Comeback fighter Alexis Pritchard headlines NZ boxing contingent for Commonwealth Games

New Zealand boxing is hoping to send one of its biggest Commonwealth Games teams to the Gold Coast in April with a veteran now emerging as one of their best medal hopes.

Comeback fighter Alexis Pritchard is full of confidence on the back of an impressive build up in the United States.

Pritchard, 34, was back in the country and is still coming to terms with her first knockout win in more than 100 amateur fights.

"The minute the punch was delivered and she dropped to the floor, Alexis the passionate person came out and I was so worried about her - the shine of the win actually left," said Pritchard.

Her first round demolition job in Houston justified her decision to come out of retirement.

"My coach has been telling me for years I have that kind of power but I never really believed him."

New Zealand boxing sent a team of seven offshore and would like to dispatch as many maybe event eight to the Games - but only five spots are open.

The youngest contender 19-year-old Tasman Benny has an anxious wait to see if she is fast tracked.

"I think it's helped a little bit. Like it’s more experience though just like to build up my boxing," said Benny.

In the meantime Benny is set to go back to work juggling her fledging naval career with her sporting passion.

The former Olympian returned to NZ after claiming her first knockout win in the US. Source: 1 NEWS

'This is bigger than boxing' – SBW motivated by charity ahead of next fight

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams says his next jaunt into the boxing ring is all about charity, rather than his reputation within the sport.

Williams, 33, will fight Australian reality TV star Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy in Sydney on December 1, with all funds raised to go aid homeless in Australia and New Zealand.

Speaking to media in Auckland today, Williams revealed his motivation for the bout.

"This is bigger than boxing," he began.

"I'm just humbled by Stu and Max (Markson, promoter) coming to me and asking if I want to be a part of it.

"Understanding that Bill Crews (of the Exodus Foundation) and the Auckland City Mission have big parts to play in that, that's what we're trying to do and raise funds for."

The All Blacks star will face Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy on December 1. Source: 1 NEWS


'He really rates himself as a boxer' - SBW reveals Dane Coles wants trainer role for charity fight

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has joked that teammate Dane Coles could act as his trainer for December's upcoming charity fight, with the hooker rating himself as a fighting prodigy.

Williams, 33, will take on Australian reality TV star Stu "The Bachelor" Laundy on December 1, raising funds for both the Auckland City Mission, and the Exodus Foundation.

Speaking to 1 NEWS at this morning's media conference in Auckland, Williams spoke of Coles' influence on his return to the ring.

"I sit next to him on the bus, and he's already talking so much," he began.

"He's telling me the fight plan, he really rates himself as a boxer.

"Maybe we can get him on the card."

The All Blacks hooker is looking to mentor his star teammate for December's bout. Source: 1 NEWS


'I beat a bloke in year six!' – SBW’s next opponent reveals boxing 'pedigree'

Stu 'The Bachelor' Laundy has re-affirmed his boxing resume ahead of his December charity bout with All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams.

Finding fame on Australian reality TV, Laundy, 44, will step into the ring with Williams on December 1 in Sydney, with the proceeds of the fight to go towards helping the homeless in Sydney and Auckland.

Questioned about his past boxing experience at today's media conference in Auckland, Laundy detailed his not-so-rich history in the sport.

"Not a lot, like everyone (I've) just boxed for fitness over the years," he began.

"I beat a bloke called Dave Reburger in year six, so I'm one from one.

"It's going to be a fun night.

"I'm the same height as Sonny, I probably don't have the same ability, but we'll give it a shot."

Laundy will be trained by triple-world champion Jeff Fenech, with all funds going to the Exodus Foundation, and the Auckland City Mission.

Stu Laundy will face the All Blacks star for charity on December 1. Source: 1 NEWS

Sonny Bill & The Bachelor face off in pre-fight stare-off ahead of charity bash

Sonny Bill Williams will fight Australian millionaire pub owner Stu Laundy in what should be a gentle return to the boxing ring on December 1.

In an announcement which confirms the charitable nature of the fight, All Blacks star Williams will trade blows with 44-year-old Laundy, a prominent reality TV celebrity.

It is the headline event of the "Banger under the Hanger" promotion in Sydney, raising money for city missions on both sides of the Tasman.

Williams, 33, boasts a 7-0 professional record and is a former New Zealand heavyweight champion. His last fight was nearly four years ago.

"I'm looking forward to getting back in the ring again. I know this will be a hard fight for me," Williams said.

"Some people will say I'll be rusty. But I can't wait! I know I'll put on a good show and the cause is a great one. It feels good to be giving something back."

The fight falls on the weekend after the All Blacks' final Test of the year, against Italy in Rome.

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has received assurances from Williams and his agent Khoder Nasser that Williams won't be compromised, with rugby taking priority over boxing training throughout a five-week tour of Japan and Europe.

Father-of-two Williams has battled wrist, knee and shoulder injuries this season.

His lone Test appearance came against France three months ago before limping off injured in the second half. He hasn't played since.

The two fighters will meet in the ring in December. Source: 1 NEWS