Horan to get Heaps in the ring in Fight for Kidz fundraiser

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 28/06/2014
Fight for Kidz
KIRK HARGREAVES/

FISTS RAISED: Former Southland rugby player Davin Heaps, left, will fight sacked NZ First list MP Brendan Horan in August’s Fight for Kidz fundraiser. 

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Controversial former NZ First MP Brendan Horan will take on Southland rugby hero Davin Heaps in the feature bout of August's Fight for Kidz charity boxing fundraiser.

Heaps, who played 87 games for Southland between 1992 and 2001 and came close to an All Black cap in 1998, is a late call-up for the event on August 16 at ILT Stadium Southland. "I wanted to smash Duncan Garner but he was unavailable, so we put the challenge out," Horan, 52, said.

Horan spent time training at a gym for troubled children in Tauranga recently and was impressed with what the sport could do for people in that situation.

Fight for Kidz has been in hiatus for four years, since the destruction of Stadium Southland in 2010, but has raised more than $300,000 for children's charities since 2003.

This year's charity is Ruru School.

Heaps made himself available after several boxers had to pull out this week because of injury and work commitments.

While Heaps and Horan are separated by nearly 10 years, they are of a similar height and weight.

Horan, a former champion lifesaver and New Zealand waterpolo representative, admitted he did not have much of a pedigree in the ring. "I got beaten up by my older brother when I was 10," Horan said. "I often go to sleep dreaming about maybe smacking Trevor Mallard over, so I've done a lot of mental preparation."

Heaps, 43, has not had to pull on the boots for Wyndham this season, and was looking forward to the challenge and maybe dropping a few spare kilograms.

"I don't know what I'm in for really," Heaps said.

"You get a bit lonesome when you get in that ring."

Horan has concerns about the length of the bouts.

"Two minutes doesn't sound like a long time.

"I'm going to have to talk to my wife and say: darling, that is a long time."

Having got a look at how hairy Heaps' chest is when the two met this week, Horan also wants to put on a side bet that if he can knock the former rugby player down, then a special auction will be held to shave him during the night.

Dave Bartley, who has co-organised the fundraiser with Steve Boucher for the past decade, said all 149 tables - 21 more than could be accommodated in the old stadium in 2010 - were accounted for and there would be 2000 additional seats in the stands, of which 400 had been sold before advertising started.

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