Dunedin charity boxing event going ahead

The tragic death of a boxer in Christchurch following a charity bout has reinforced the importance of training and safety for the organisers of looming charity fight night in Dunedin.

On the November 24 The Pride of the South Charity Fight Night will kick off at Dunedin's Edgar Centre.

The night will feature two professional belt fights and 13 amateur bouts.

"Stepping away from the issue isn't the right way to address the problem, proactively ensuring that the right steps are undertaken is," event manager and promoter Scott Godsall said.

"I will always ensure that everyone, whether it be on the dance floor or in the ring, feels safe and enjoys themselves at any event I lay my hands on."

The event comes on the heels of a boxer who was fatally injured in a charity boxing event in Christchurch on November 3.

Kain Parsons, 37, died earlier today after he was injured in a match against Steve Alfeld during the Fight for Christchurch event at Horncastle Arena on Saturday night.

Parsons was not wearing headgear.

Godsall said tragic incidents like the one in Christchurch "are never intended and when they occur they bring to light the importance of health and safety aspects that should always be in place for contact sports, amateur or professional".

The show had several safety measures in place to prevent an "extreme accident" from occurring which includes:

• All contenders sign a waiver acknowledging the risk of the sport

• Compulsory protective headgear for all the amateur boxers as well as chest and groin guards for females and males

• The use of 18 oz gloves for all male contenders and the use of 16 oz for females had been put in place with all gear being new and checked rigorously pre-match.

"The referees and judges for this event are trained professionals and will be vigilant in their assessments of the contests to mitigate any circumstance where a match should be stopped.

"This includes the 8 counts that are given to an opponent when stunned. If deemed unfit to continue, the fight will be stopped immediately."

Ryan Henry, the gym's owner and coach is on multiple NZ Boxing selection committees and was well respected in the industry and fully understood the elements involved with both amateur and professional contests, he said.

"A professional and qualified doctor will be ringside at all times, with emergency services being informed of the event prior."

Contenders had been trained under one gyms supervision, NZ Fight and Fitness, and had sparred together throughout boot camps allowing for match-ups to be made based on skill levels, weight and height, Godsall said.

Before the Otago night of bouts, Auckland charity boxing event Diamonds In The Ring 2018 was still set to take place tonight, the first boxing event since the death of Parsons.

Co-promoter and former boxing World Champion Daniella Smith said she was confident strict health and safety measures were place.

Smith said it was extremely hard being the first fight after the tragic death.

"It is so sad. Honestly it breaks my heart; for the family, for the boxing community. It is really horrible," she said.

"We just have to try our best to insure we cover all bases and tick all the boxes."

Boxing New Zealand announced yesterday that it is ending its involvement in corporate boxing events.

The governing body for amateur and Olympic style boxing announced that it had decided to cease any and all involvement with corporate boxing and won't be issuing any licensing for affiliates to run corporate events until they have reviewed the whole situation.

Vice-president Bryan Usher said that for some time Boxing NZ has had very real and grave concerns over the safety of participants in these kinds of events and the lack of consistent regulation being applied.

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