All the hard months of gruelling training, dieting and fitness work are over for the fighters who will be putting their reputations and bodies on the line at the TECT Arena on Saturday night at the Lord of the Ring Tauranga Charity Boxing Challenge.
A bumper 12-fight card featuring 11 Western Bay business professionals going toe-to-toe in three two-minute rounds, including four female fights, is set to provide unique entertainment for the event.
A huge bonus for fans attending the black tie charity night will be the big professional bout between Tauranga's Gunnar Jackson, the current New Zealand super middleweight champion, and South Auckland journeyman Moses Ioelu.
The first bout is at 6.45pm, with Jackson set to ignite the packed arena when he walks into the ring sometime after 8pm.
Proceeds will go to help the Waipuna Hospice raise the $2 million required this financial year to meet the shortfall between their Government funding and operating costs.
In recent years boxing in New Zealand has undergone a massive revival, with a large part of the renaissance coming from corporate boxing.
At stake for the best amateur boxer on the night is the Carrus Lord of the Ring championship belt.
The first two confirmed participants who signed up were Hobec Partner John Mackay and Craig's Investment Partners Aaron Moores, and they will close the night in the final bout.
When quizzed about why he entered, Mackay said it was a great opportunity to challenge himself mentally and physically.
"I enjoy boxing workouts at TGA Box and relish the intensity of the training and the fact that it is a full-body workout".
Aaron Moores said when he first put his name forward, he did not realise it was going to be such a high-profile night.
"My motivation is firstly to raise funds for a great charity and secondly to use the event preparation to improve my health and fitness.
"I love the total body workout which improves both strength and overall fitness and I added a couple of extra gym sessions or runs to my normal workouts, in preparation for the bout with John."
In the big pro fight of the evening, Jackson will be up against a tough competitor in Ioelu, who has fought his last eight fights in Australia, including two close point's decisions lost against two of the rising stars in Australia in Andrew Green (9-0-0) and Kerry Foley (14-1-1).
Jackson was awarded a unanimous points victory by the judges when the two met last year but he will be after a knockout tomorrow night.
Jackson's trainer, Chris Walker, regards Ioelu as a dangerous fighter.
"He is tough and durable and never takes a backwards step," said Walker.
"You could hit him with a sledgehammer and he would keep coming at you."
Fight card order
- Di Lewis v Nicolette Aldridge
- Jake Crawford v Ian Manly
- Rob Mcgregor v Allan Rudkin
- Amy Porter v Ira Argent
- Blair Cashmore v Anton Jones
- Gunnar Jackson v Moses Ioelu
- Kurt Richards v Lisa Parker
- Tim Lockhart v Matt Paget
- Jeff Garnett v Josh Hoskin
- Jules Bourke v Deb Batkins
- Simon Anderson v Rob Moon
- John Mackay v Aaron Moores