Boxers raise $35,000 to help fund rugby trip

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 24/03/2014

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An estimated $35,000 was raised for St Peter's College rugby on the back of a charity boxing event on Saturday which was regarded a resounding success.

St Peter's College are sending a rugby team to Canada this year and decided to put on a charity fight night at the Gore Town and Country Club as a fundraiser.

The event featured eight fights, made up of mainly club rugby players around Southland who turned themselves into boxers for the night.

New Zealand Boxing president Tom O'Connor provided advice and assistance to organisers concerning what they needed to tick off to ensure the event ran smoothly.

O'Connor praised the organisers for turning on what he described as a "first class" boxing event and said the standard of boxing from a bunch of novices was high.

Organiser Chris McIlwrick said close to 100 volunteers chipped in to put on the night. He said the feedback from the crowd of about 600 was positive.

The only female bout of the night, between Kerstin Schwabb and Hayley Chalmers, was one of the highlights and the crowd gave thepair a standing ovation after they went toe to toe throughout. Schwabb ended up winning in a points decision.

The Tama Toomata-Michael Gellately contest was dubbed as the feature bout of the night and provided plenty of thrills.

Toomata was knocked down in the first round and received a standing eight-count, but he got one back when he knocked Gellately down in the second round.

Gellately went on to win in a points decision.

Many felt Brad Whyte was ahead on points when he was disqualified for a punch that was deemed to be after the bell and his opponent Wallace Heteraka was handed the victory.

Leon Olsen grabbed the only stoppage of the night when he racked up a round one TKO win over Cameron Bone.

Dayna Cunningham won the battle of the big boys beating Anthony Peaufa on points.

Steve Cormack was also a points winner, although to Damon Topi's credit he finished strongly in the last round.

Probably the most anticipated matchup of the night was between Glen Cunningham and Ben McHugh with the bragging rights on the line for the Drummond-Limehills-Star and Midlands rugby clubs.

The contest even sparked a $1000 bet between members of the two clubs and it was Cunningham, representing DLS, who came out on top with a points win.

Daniel Peterson suffered a broken nose in his stoush with Nataniel Koufis but still won on points.

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- The Southland Times

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