Third generation to step into the ring
Third generation of boxing family to fightMARC GREENHILL
A third generation of a Christchurch boxing family is set to step into the ring.
Siblings Chris and Tania Barry will tonight fight for the first time at the sold-out Kevin Barry Sr memorial boxing tournament, named in honour of their grandfather.
In a boxing career spanning more than 60 years, Barry, who died last year aged 74, trained some of New Zealand's most successful fighters, including his son, Olympic medallist Kevin Barry Jr, and Jimmy "Thunder" Peau.
The event is the brainchild of his family and Canterbury boxing identities Peter Bell and Phil Shatford.
Barry's son, former boxer turned coach Bryan Barry, said his children wanted to take part in the first tournament.
He said Chris, 22, and Tania, 25, were keen athletes but had never pursued the family sport.
"I've never guided them to the ring, but it's something they've expressed an interest in and I've taught them a little bit over the years," he said.
"Me and Kevin [Jr] started fighting when we were 8, but we didn't have much choice.
"I thought I wouldn't do that to the kids and I'd let them come to me if they ever wanted to fight, but they've put their hands up and said they'd like to do this for dad."
The usual excitement of working in a fighter's corner would be replaced by nerves, he said.
It gave him a new appreciation of how his father felt coaching him and his brother.
"I've been lucky enough to be in the corner when [David] Tua fought [Lennox] Lewis and numerous other fights, but this is whole new experience for me having my own kids in there.
"I'll probably be feeling the blows," he said.
The event, at the Hornby Working Men's Club, also features top-ranked Canterbury fighter Reece Papuni, who narrowly missed Olympic qualification and is undefeated as a professional.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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