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Kiwi boxer loses Games fight

10 Jan 06 02:21

New Zealand boxer, Scott Gardner has been forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games, only a few months out from competition, due to a severe hand injury.

 

The Featherweight champion cut his left hand, severing several tendons on Christmas Eve at his family home in Wellington.

 

The accident led to his withdrawal from the Games after a tense wait while he recovered from surgery.

 

Boxing New Zealand President, Keith Walker said the devastating decision to withdraw was left until

the last possible minute.

"They wanted to leave it as long as they could but there was never much chance because the damage was quite significant. He'll be in plaster for eight weeks," Mr Walker told Stuff.NZ.

Despite this unfortunate incident, Scott and the Gardner family will still be in the corner of brother Jamie’s Games bid in the Lightweight division.

Although the team has now been reduced to five, New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) Secretary General, Barry Maister said Mr Gardner would not be replaced immediately. “…at the moment we've selected six boxers, one's pulled out so there's five, which is still a big team."

But there is still the possibility that a six-strong team will be heading to Melbourne, with lightweight champion, Carl Commons expected to contest the decision which led to him missing selection despite an unbeaten record in the competition.

The NZOC claimed that Mr Commons failed to meet the selection criteria.

"If for example there was some error in the process, if there was some information sent to us which wasn't correct then we would look at it," Mr Maister said.
 
The five New Zealand squad members are: Joe Blackbourne, Jamie Gardner, Kahukura Bentson, Soulan Pownceby and Greg Weenink.

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