualified for the Cambridge-based competition through a series of online workout trials in June and July.