Tania Robbertsen is about to realise her goal of representing her country.
The New Plymouth boxer thought her amateur boxing career was over after falling short on points in the season-ending national lightweight (57kg-61kg) title fight against London Olympian Alexis Pritchard in Auckland last month.
Under International Boxing Association rules, amateur boxers cannot fight past the year they turn 34.
"I don't want to [retire], but the cutoff is 34 for both men and women, and I turned 34 a month ago so I can only compete up to December 31st this year," Robbertsen said.
"It's a shame, because these days 30 is the new 20 isn't it? Age is just a number, to me."
So Robbertsen was thrilled when earlier this month she received a national call-up to be part of the 10-strong New Zealand team to take on the Aussies at a tournament in Auckland next weekend.
"My goal at the beginning of the year was to either be selected in the national team or have an international fight.
"That was my goal so I've managed to do it so I'm pretty happy. Considering it is probably my last fight, it is a good way to go out."
The New Zealand team will have a week-long training camp under the supervision of head coach Cam Todd in Auckland, starting on Monday.
Robbertsen has been told she will definitely have one fight in the tournament against Australia, with the possibility of two.
Robbertsen is coached by Box Office coach Jacob Rapira.
She said her training had been going well and had included sparring sessions with recently turned pro boxer, and Jacob's brother, Sam.
"He's been beating me up a bit lately," she said, laughing.
Robbertsen said getting to fight at an international event was easily the highlight of her career.
She thanked her sponsors - City Fitness NP, Charlie Rodrigues (Osteopath) and QP Sports (the provider of women's protective gear) - for their help and support.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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