Boxer Bowyn Morgan driven by family sacrifice

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014
Bowyn Morgan

GAMES DREAMS: Canterbury boxer Bowyn Morgan trains with coach Phil Shatford yesterday ahead of a European tour with the NZ team.

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Whenever Bowyn Morgan is struggling for motivation, he only needs to think of what he's sacrificing in his bid to get to the Commonwealth Games.

Morgan, originally from Greymouth, has a 3 1/2-year-old daughter back on the Coast, but he's recently opted to live in Christchurch so he can spend more time training with New Zealand amateur coach Phil Shatford.

For the last two months, Morgan has lived with Shatford.

"It's sort of taken me to the next level being over here. I'm living with Phil, working in the gym and just getting better and better. And it's not just my skills, too, my fitness is a lot better," he said.

"It's really hard being away from my daughter, but I get back when I can. It's hard, but I just decided this was worth it because I want to get to the Games and give that my best shot. If I can go well there, that will open up options for me after and help my career. And, long-term, I hope to get her over here, too."

Morgan, Shatford and the rest of the five-man, two-coach New Zealand team head to Europe today for their final pre-Commonwealth Games tour.

The New Zealand Games team has not been named yet, though the general consensus is that the five fighters heading away today are all likely to be rubber-stamped. The other four are all from Auckland.

Welterweight Morgan, Patrick Mailata (super heavyweight), David Light (heavyweight), Eric Finau (light heavyweight) and Chad Milnes (lightweight) will compete in Finland and then go to Britain for a week-long training camp before a further tournament, in Serbia. The Games team is expected to be named while they're away.

The trip offers more experience of international opponents, although Morgan has plenty. He's had 96 fights including 75 wins and hasn't been beaten by a Kiwi in the last four years.

"He basically stops every second bloke he fights," Shatford said.

Morgan was also awarded the 2012 Jameson Belt for being the country's most scientific fighter.

He's got a powerful left hook and left body shot and has aspirations of becoming New Zealand's first Games medallist since Daniel Codling and Shane Cameron won bronze medals at the 2002 Games in Manchester.

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- Fairfax Media

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