Sold out boxing event hits fundraising targets for rugby club
More than 500 people watched twenty fighters test their strength and endurance as they fought to the end of each round.
At 6pm, event goers flooded into the Wellington Indian Association in Kilbirnie as the fighters were privately briefed by New Zealand Professional Boxing Association Officials Jack Ploughman and Robert Revill.
“We all know how hard you worked now just try to enjoy it,” Mr Ploughman said.
Mr Revill, an ex welterweight champion himself, explained the rules of the ring to the fighters.
“You do what we tell you, when we tell you,” he said. “Any break of the rules will not be tolerated.”
After the crowds had settled in, the lights came up and New Zealand entertainer and event MC Frankie Stevens entered to introduce the event.
“Let’s get ready to rumble,” he said over the loudspeakers as the crowd cheered throughout the venue.
Fighter Andy “Kamate” Clark talked about his nervousness to his corner man as he warmed up for the opening bout.
“I’m trying to keep it together,” Mr Clark said as his hands were wrapped to receive gloves.
“I love my wife,” he said as he walked to join his opponent Michael “Woody” Wood who was already waiting in the ring.
Punters loudly encouraged the fighters, shouting out slogans like “smash him” and “knock him out.”
The opening bell rang and the two fighters began, swinging ferociously.
After two rounds both fighters showed signs of fatigue, before entering the third and final two minutes of their match.
After tense final exchange of punches in the final twenty seconds, the bell rang to sound the end of the fight.
Michael “Woody” Wood was declared the winner on points, a red corner victory.
“That was a good buzz,” Mr Wood said, “It was hard but I loved it.”
Of the nine amateur fights held throughout the night, all were fought by players and supporters of the social rugby club the 69ers and had taken on the effort to raise money for a team trip to Argentina.
The third fight was the first of two female bouts.
Jane Aoiane’s relentless punching lead to a knock down of her opponent, Shirley “50 Shades of Zulu” Mahonye in the second round.
The fight continued into the third round, but Mrs Mahonye couldn’t turn the fight around and conceded the win to Mrs Aoiane of the blue corner.
Midway through the event sports memorabilia was auctioned to boost fundraising efforts further. The items included a signed All Blacks jersey. The auction boosted the proceeds by several thousand dollars.
Headlining the event was agrudge match, between professional boxers Asher Derbyshire and James Langton.
The fight was a rematch – Asher won their first bout earlier in the year.
The fight began with both fighters exchanging blow for blow, as the crowd cheered them on.“I think he’ll be wanting to kill me,” Mr Derbyshire said before the fight.
Punches were thrown after the bell at the end of the second round and corner men had to rush into the ring to regain
control of their boxers, who taunted each other as they were broken apart.
The fight was eventually won by Mr Derbyshire on points and the audience cheered for the victory
Twelve weeks of intensive training paid off for all the fighters involved, and fighters Newswire spoke to said they would definitely fight again, and a majority said they would remember the experience for the rest of their lives.