Netballers step into ring for charity

'We are friends, so it is quite nerve-racking'

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 05:00 02/11/2012
Charlotte Knight, Bessie Manu
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
GAME FACE: Kiwi netballers Charlotte Knight and Bessie Manu face off before their charity boxing fight.

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Two Kiwi netballers are putting aside their friendship to battle at a charity boxing event.

Canterbury Tactix player Bessie Manu will take on Northern Mystics defender Charlotte Kight in the main Fight for Christchurch bout on November 30.

The pair spent three years playing for the same team, but said they would not let that get in the way of their desire to win.

Manu said the opportunity to take part had "happened by chance", and she had not put much thought into the decision to fight.

"I talked to my parents about it and I thought they'd say 'no', but they were all for it."

The speed and agility from her netball training had come in handy in the ring, but she was still getting used to the individual nature of boxing.

"It's hard training, just having that mental toughness and being able to take hits, but I love it," she said.

"We are friends, so it is quite nerve-racking, but we put it aside in netball games too. Once you're in the ring, you can't hide, so it will be a tough battle."

Kight said she agreed to the fight to try "something completely foreign".

"It's so, so hard. There are days when I really don't feel like getting punched in the face, but I have to," she said.

"I don't know what Bessie's been doing but I know I've been working pretty bloody hard, so I think I've got a good shot."

Fight organiser Justin Wallace said he had sold more than 2000 tickets, while 98 out of the 110 corporate tables at the CBS Canterbury Arena were taken.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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