Kiwi boxers amongst Games history-makers

Last updated 12:49 29/05/2014
Alexis Pritchard
Getty
GAMES BOUND: Alexis Pritchard.
Magan Maka
GAMES BOUND: Magan Maka.

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Commonwealth Games

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Aucklanders Alexis Pritchard and Magan Maka will make history in Glasgow in July as women's boxing makes its Commonwealth Games debut.

Pritchard, 30, represented New Zealand at the 2012 London Olympics in the 60-kilogram lightweight class and will be joined by Maka, 20, who will fight in the 75kg division.

Pritchard was ranked No 2 in the Commonwealth.

"I feel really honoured and proud to be part of the first group of women making history," she said.

"Women have fought hard in the ring for many years and it is recognition of this. It's an absolute positive for boxing in New Zealand and around the world."

Pritchard expected the competition in Glasgow to be tough and hoped to offer support and advice to the others in the team, including Maka.

The pair were part of seven-boxer team named today by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

Chad Milnes, Leroy Hindley, David Light and Patrick Mailata are from Auckland, while Christchurch-based West Coaster Bowyn Morgan was the South Island's sole representative.

Milnes, 22, would fight in the men's lightweight class, Hindley, 21, in the light-welterweight, Light, 22, heavyweight, Mailata, 19, super-heavyweight and Morgan, 25, welterweight.

Boxing high-performance director John McKay said the team was well prepared.

"Our athletes have had to work harder than ever to make the grade," he said.

"It hasn't been good enough for our athletes to be winning medals in Oceania. Our requirements have been for them to be securing top finishes in international tournaments, and they have been able to do this."

Mailata and Morgan won gold medals at an international tournament in Serbia this year.

The men's team would head to Ireland in July for a 10-day training camp, while Pritchard and Maka would prepare at a three-week camp in England, fighting against top competitors from around the Commonwealth.

Boxing opens at the Commonwealth Games on July 25, with finals on August 2 and 3.

New Zealand has won 30 medals in Commonwealth Games boxing, including five gold medals. The last gold was won by Michael Kenny in the super-heavyweight class at the 1990 Auckland Games.

The last medals won by New Zealand in boxing were bronze medals in Manchester in 2002 to Daniel Codling and Shane Cameron.

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Additional boxers may be selected pending results from this weekend's Golden Gloves event in Taupo.

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