There will be plenty excitement and some trepidation building, as a number of young boxers set their sights on their first Golden Gloves, to be held in the two Islands of Aotearoa over the Queen’s Birthday (5th & 6th June 2021) holiday.

Over the decades the North and South Island Golden Gloves has become the launching pad for International and National success. The two Golden Gloves were instituted in the 1980's and provide a step up for the young boxers who have aspirations for the future in the sport.

The New Zealand Golden Gloves, bring together the best young pugilist's in the country, who have enjoyed gold medal success at the respective North and South Golden Gloves. This year’s edition of the National Golden Gloves will be staged at the Woolston Club in Christchurch on Saturday 3rd July 2021.

It is interesting to look back to the first editions of the tournament that ranks in stature to just the Boxing New Zealand National Championships.

The first New Zealand Golden Gloves held in Oamaru in 1985, set the scene for the first decade, with the North edging the South 5-4. The first ten inter-island contests, saw the South win six tournaments, with their biggest victory coming in 1986 with 8-2 winning margin.

The standouts from the first NZ Golden Gloves, were Dean Calvert and Jason Eade, who would both go on to earn Boxing New Zealand's biggest prize of the Jameson Belt. The first National Golden Gloves saw Dean Calvert sweep Jason Hart three nil and Jason Eade defeat Paul McGarron by a similar margin.

Two of the best age-group boxers of the time both tasted defeat in the second edition hosted in Temuka. Michael Owens lost to Brendan Gallagher with Tony Terure going down to David Blair in the lighter weights junior division. Owen would go on to win six junior and intermediate national titles, with Terure earning selection for the World Junior Boxing Championships in 1990.

The 1987 national tournament resulted in the emergence of David Wickenden and Stephen Wood. Trained by Dr John McKay, David Wickenden was selected in the future to represent New Zealand at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Stephen Woods known universally as 'Woodsy' became a living legend in the local game with his irrepressible nature and non-stop action in the ring.

South Island boxer Jason Schmidt will long remember the 1988 Christchurch tournament, where he became one of the first of a long list of opponents, who suffered the firepower of David Tua. David, who is certain to be ringside in Taupo with some of his young charges, needs little introduction to the New Zealand boxing community.

Future senior light middle title holder Myles Dyne defeated Invercargill's Kerry Forbes at Auckland in 1989, with Jameson Belt winner Emmett Gradwell boxing at three successive title deciders in 1990, 1991 and 1992.

Other boxers who distinguished themselves in senior competition, include the Central North Island pair of Kalolo Fiaui and David Jenkins, along with Stephen McIver, Liam Hall, Noah Lopez, Colin Adamson and Danny Masterton.

North Island Golden Gloves @ Great Lake Centre, Taupo 5/6 June 2021

South Island Golden Gloves @ Woolston Club, Christchurch 5/6 June 2021

New Zealand Golden Gloves @ Woolston Club, Christchurch 3 July 2021

1985 New Zealand Golden Gloves @ Oamaru (South Island boxers first)


Rodney Kenny (Lawrence) lost to Quinton Nicol (Rotorua)

Bevan McCully (Temuka) lost to Richard Elliott (Kawerau)

Dean Calvert (Christchurch) defeated Jason Hart (Masterton)

Kevin Hamilton (Waikiwi) lost to Scott White (Hamilton)

Stephen Boucher (Dunedin) lost to Paul Cassidy (Hutt Valley)

Peter Crawford Waikiki) defeated Martin McCarroni (Hutt Valley)

Donovan Clarke (Invercargill) defeated Malcolm Nicol (Palmerston North)


Jason Eade (Invercargill) defeated Paul McCarron (Hutt Valley)

Les Bower (Invercargill) lost to Stacey Samuel (Manukau)

Article from Boxing NZ

Written by Benjamin Watt

Benjamin Watt is well known to all has one of the leading experts in New Zealand Boxing. He is a man of many jobs including, first openly gay boxing judge in the world, boxing writer, boxing promoter, boxrec editor, boxing commentator, Wikipedia editor and backstage event co-ordinator.

He has the nickname of "Mr Controversy" with his none filter comments he would usually make when being interviewed, on commentary or just peoples mixed feelings about him. However, despite this, he is one of New Zealand boxings biggest assets, one of New Zealand's best judges and have accomplished so much in this industry.

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