'Young, white Sugar Ray Robinson' aiming high

Dunedin boxer Alex Hanan at the New Zealand Fight and Fitness Academy. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin boxer Alex Hanan at the New Zealand Fight and Fitness Academy. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Described by his coach as a young, white Sugar Ray Robinson, Alex Hanan is taking the New Zealand boxing scene by storm.

Alex recently fought his way to a New Zealand Golden Gloves junior lightweight title, and was also named the best junior boxer of the tournament in the process.

It was no fluke, though.

The 15-year-old trains twice a day, six days a week, when preparing for a fight.

''The training is mean. I do heaps of work on my footwork and hand speed,'' Alex said.

He started boxing five years ago, when his mother, Leah, took him down to the gym to try it out.

''At first, it was a bit scary watching him box, but he's a beautiful fighter,'' his mother said.

The John McGlashan College pupil is motivated by his love of boxing, and his love of winning.

''I was definitely fizzing after the Golden Gloves title,'' Alex said.

''I'm looking ahead to nationals in October, though.''

Alex won the national title last year, but there is more riding on this year's title.

It will be a major decider for the six-man team that will travel to the world junior championships next year.

''He's a great boxer,'' coach Ryan Henry said.

''His footwork, and ability to fight both inside and out, gives him a massive advantage over his opponents.''

Alex, who fights for the New Zealand Fight and Fitness Academy, hopes to compete at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

- Leni Ma'ia'i

 


FAST LANE

Name: Alex Hanan (15).

School: John McGlashan College.

Sport: Boxing.

Achievements: New Zealand Golden Gloves champion and named best junior boxer (2014), national boxing champion (2013).