Fight for Kidz back – at stadium

16:00, Jan 28 2014

The popular Fight for Kidz charity boxing event is back.

After a four-year hiatus, organisers David Bartley and Steven Boutcher have linked up to yet again put on a fight night involving novice corporate boxers in Invercargill.

Bartley and Boutcher have pencilled in August 16 at Stadium Southland

It will be the sixth charity boxing event the pair have put together.

They have raised more than $300,000 for charity, which included $117,000 for the Southland Hospital children's ward in the previous event in 2010.

The boxing extravaganza had become one of the more popular events on the Invercargill calendar but when Stadium Southland collapsed a week after the Fight for Kidz in 2010 it was put on hold because there was no other suitable venue.

Bartley said yesterday, with a date pencilled in, they would now advertise for prospective charities and potential boxers for the night.

He said the plan was to have all the boxers in place and training by May.

It is a unique event, for which Bartley and Boutcher are not just the promoters; the boxing enthusiasts also train the fighters.

The 2014 event will follow the same format, with 12 fights all up, including two contests for women.

Bartley said they needed to crunch some numbers and firm up their budget before they put together ticket prices and put the popular ring-side tables up for sale.

He added they had a list of previous backers of the Fight for Kidz who had bought tables and they would get first crack this time around.

In 2010 they had more than 1300 people at corporate tables and had little trouble selling the event out.

"The first year [2003] we only had 600 for dinner and the last one we had 1370, so we've been pretty lucky in terms of selling it. I suppose there's not too much activity in Invercargill in terms of events where a lot of people like to get dressed up and everything that goes with it," Bartley said.

He also didn't expect it would be hard to find people keen to get into the ring on the night.

Some have already put their hand up but organisers would wait until they advertised to see who puts their names forward.

"There has been a few ask me but I've said I'm not even thinking about it at the moment. That was even two years ago that they were asking me."

Meanwhile, Duco Events is still keen on Stadium Southland as a potential venue for a Joseph Parker fight later this year, which could make for two gala boxing events in the city a few months apart.

Duco Events director Dean Lonergan told The Southland Times yesterday he was putting the final touches in place for New Zealand's premier heavyweight boxer's next fight, to be held in March.

Once that was sorted he would visit Invercargill to meet with key people in the city, including Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt.

Lonergan said Parker is likely to fight four times in New Zealand this year and the company is keen to showcase him around the country, with Invercargill a strong prospect to hold one of those four fights.

"Once we have everything in place for the March/April fight, I'll be down there to see what we can get sorted for Invercargill," Lonergan said.


Fairfax Media