Old ad­ver­saries meet up

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

“The last time we met up we were all fight­ing each other.”

Mar­tin Ryan says it’s been more than 40 years since he and his for­mer box­ing com­peti­tors last caught up, but the mem­o­ries were as fresh as ever when they met up at the Mid­hirst tav­ern last week for a re­union.

Kevin McKenna says box­ing was in its heydey 40 years ago when all nine men reg­u­larly fought in the ring.

“We used to go all over Taranaki to fight. It was a pop­u­lar sport.”

De­nis McKenna agrees, say­ing back in the 1950s and 1960s, Taranaki had 11 box­ing gyms, and all were well at­tended.

The nine men who met up last week all had fond mem­o­ries of their times in the ring, and all had seen their share of glory over the years.

Kerry Wright said the group in­cluded both Taranaki and New Zealand cham­pi­ons.

“We were good at what we did, no doubt about that.”

Nine re­tired box­ers met up for a re­union last week at the Mid­hirst Tav­ern. (l-r, back row)Ian Coombe, Bill Nor­ris, Kevin McKenna, Bill Fraser, Shorty Cle­ment, Barry Lan­dri­gan. (l-r, front) Mar­tin Ryan, Kerry Wright (hold­ing a pic­ture of him­self in the ring), De­nis McKenna.

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