Saturday, June 22, 2024

Two national titles for Pakuranga fighters

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Revills Boxing Gym fighters Wendell Stanley, left, and Kheva Potatau came away with national titles.

Two boxers fighting out of Revills Boxing Gym in Pakuranga have secured national titles at the recent New Zealand Boxing Championships in Tauranga.

Three boxers from the gym represented Auckland. Head coach for Auckland this year was Revill’s assistant coach Jonathan Nevin.

This year’s nationals had a record number of entries with a total of 197 boxers chasing national championship glory.

Wendell Stanley [71kg elite male] and Auckland team captain was accompanied by Tim Max [75kg elite male] and Kheva Potatau [67kg elite male].

Tim Max, who has been with the gym for about three months and has shown huge improvements and potential since coming on board, secured his spot in the team after winning the Auckland champs in the 75kg division and impressing the Auckland selectors.

This was Max’s first nationals and he lost his bout against the eventual winner in a stacked division.

“There are lots of learnings for the middleweight who has the desire to work hard and improve for next year’s event,” Nevin said.

Kheva Potatau, who was runner up last year at 63.5kg, stepped up a weight division to 67kg, having two hard bouts to win the gold and the Morgan Cup in the Welterweight division.

Potatau’s opponent in the finals represented New Zealand last year at the Youth Worlds and is a very talented boxer from Christchurch.

“Kheva’s performance was high class and he used technical skills and speed to control the bout, in what many have commented on as his best ever performance,” said Nevin.

“Having won previous title in the junior and youth divisions, this was a fantastic achievement for the 21-year-old.”

The one to watch was Wendell Stanley going for his third back-to-back title in the light middleweight division and with Olympic selectors watching, the pressure was on to perform.

Having won his semifinal bout, Stanley faced a very skilful boxer in Xavier Mata’afa-Ikinofo, who represented Niue at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“This was a close even technical bout leading into the third and final round in which Wendell stepped it up to seal the deal,” said Nevin.

“This round had the crowd on their feet with an all-action, fast-paced round and Wendell winning the bout 4-1. (five judges officiated).

“Due to the action and skill shown in the final bout, Wendell was awarded the Jameson Belt which is New Zealand boxing’s most prestigious award and given to the most technical elite male boxer at the end of the tournament.

“The list of previous winners of this belt is a who’s who of New Zealand boxing legends and is a great honour to receive this award.”

The icing on the cake for Revills Boxing Gym was head coach Lance Revill being awarded the Joe Thwaites Memorial Challenge Shield as trainer of the Jameson Belt winner Stanley.

Revills Boxing Gym is having another busy and successful year, attending numerous tournaments, both local and international.

Youth boxer Ian Tauaika won the youth 75kg Oceania champs in Samoa in May, representing New Zealand.

Also in the team was Revill’s assistant coach Jonathan Nevin as one of the coaches in the New Zealand Youth Team.

“With plenty of new talent coming through the doors, Revills Boxing Gym is busy as ever and having the three boxers represent the gym to such a high standard is showing all who walk through those gym doors that they too can reach the top with hard work, discipline and dedication, by living the gym’s motto of champions inside and outside of the ring, they can reach great heights in the sport and in life,” said Nevin.

The Revills boxers were part of a strong team from Auckland, who went on to have a fantastic tournament and came away with a superb medal tally of 12 gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze.

Auckland was also awarded the most scientific male boxer – Wendell Stanley – and most scientific female elite Boxer – Erin Walsh

Auckland also won the most association elite wins, and most junior wins for the association in a very successful campaign.

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