Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Northpower to hire bus for workers to attend boxer's funeral

Michelle Burke and her partner, Neville Knight, at work for lines company Northpower. Photo / Supplied
Michelle Burke and her partner, Neville Knight, at work for lines company Northpower. Photo / Supplied

The body of corporate boxer Neville Knight, who died in the ring at a charity boxing match, has been taken home while colleagues still come to terms with his death.

The 49-year-old Hamilton man died during a match at Te Rapa Racecourse on Saturday night in front of his fiancée and other family, colleagues, competitors and spectators.

Kevin Porteous, who was Knight's boss of 10 years at Northpower's Hamilton branch, said the mood at work on Monday had been very sombre as their co-worker's death was still sinking in.

Many of the jobs had been cancelled as workers spent time with Knight's partner, Michelle Burke, who also worked at Northpower, and other family members.

Colleagues who turned up to work on Monday were finding it very hard, Porteous said. They were running a skeleton staff at the Hamilton branch.

"It's not good. He was such an integral member of the team. [Co-workers] are just stunned and emotional."

Knight's body was taken to his Hamilton home on Monday night before being transported to a marae in Taupo.

Porteous said the company planned to hire a bus to take staff to the funeral at Waipahihi Marae on Thursday and estimated about 100 workers would attend.

A message on Nabby's Boxing Gym's Facebook site, which ran the event and was where Knight and Burke trained, thanked everyone for their wishes and said: "... we do everything by the book and run our tournaments through Boxing NZ. Our gym is tight and everyone is effected by this tragedy."

- NZ Herald

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