Commonwealth Games team preview: New Zealand
July 4th, 2014 / All
Nine Kiwi boxers will take part in the upcoming Commonwealth Games, with two women, and seven men representing New Zealand’s boxing team in Glasgow.
What: Commonwealth Games
Where: Glasgow, Scotland
When: 23 July – 3 August, 2014
The Tension and the Drama
New Zealand’s boxing team are regarded as the number two side in the Oceania region behind Australia, but the young Kiwi athletes have been competing well in various European tournaments this year to ensure that will be ready to perform to their best ability in Glasgow.
New Zealand’s delegation did not win any medals in the boxing tournament of the last Commonwealth Games in India, which was a surprise considering their talented team.
Since India, their head coach has built up a new and exciting squad, with several of them possible medal contenders in Glasgow.
There are many factors for success in a boxing competition, but one task for New Zealand to overcome will be the travel, as they have a very long journey to Scotland from their native land.
Ones to watch in the Commonwealth Games
New Zealand’s new boxing sensation is 19-year-old Patrick Mailata, who competes in the Super Heavyweight class (+91 kg).
Mailata grew up playing rugby in his early teenage years, and only took up boxing in 2010, but his performances since his debut have seen him favourably compared to Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist, and compatriot Joseph Parker.
Despite his relative lack of experience in the sport, the Kiwi is a definite threat in Glasgow, and will be looking to use all of his 115kg frame, and his powerful combinations.
Their Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer is Bowyn Morgan, a silver medallist at the 2012 AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifiers, and who has achieved success in many events over the recent years.
His teammate David Light is one of the most experienced boxers in the team, even though he is just 22-years-old.
The Heavyweight class (91 kg) boxer was the lone competitor from New Zealand in the last edition of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan last October.
Both of New Zealand’s women boxers have experience of fighting in Britain, as both qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Alexis Todd-Pritchard, and multiple National Champion Megan Maka also won the recent North Island Golden Gloves Tournament in Taupo, giving them ideal preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
AIBA Youth World Championships competitor David Nyika won the Vllaznia Memorial Tournament in Albania in May, which gave him a guaranteed place in the team, while Eric Finau was added to the team shortly before the deadline.
AIBA Oceania Olympic Qualifiers silver medallist Chad Milnes, and National Champion Leroy Hindley are also members of the squad, and both should produce some exciting boxing action.
NZ Fact of the Commonwealth Games
The average age of the men’s squad is just 21.4 years, which means many of their team members could also compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
New Zealand’s history in the event
New Zealand’s best boxers have been competing in the Commonwealth Games since 1938, where their first medals were achieved in Sydney.
Auckland hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1950, and Frank Creagh won their first boxing gold at the +79.4kg weight class.
The tenth edition of the Commonwealth Games was scheduled in Christchurch, while Auckland hosted the Games second time in 1990, where New Zealand’s last boxing gold medal was achieved by Michael Kenny.
Daniel Codling (69kg) and Shane Cameron (91kg) won the last Commonwealth Games medals for New Zealand in Manchester 2002.