Fight for Life: Fight for men not a knockout

Shane Cameron (left) fights Monty Betham in last night's main event. Photo / Michael Craig
Shane Cameron (left) fights Monty Betham in last night's main event. Photo / Michael Craig

They came to fight - but for many in the crowd they didn't dig deep enough.

In the main event at the Fight For Life boxing fundraiser Commonwealth cruiserweight champion Shane Cameron and opponent Monty Betham circled each other for six rounds without landing a telling blow.

The lack of aggression earned the ire of the crowd, who were warmed up by feisty performances from a string of stars. Cameron's credibility was on the line. He was expected to pocket around $80,000 for a win and a $20,000 bonus for a KO.

He won a unanimous points decision but he could not knock down Beetham, a former rugby league player who has not fought for four years.

Early winners at the Waitakere Trusts Stadium were Slade McFarland, with a unanimous points decision over Jerry Seuseu, and Wairangi Koopu, likewise over Matua Parkinson on points.

The loudest early cheer came for defeated Parkinson's advice to the crowd to "get your nuts checked" - a tip to the charity of the night, the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Carlos Spencer drew his match with Awen Guttenbeil, who was knocked to the canvas on the third buzzer and was tagged twice by Spencer as he was heading down. Issac Luke narrowly defeated Christian Cullen in a split decision. Liam Messam beat Wendell Sailor after three hard rounds.

The event was on track to raise $100,000 for prostate awareness. The star-studded event attracted the Prime Minister, All Black Ali Williams, NZ First leader Winston Peters and the Warriors and Super 15 Chiefs squads.

Promoter Dean Lonergan was confident of raising six figures for prostate awareness. "They don't want to do research, they just want men to go into their doctor and get the blood test."

The charity money was raised mainly from auctions last night.

The event cost $1.3 million to put on - and Lonergan said he had shouldered all of the risk."We don't start getting paid until we make back the $1.3m," he said.

Blokes doing it for themselves was the theme of the night but that didn't prevent the women getting in on the action.

TV presenter Hayley Holt beat surf champ Paige Hareb after they went toe-to-toe for three rounds.

Lonergan said the event's success would ultimately depend on how many over-40s got tested for prostate cancer.

- Herald on Sunday

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