5 Jan 2018

Commonwealth hopeful: 'I go towards fear'

11:25 am on 5 January 2018

An Auckland boxer is hoping a new lease on life and passion for her sport will nab her a spot in this years Commonwealth Games team.

New Zealand boxer Alexis Pritchard

New Zealand boxer Alexis Pritchard Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Alexis Pritchard represented New Zealand at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games in the woman's 60kg category.

The 34-year-old retired after a close fight with one of the world's best last year Yana Alekseevna in 2016 - but said that same fight ignited her passion for boxing.

"I got out of the ring after that fight and I had lost to the world number two and in that moment I said to my coach who is my husband 'that was an awesome fight, I'm a good boxer am I not?' and he said 'yes, yes you are'.

"I don't even really know what happened I just had a good time.

"I was fighting someone who I really admired and at the end both corners were not sure who had won," Ms Pritchard said.

She retired after the fight as she thought she had reached her peak, but when this year's Commonwealth Games introduced a new 57kg category she decided to give it a go.

"This time around I'm going to the games because I want to give myself the opportunity to fight when I truly believe in my abilities.

"I have such a different mindset, I believe in myself and my ability, I can confidently say I am a good boxer, I couldn't do that before.

"I'm a better fighter at 57kg but because I've been fighting in the 60kg category I haven't paid to much attention to the competition, but I'm doing my research," Pritchard said.

New Zealand boxer Alexis Pritchard beats Australian Cassie Axon in the 2016 Trans-Tasman Boxing Championships.

New Zealand boxer Alexis Pritchard beats Australian Cassie Axon in the 2016 Trans-Tasman Boxing Championships. Photo: photosport.nz

She said her new attitude towards the sport has changed the way she trains.

"I have so much fun in the ring now, I go towards fear, when you're in the ring you get into situations were fear or panic can creep into it, when you're not confident in your abilities you can go into a shell and not perform well.

"Now I take that fear and do something positive with it, I take more risk and I think that makes me a better fighter," Pritchard said.

Selection for the New Zealand Commonwealth Games boxing team is expected in February.

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