Favourable draw for Kiwi boxers in Glasgow

MATT RICHENS IN GLASGOW
Last updated 04:53 25/07/2014
Alexis Pritchard
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
BATTLE AHEAD: Kiwi boxer Alexis Pritchard has found herself on the same side of the draw as other medal favourites Shelley Watts (Australia) and England's world No 1 Natasha Jonas.

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The nine-strong New Zealand Commonwealth Games boxing team all made weight and most have found themselves on the right side of the draw. 

It's a running joke at New Zealand Boxing that the draw - though completely random at an unseeded event - often goes against those wearing Silver Ferns. 

This time it hasn't and New Zealand officials were grinning ear-to-ear with the draw which was made overnight.

Super Heavyweight Patrick Mailata has a tough first up fight against Australian Joseph Goodall who won his spot on the Australian team after beating Sydney Roosters league player Willis Meehan and London Olympian Johan Linde to make the final. 

Most of the other six Kiwi male boxers are on the right side of the draw including one of the side's best medal chances, Bowyn Morgan.

The four-time national champion will meet Scotland's Lewis Benson in the opening round. 

Top female hope Alexis Pritchard has a tough draw and is on the same side of the draw as other medal favourites Shelley Watts (Australia) and England's world No 1 Natasha Jonas. 

Pricthard, 30, will fight Dominica's Valerian Spicer in the opening round before meeting Northern Ireland Alanna Audley-Murphy, who has a first round bye, in the quarterfinals.

Watts and Jonas meet in the first round meaning at least one of Pritchard's rivals won't make the second round.

"We're happy," women's coach Cameron Todd said.

"She's got a tough, but winnable fight first and she tends to get better as the event goes on. She'll fight Northern Ireland second then, if she wins, either Watts or Jonas.

"She's fought them both and had a win over one (Watts) and a split-decision loss to the other (Jonas)."

Todd said Pritchard was high on confidence and a good chance to medal.

Her only female team-mate, Magan Maka, has a bye first up, but then meets the world champion Ariane Fortin (Canada) in the quarterfinals. 

"They fought in Poland in April and Magan dropped a split decision to her," Todd said.

"And she's improved from then. If she's in good shape, mentally and physically, in the quarters, she's a very good chance of winning."

Morgan is New Zealand's first boxer in action, overnight tonight (NZ time).

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