Heads takes break to consider future
Leading Southland heavyweight Tom Heads will stay out of the ring for the next couple of months as he contemplates his future.
Limited fights and some close losses prompted the Southland Boxing Association to overlook Heads for the New Zealand amateur championships that start in Auckland on Monday.
Southland officials have set the bar high when deciding who to select for the nationals and they were not convinced Heads had done enough to warrant inclusion.
Heads has been limited to just four fights this year, and lost them all. He lost three of them in narrow points decisions while he was stopped inside the distance in the other bout.
He was denied the opportunity for more action at the Southland championships, where he had intended to force the selectors' hands.
His scheduled bout with Sunny Teki-Clark was cancelled at short notice after Teki-Clark's trainer Peter Bell suffered a heart attack.
Despite Heads' poor record this year, trainer Tui-Marie Sonter believed he still could have been a force at the nationals.
Southland will have just the two boxers at the nationals next week, with Rakai Matika, 14, and Aaron Lay, 13, flying the province's flag.
Matika will compete in the 38kg cadet division while Lay will line up in the 57kg cadet class.
Heads had the opportunity to fight for Wanganui in Auckland after missing out on Southland selection but declined the offer.
Sonter said Heads' heart was set on fighting for Southland.
"He's very much a Southland boy," Sonter said.
"If your heart isn't in it and you can't represent your province then it's no good going."
The plan now is for Heads to take a break and reassess what's next for him in the boxing game.
The two options on the table are for him to have another crack in the amateur ranks and set his sights on the 2013 New Zealand championships or turn professional.
"He needs a rest, he's been going hard out since Christmas," Sonter said.
"The goals just didn't work out this year.
"I've got faith in him, we're just going to have a break and see where to go."
Sonter believed she could get Heads some reasonable professional bouts if that was the course he wanted to pursue.
"I trained in the States for about 3 months so I've got some contacts for the pro scene as well," Sonter said.
"I've got people looking into that but we don't want to go down any dodgy paths because I've been offered some fights that way.
"It's just a matter of doing it carefully."
- The Southland Times