Resort boxers rise to occasion

Queenstown boxers punched above their weight at a tournament on Saturday featuring the cream of Wakatipu and national amateur fighters.

The Rising, a 13-bout tournament promoted by Fight Science Amateur Club head coach Stewart Mitchell, attracted about 400 fans to the Queenstown Events Centre.

Mitchell staged the event to help generate interest in the national amateur championships, which will be held at the same venue in October, and to help develop his fighters.

Four of Mitchell's five boxers on the card won their bouts.

Reigning South Island and North Island Golden Gloves light heavyweight Sam Connely beat Dunedin's Sam Beck in a close bout, which drew a standing ovation.

Connely also received the ''Fighter of the Tournament'' award, a jade necklace.

Wakatipu novice middleweight Petr Zlamalik beat Christchurch middleweight Richard Robinson in a split decision.

Novice light welterweight Richie Hadlow also won his fight by split decision. He beat Zak Korkou, of Oamaru, in a very good bout, shaking him early in the first round with a standing count.

Wakatipu novice light heavyweight Callum Owen stretched his undefeated streak to nine fights, beating the bigger Mitch Lucas, of Hamilton, in a close contest.

The only Wakatipu boxer to lose was South Island Golden Gloves welterweight title-holder Mike Smith. Smith, who hadn't fought for six months, lost to well-trained Wellington fighter Latu Talu.

- Philip Chandler