Kaikoura boxing club punching above its weight class

Buster, 4, and Jacob, 8, Ford with Ripeka Manawatu,14, and Kaikoura Boxing Club's star boxer Thomas Harnett-Poharama,19.

Buster, 4, and Jacob, 8, Ford with Ripeka Manawatu,14, and Kaikoura Boxing Club's star boxer Thomas Harnett-Poharama,19.

Boxing in Kaikoura is continuing to do well. With three enthusiastic trainers, the little gym on Ludstone Rd is pulling in a range of ages.

Trainers Leo and Peter Harnett, along with Ben Ford hold training sessions in the green garage at Sacred Heart's Catholic Church. 

Ben Ford has been developing the sporting talent of Kaikoura kids for some time, first introducing them to boxing and then letting the kids decide what sport they would like to follow.

At the moment there is 12 members of all ages who come along for fitness and to feel good about themselves, and it is open for everyone to come in and train, said Ford.

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"Physical fitness targets mental fitness and to me it goes hand in hand.

"If you're physically fit then you are mentally fit.

"In all honestly it is the best free workout in Kaikoura," said Ford.

Peter Harnett said the kids have developed a lot of mana and self confidence. 

Thomas Harnett-Poharama has been one of the club's successes. The Star boxer held his own recently at the Canterbury Championships, coming runner-up in the competition. 

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Harnett-Poharama boxed well in the elite male 69kg division coming up against " a very strong" and more experienced fighter 27-year-old Peter Neilson from Warrior Warren's Boxing Gym in Blenheim who wasn't afraid to mix it up with big bombing punches, said Harnett.

"He found his distance and boxed well, catching Neilson with good left hands and good right crosses."

The 19-year-old Harnett-Poharama won all three rounds on all four judges cards, but in the final came up against Bruce Raynes from Dunedin, who had won his last five fights.

"Raynes came out strong with big left hooks and right hands, and Thomas was ahead on points in the second round but lost concentration and took a good right hand left hook combination," said Harnett.

He wanted to fight on but a decision was made to retire Thomas from the fight. He will be meeting Raynes again later in the year. 




 - The Marlborough Express


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