Fight night organiser confident
AN organiser of a charity boxing event planned for Dunedin later this month says he is comfortable with the safety measures in place.
Charity and corporate boxing is in the spotlight again following an incident in Christchurch which has left a boxer fighting for his life.
Kain Parsons was critically injured during a bout against former Canterbury and Tasman Makos rugby halfback Steve Alfeld during the Fight for Christchurch event at Horncastle Arena on Saturday night.
Auckland gym Boxing Alley stopped its regular corporate fight nights after a man was hospitalised with a serious brain injury in April.
Dunedin boxing coach and New Zealand selector Ryan Henry said he was saddened by the incidents. But he is confident the event he is helping to organise will be safe.
‘‘The image of corporate boxing has taken a hit . . . with people just not following the basic guidelines,’’ Henry said.
‘‘I believe you should always have [the corporate fighters] training together and sparring together.
‘‘We actually match them up to see that they are at the same skill level.
‘‘For all our fighters it is mandatory to wear headgear and groin protectors. And for boxers above 91kgs, we make them wear 18oz gloves — below that 16oz gloves.’’
It is understood Parsons was not wearing protective headgear.
A doctor will be present at the Dunedin event, and corporate boxers will have gone through a 10week training programme.
‘‘There are some people out there making mistakes and it is making it look bad for corporate boxing. It is real shame this happened three weeks before our show where we are trying to abide by all the proper guidelines.’’
The Dunedin event will be staged at the Edgar Centre on November 24.
There are 13 corporate bouts scheduled as well as two professional fights. Henry said his understanding was it would be the first professional bouts in the the city for at least 20 years.