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Friday, 19 April 2019 12:22 am

Social Rugby Club take a punch for a trip to Argentina

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FIGHTING for funding is always an issue, but a Social Rugby Club are taking to the ring for real.

Social rugby club the 69ers plan to follow the All Blacks to Argentina in September, and are raising money by holding a boxing event this Saturday.

The event will be held at the Wellington Indian Cultural Association in Kilbirnie, and will test the endurance of 20 fighters, both team members and friends of the club.

Fight Night organiser Andy “Kamate” Clark (below in blue) was proud of the effort put in, and held a final meeting at Lion Breweries on Wednesday to prep the fighters for the event.

“Before we started this you were all fat and out of shape. Now you’re probably still out of shape but you’re not fat anymore,” he said.

“I know you all feel good about your training but don’t go attacking any bouncers to test it out.”

Willie Collins, a personal trainer, has worked hard with the fighters teaching crossfit, boxing technique, healthy nutrition and “mental strengthening”.

The fighters have trained for 12 weeks, and now it is time for them to relax and focus on having a clear mind for their fights, Mr Collins said.

“You’re all physically prepared,” he told the group “it’s about bringing out your inner strength now.

Pro boxer Asher Derbyshire has also lent his skills to the fundraising effort – and will headline the event fighting against heavyweight James Langton.

Mr Derbyshire addressed the fighters with his own boxing wisdom explaining how important it was to take things easy and try to forget about fighting in the days before the event.

“When it comes to the fight, just have faith in yourself and remember your training,” he said. “Walking to the ring is the hardest part but just remember when that bell rings it’s on!”

As well as the male fighters there will be two female bouts.

Most of the fighters will be boxing for the first time.

All safety precautions will be taken including pre fight medical examinations and the wearing of protective gear during the fight.

The club has even taken the precaution of deferring their last rugby match to make certain there would be no injury before the event, something they had not done in more than six years.

“Make certain that if there is any sign you are unwell before the fight, you will not be fighting,” Mr Clark said as he handed out gloves to the fighters.

All the tables at the event are sold out, and only a few general admission tickets remain.

A player organised auction will also be held at the event.

The event starts at 6:30pm, with the opening bout between organisers Andy “Kamate” Clark and Michael “Woody” Wood with the headline fight to begin at 11pm.

Tickets to the event available HERE

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