Robbertsen hopes for even break

TONY BIRD
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012
Tania Robbertsen
Fairfax NZ
FUTUTRE IN DOUBT: New Plymouth amateur boxer Tania Robbertsen is holding out hope that the International Boxing Association will change the rules and allow her to continue her career in the ring.

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Tania Robbertsen might have a few punches left to throw in amateur boxing after all.

When New Year's Day rolls around, the career of the 34-year-old New Plymouth lightweight (57-61kg) is expected to end because of boxing bureaucracy.

Under International Boxing Association rules, amateur boxers are not allowed to fight after the end of the year they turn 34.

But Robbertsen was given a glimmer of hope at an elite trans-Tasman tournament in Auckland last week, with suggestions the IBA may be considering extending the age limit.

"I can't say a lot now, but a couple of coaches at the competition said there is meant to be something on the age rules being announced between now and February," Robbertsen said.

"But until that happens and I see it in black and white, I don't know what I'm doing.

"So for now I'm just going to focus on my personal training business and keep fit. I'll continue to do some sparring and see what happens."

Robbertsen got her first, and hopefully not her last, taste of international competition in Auckland.

While she lost both her fights on points decisions against elite Australian opponents, Robbertsen was rapt with her time with the national female boxing team.

The 10-strong group trained for a week with the Australian women before the competition.

"I got to fight the two toughest girls. They were the two most experienced boxers of the Australian team."

They were also from heavier weight divisions. First up, she took on 64kg light heavyweight Shelley Watts, of New South Wales. Her second opponent was light-heavyweight 69kg division boxer Jessica Retallack, from Queensland.

"I went the distance with them, but I did lose unfortunately," she said. "I found out afterwards that Watts is ranked 14th in the world and the other girl was very experienced as well and has had well over 70 fights."

Robbertsen said it was interesting to see how the New Zealand boxers rated against the Australians.

New Zealand boxers won four of their bouts, with Australians taking the honours in the remaining eight fights.

"We're not that far behind them. The Aussie girls are lucky they get a lot more fights than we do. Most of our girls had only had three, four or five fights."

Robbertsen noticed that overall the Kiwi team were more aggressive in the ring.

"The Aussies are very good movers. They've got very good footwork."

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