This year's Christmas with a Punch corporate boxing event has the capacity to be the biggest yet.

Having outgrown the Rotorua Girls' High School arena, with boxing events continuously selling out, Rotovegas Boxing Gym is working with the Rotorua Lakes Council to host the event at the Energy Events Centre.

Rotovegas Boxing Gym owner Aaron Warren said the annual event was held for two reasons.

"One reason we do it is it's a fun event for the community and gives people the opportunity to get fit and fast. And two, is it becomes a fundraiser for our amateur boxing academy, where the fees are free, the travelling costs are paid for and their equipment comes at no cost to the families.

Advertisement

"We had about 1000 people last year and the Girls' High arena is far too small now. So we've done a deal with council and we're happy about that."

Warren said entries close on Friday and he had received about 80 so far, but was eager for more. Thirty-six boxers will be selected from those entries to fight in 18 bouts at the event.

"The more entries we get the better we can match people up and make the fights even. We have some ladies there that are 54 or 60 kilos and there aren't a lot of matches for them, so we're singing out for some more opponents to get the weights and ages right. You want to start on the same ground at the end of the day.

"It's exciting to see so much interest in boxing, they're all first time boxers. We encourage anyone who's interested to enter and we'll take them through training and help them prepare.

"We're going to have one or two professional fights on the cards as well, one of them will be Tyrone [Warren], that's still being finalised," he said.

The red team performs a chant at the beginning of last year's Christmas with a Punch fight night at the Rotorua Girls' High School arena. PHOTO/FILE
The red team performs a chant at the beginning of last year's Christmas with a Punch fight night at the Rotorua Girls' High School arena. PHOTO/FILE

Brendon Kenny's company Property Inspect BOP sponsors Tyrone Warren for his professional fights, but Kenny has decided to put his money where his mouth is this time around and step up for his first fight.

"Tyrone said, 'You can't sponsor me and not get in the ring', so I thought I might as well. I'm feeling excited, I'm training three times a week and it's going good," Kenny said.

He had no previous boxing experience, but was a competitive person and aiming to win.

"We've gone through the basics and I've jumped in the ring and done a bit of sparring."

This will be the sixth time the gym has organised the event which sees local personalities, business people and sportspeople go toe-to-toe in the ring.

All competitors are put through a training programme as part of either the blue or red squad. Last year the red squad took home the overall team prize, winning 11 of the 17 fights. A record 11 bouts between women were on the card.

Christmas with a Punch is on Saturday, November 25. To register or inquire about tickets go to Rotovegas Boxing Gym on Te Ngae Rd or message their Facebook page.