New Zealand's Oceania Champion and London 2012 Olympic Games medal hopeful, Alexis Pritchard, 28, is one of the big personalities on the women's tour and has been in confident mood of late, which bodes well for when she takes to the ring at the ExCeL in the tough Lightweight category.
She and fellow Auckland Flyweight boxer Siona Fernandez will be flying the flag for their country in the boxing competition as no Kiwi men will be boxing in the British capital.
Cameron Todd, Alexis's long time coach and husband, says she has got a good chance of going deep into the competition. Pritchard, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, who has lived in New Zealand for the past twelve years, started boxing career back in 2002 so count now on a decade worth of experience in the ring. Standing at 1.76m tall, 5ft9in, and tipping the scales at 60kg, she is an imposing figure. She will be looking to use her range to keep her opponent's at bay as she mounts her assault on a podium finish when the women make their long awaited debut at the Olympic Games.
Her introduction to the international elite level came in 2004 when she won an encouraging bronze medal at the Taiwan International Invitational Tournament in Taipei. The following year, she then claimed silver at the 2005 Arafura Games and following that she competed at the 2006 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India, where she was defeated by Romania's Mihaela Lacatus 16:15 in a hard-fought contest. If Pritchard is drawn against her European rival in London, then be sure that sparks will fly.
In 2007, she struck gold at the Oceania Women's Championships in Apia, Samoa, before taking the title at one of the biggest boxing prizes in the Oceania and in the Southeast Asian region, the Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia. There she won all her contests including a triumph over Indian National Champion Meena Rani.
Pritchard travelled to Tunisia and to Serbia earlier this year and secured a bronze medal in both of the tournaments she had entered. On the back of this, Pritchard took part in the AIBA Road to London part I three-week intensive training program before the tall Kiwi was selected by the New Zealand head coach to take part in the 7th AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Qinhuangdao, China, which served as the sole qualifying event for the Olympic Games. There she was unfortunate to come up against the impressive Quanitta Lee 'Queen' Underwood and suffered a second-round exit after losing to the American 9:28. Following her qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games, Auckland-based Pritchard won the gold medal at the New Zealand's Northern Islands Golden Gloves Tournament after beating Tania Robertson 15:10. This was a confidence-boosting victory and active preparation for these Olympic Games.
Both the qualified Kiwi athletes are now involved in AIBA Road to London part II with the hope that training with the best in the business will ensure they get the best technical and physical conditioning before taking to the ring at the ExCeL London.
Cameron Todd will be at Pritchard's corner all the way through the Olympic Games where a good draw could pave the way for her to win a medal in the extremely tough Lightweight category where twelve world-class boxers will be battling it out for the world's top prize, the Olympic gold medal. Whatever happens, Pritchard and Fernandez will have made history for their country and will have memories to cherish for the rest of their lives.
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