Lord of the Ring: a knockout event

Forget The Hobbit premiere: the ring's real action is taking place right here in the Bay.

Tauranga's glitterati are already preparing their tuxedos and gowns for the Carrus Lord of the Ring corporate charity boxing event on December 8 at TECT Arena. Co-promoter Andy Martin says he has been delighted with the response so far and the event looks set to raise thousands for Waipuna Hospice.

"The Lord of the Ring corporate boxing event really has become the talk of the town, which is brilliant and just what we hoped for," he says.

"People who are buying tables are thrilled to have a new black tie event on the calendar and all of the who's who in this town have bought tables."

There will be 11 corporate fights, including face-offs between the Bay's supermarket bosses, real estate agents, lawyers, media and Tauranga police. The Weekend Bay of Plenty Times' indulge magazine is sponsoring media consultant Deb Batkins, who is fighting against Heaven Boutique owner Jules Bourke.

Trainer Chris Walker of Tauranga Boxing Club has been transforming these ordinary citizens into pro fighters who can pack a punch, with the training ring already witness to black eyes, bloody noses and even tears.

"The training has been going well with a few black eyes starting to appear amongst the fighters," says Walker.

"Everyone is totally committed to putting on a great show and, talking to the fighters, there have been a few sleepless nights.

"People who have never been to a corporate boxing event are in for a real treat. Events held in other parts of the country actually attract a crowd split evenly with men and women.

"Corporate boxing is totally different to competition boxing as these are normal people - and most are putting on the gloves for the first time."

As well as the 11 corporate fights there will be one pro fight between between local star Gunnar Jackson (NZ Super Middleweight Champ and Pan Asia Boxing Association Light Heavyweight Champ) and Moses Loelu.

There will also be a charity auction on the night with hot prizes including a return trip to Auckland in a Bentley, a meeting with John Key and lunch with Tauranga MP Simon Bridges and newsreader Peter Williams.

MC on the night is TV3 sports presenter Howard "Dobbo" Dobson and there will be three entertainment acts performing throughout the night.

Doors open at 5pm. The show starts at 6pm and finishes at 11.30pm.

Bets of $10 can be placed on the night, with all proceeds going to Waipuna Hospice.

Just 10 tables are still available online, priced from $1690 a table. General admission seats from $40 are also available.

See www.lordofthering.net.nz.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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