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All eyes on title fight

Zane ‘Hybrid’ Hopman (right) in action against Alistair Boyd at the Indian Motorcycle Fight Night. PHOTO/CALDEN JAMIESON

By Jake Beleski

[email protected]

The entrees are done and dusted, and now Masterton boxer Zane ‘Hybrid’ Hopman can turn his attention to the main course.

Hopman fought Alistair Boyd at the Indian Motorcycle Fight Night Event on Thursday night, claiming another comfortable points decision win over four rounds.

It was the last hit-out for Hopman before his fight against Asher Derbyshire for the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association cruiserweight title, to be held in Masterton on July 15.

Hopman was pleased to get the win on Thursday, but said there was still plenty to work on before the next fight.

“In the second round it seemed like I dropped off a bit, and dropped into the zone of fighting to my opponent’s ability rather than my own.

“In the fourth round I found my feet, really started to dominate, and landed a good right hand that rocked my opponent and had him back-pedalling.”

Unfortunately for Hopman the final bell sounded before he could capitalise on his wobbling opponent, but he knew he had done enough to win the fight.

The title fight in July will be contested over 10 rounds, and Hopman said preparing for a longer fight may have played a part in his slow start against Boyd.

“I may have fought it at the pace of a 10-rounder, and didn’t give it the sprint it really needed.

“All in all I’m still happy, and it’s another notch on the belt.”

Being able to now focus all his efforts on his main goal was something to be excited about, he said.

“It’s probably what we’ve been focussing on anyway, without taking this opponent too lightly.

“But it’s good to have this one out of the way and sights set completely on July 15.”

Hopman’s trainer, Dave Drummond, said Thursday’s match-up was a valuable bout to give his fighter more ring time, and identified what they would be working on in the coming weeks.

“He probably gave his opponent a little bit too much respect, which you would do in a longer fight.

“We’ll be working on volume and establishing the range — the next opponent is slightly shorter, so he has to promote his own strengths and hide his weaknesses, as you do in any sport.”

Several boxers have already been confirmed as part of the undercard for the title fight.

James ‘The Beast’ Wilson will be coming over from America to fight Wellington’s Clint Foai in a heavyweight bout.

In the light heavyweight division Panuve ‘Wild Boy’ Helu will take on Tipene Maniapoto.

A corporate undercard will also feature with Team Wellington taking on Team Wairarapa.

Hopman said the ongoing support of his sponsors, Kuripuni Sports Bar and Wai Weight Gym, had been crucial to getting everything on track heading towards his title fight.

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