NZ Boxing Returns This Saturday

Boxing returns to New Zealand this weekend with CTP's 'Boxing Is Back' event scheduled to take place Saturday (July 11) inside Auckland's ABA Stadium.

Headlining the event will be two professional bouts preceded by a corporate undercard. In the main event, NZ's top middleweight Andrei Mikhailovich takes on a rival from his amateur days in Dylan Wright. The pair fought twice as amateurs with Mikhailovich earning split decision victories on both occasions. The night's co-main event is a lightweight bout between CKB's Raihau Lehartel and a returning Aung Sanda.

"Both pro bouts will be fantastic," CTP's Craig Thomson told NZ Fighter.

"Both have their own stories with the main event being the young confident Andrei Mikhailovich looking to continue his march towards international success. His opponent Dylan Wright is a former amateur looking to get some payback and the W next to his name.

"The semi-main features another young, exciting up and comer in lightweight Raihau Lehartel training out of CKB via Tahiti. His opponent, Aung Sanda, is coming back after a nearly eight-year hiatus. Sanda is well known around the local fight community as an accomplished amateur then turned pro for a couple of bouts. Its the old warhorse looking to turn back the clock against the young stud. Should be a barn burner!

Thomson, one of this country's most prolific boxing promoters, is excited about this weekend's upcoming event as well as future shows he has in the pipeline.

"It's great to be able to be back putting on great local boxing shows. Obviously, Covid knocked the wind out of a lot of people's sails, we were the last boxing show pre covid and will be the first show back post covid so hoping for a great crowd. We know it will be a fantastic night of fights.

"We have some great events and fights lined up for the remainder of 2020. August 22 is Charalampous vs. Bryant for the Pro Box Cruiserweight NZ title, and the return of John Parker, who's brother knows his way around the ring also.

"In September, we have Dave Aloua boxing as he looks to set up a big fight end of 2020. In October, we have Zane Hopman vs. Ratu Dawai for the Pro Box Light Heavyweight NZ Title in Masterton and another show yet to be announced in Auckland for October. So all in all its a very busy time.

The ongoing border restrictions, alongside the inability for overseas promoters to stage events with an audience, mean it will not be as easy as it once was for local fighters to head overseas to compete. Thomson feels that we may end up seeing more Kiwi fighters staying busy in their backyard because of this.

"With regard to boxer expectations in this current climate, I don't think a lot changes other than the international travel situation. This means the local guys will have to fight each other and not pick and choose there moments to head offshore.

" This can only be a good thing for the local professional boxing scene in NZ. If you sit on your hands, waiting for something to happen, time will pass you by. You have to be proactive in this business as a promoter, manager, and fighter."

If you are keen on checking out this weekend's event just head over to the CTP Boxing Facebook page where you will find all the information you need.

Written by Michael Clifton