Gore coach revels in golden moment

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 04/08/2014
russell newton
LAWRENCE SMITH/ Fairfax NZ
PROUD MOMENT: Russell Newton, of Gore, embraces 18-year-old David Nyika after the teenager become the first New Zealand boxer to win a gold medal at a Commonwealth games in 24 years.

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Russell Newton pours much of his life into the sport of boxing so the pride he feels now in Glasgow is just reward.

Newton is the king when it comes to boxing in Gore, considering he almost single-handedly resurrected the Gore Boxing Club a few years back.

But his passion for the sport doesn't stop in his hometown.

Along with a bit of help from the Gore Boxing Club, he has self-funded many trips overseas in recent years to coach various New Zealand boxers at world tournaments.

Newton is in Glasgow as part of the New Zealand Commonwealth Games coaching team and yesterday got the chance to be part of something special.

He was in the corner for 18-year-old David Nyika's gold medal win over Kennedy St Pierre from Mauritius in the light heavyweight division - New Zealand's first boxing gold medal at a Commonwealth Games in 24 years.

New Zealand Boxing Association life member and Southland boxing stalwart Tom O'Connor said everyone in Gore should be proud they can claim Newton as one of their own.

"With what he has done resurrecting the Gore club, raising funds, coaching, Gore should be immensely proud of him. There should be a photo of him hanging on the wall [at the Gore Boxing Club]," he said.

"He's funded his own way - with help from the Gore Boxing Club - to get to these tournaments around the world to coach. It shows what sort of bloke he is. I am really pleased he got the opportunity to be part of this."

Newton narrowly missed out on going to the Commonwealth Games as a competitor in 1982.

He won the national middleweight title that year but the New Zealand team had already been confirmed.

Being in the corner to help Nyika to gold 32 years later is not a bad second option.

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- The Southland Times

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