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It is a first for the region, and the North Canterbury and Leithfield Boxing Clubs, which are hosting the 4 Bs — Blues, Brews, BBQ and Boxing on Saturday, February 29.
North Canterbury has six boxers competing in the competition — Vanessa Smith, Jamie Tapp, Anna Sidey, Debs Bean, Lynda Waghorn and Matais Ibanez, all of whom have been training hard for the tournament.
North Canterbury Boxing’s head coach, Bill Newton, is excited to have them boxing on his card, with all but Lynda and Anna having fought before.
Lynda will be fighting a boxer trained by one of Bill’s sons, introducing a little father-son rivalry.
Vanessa will be fighting a tough boxer from Malborough.
Bill says he has worked with Vanessa and has watched her mental strength and skill level increase.
Jamie will be fighting a boxer from Boxfit Bros in Christchurch.
‘‘Jamie leaves nothing behind and is sure to create some real fireworks in this fight ,’’ Bill says.
Anna will be fighting Christina Walford, who trains out of Champ Nation boxing in Christchurch.
Bill says neither will be prepared to take a backward step, so it promises to be an action-packed contest.
Lynda will take on Dennise Roberts, who fights out of Smack Fitness Gym in Blenheim.
Lynda has worked through some injuries leading up to the tournament, but is now in the best possible shape for the fight.
Matais is fighting the experienced Jamal Couling from Champ Nation Boxing. Both are guaranteed to put on an action-packed and exciting fight, Bill says.
‘‘Matais works hard in training so is very prepared for this.’’
Debs will be fighting Sarah Martin, from Gore Boxing. They will fight for the Ann Newton Memorial Shield.
Both will meet again at the New Zealand Championships later in the year when they will fight for the middle-weight division title.
A new assistant coach will help Bill with the boxers.
Kelly Mckay is working towards her probational coach’s licence, due to the growth of the sport in North Canterbury.
She will sit her level 1 test later this year. Kelly also runs Boxfit classes on Fridays and Sundays.
Buses will be running from Hanmer Springs and Leithfield, ‘‘and all stops in between’’.
A band will play after the tournament, from 5pm to 8pm, with beer and wine available to buy, along with food barbecued by the Waipara Primary school.