Boxing: Morgan main event winner at Otago tournament

Christchurch man Bowen Morgan made his trip south worthwhile when he won the main event at the Otago Boxing Association tournament at the King's and Queen's High School Performing Arts Centre on Saturday.

Morgan, undefeated for the past three years, put on a classy display to win a unanimous points decision over Queenstown's Martin Mech (Fight Science).

The elite open middleweight bout started with Mech using his jab and his superior reach advantage to keep Morgan at bay.

Morgan soon settled into his work, showing fast hands and setting up combinations with lethal left punches to Mech's body.

The second round saw Morgan continue to gain ring control by cutting off Mech's space and picking his angles to score from.

Mech scored with some good straight punches, and the occasional right hook, but each time Morgan replied with a higher volume of crisper punches.

The final round saw Mech start confidently, scoring with a nice body shot followed by a well timed left hook.

Morgan refused to take a backward step and continued to press forward, but with a little bit more caution.

In the final minute both men traded good punches, with Morgan's quick hands and tough body punches proving the difference.

On the under card, two Rotorua boxers had differing results.

In a youth open welterweight bout, Ricaia Warren, a three-time national champion and double Australian Golden Gloves silver medallist, put on the performance of the night when he won a unanimous points decision over Invercargill's Nathaniel Arnold (Deano's Gym).

Using his left jab to set up combinations, Warren gained ring control, and scored freely with some stylish head and body blows.

Warren's father and coach, Aaron Warren, said his son's goal was to make the New Zealand team for next year's Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

Warren's Rotovegas team-mate, Summer Lake, was not so fortunate in her lightweight bout with Queenstown's Elizabeth Regan, who used her height and reach advantage to keep the short but powerful Lake at bay.

She scored well with straight punches and lots of them, frustrating the younger Lake (16), who has since been picked for the New Zealand team for its trip to Poland later in the year.

After the fight, a beaming Regan (28), said she was thrilled with her win and her tactic of fighting a smart fight by not allowing Lake to close the distance had paid off.

The fight night had 13 bouts on the card. Nine gyms from across the country took part and four from Otago.

Otago clubs won four of the 13 fights.

Fight Science elite open middleweight, Petr Zlamalik got the Otago club's first win when he won a majority points decision over Waikuku's Richard Robinson.

Oamaru's Zac Korkou showed some nice knockout power when he won his elite novice lightweight bout, by technical knockout.

Korkou put two standing eight counts on Olivier Cossette (Fight Science) before Cossette's corner threw the towel in the third.

Dunedin's middleweight Jono Airey (Bonds) won his fight by way of unanimous points decision over Timaru's Allan Ropata.

Otago Boxing Club President Bryan Usher was thrilled with the performance of the Otago boxers and the calibre shown by out-of-town clubs.

He said the tournament had achieved what it was set up to do, by giving Otago boxers a chance to fight in front of a home crowd and give them some decent preparation for next month's Challenge Belt interprovincial tournament against Canterbury, in Dunedin.

About 200 people attended Saturday's tournament.


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