Bessie Manu, the smiley face of netball, will turn savage on
The Tactix netballer and her old teammate Charlotte Kight top
the bill for the Fight for Christchurch, which has already
raised $90,000 for charities.
Manu, who will be walked to the ring by her brother Nasi Manu
and his Canterbury rugby teammate Robbie Fruean, said she
won't be holding back.
"It worried me at the beginning when I started sparring, but
you can't afford to think of things like that," she said.
"Like netball, when you're on the court you've got to do the
Coached by former kickboxing champ Wayne Vaega for the last
10 weeks, she's also been getting tips from her brother.
"Everyone in rugby is an expert on boxing now!" she quipped.
While Kight (now with the Mystics), who played alongside her
at the Tactix and for New Zealand under-21, will have a reach
advantage, Manu said she had a game plan to cope with that.
"I definitely would like to win, but it will be quite a hard
fight because I know what she's like and she trains really
hard," said Manu.
She's also been back to netball training the last two weeks,
and felt the boxing regime had made her more powerful and
Manu's charity is the Christchurch Earthquake Children's
Other bouts include former Black Cap Mark Greatbatch against
local chef Phillip Kraal. The MCs are Brendon Pongia, Hayley
Holt and Leigh Hart.
Organiser Justin Wallace said the Fight for Christchurch
should have raised $100,000 by the end of the week, and he
hopes it will raise as much as $150,000.
- By Nick Tolerton of the Christchurch Star