In three years, Whangamata's Caydan Hope has fought 27 fights, had 24 wins and amassed a growing list of boxing trainees.
Caydan is hoping to take a title at Boxing New Zealand's National Championships from April 19 – 23.
As well as training hard for this, the 22-year-old has started up a fight club in Whangamata at his training gym, Bodywork in Aickin Rd, where he's teaching adults and local youngsters in different age groups the skills of an age-old sport.
"The boys are going good, they all just need to practise, even just five minutes a day every day," he said after a session last week.
Caydan's also hosted his first adults class for members of the gym, with plans for a corporate fight night in the town later in the year.
"I'm training guys up to put some locals in the ring, with local businesses sponsoring it and getting tables. If there's a building crew for example, one of them would put a guy in the ring and we'll supply the food and drinks."
The hosts of this year's Boxing New Zealand Amateur Nationals, Sandra and Eddie Tofa, have held popular amateur fight nights at their Whanganui gym and the Tofas have also been teaching youngsters, and a growing number of adults, who are attracted to the sport.
"Over the last eight years we've seen a big increase in girls and a big increase in adults as well," says Sandra. "They're joining to build confidence and self-esteem, and a lot, not all, are from difficult backgrounds. For them it's a way of dealing with anger."
The Tofas' son Viki represented New Zealand, and the proud parents welcome people from all walks of life to boxing, and have helped youngsters who were introduced to their gym by social workers and local police.
"They have to follow our rules including no swearing," says Sandra. "We've had some success stories, there's potential for them to go far. People build their fitness with classes but we have boxers-only classes if they want to compete, and at the moment we've got five entering the nationals including two girls, and the quality of the competing females is amazing to watch."
Caydan is formidable in the ring and his fights - some of which can be found online on Sky Sport. He has moved into the 67kg division, up from his previous weight division of 64kg.
New rules meant he had to be 63.5kg to fight in the division he had previously fought in and it was a tough ask.
"It's only .5 of a kilo but when you struggle to make that, it's a lot.
Whereas other top athletes get to boost their nutrition prior to an event, Caydan was having to starve himself the day before to make the weight division.
"I've had some bad ones where the day before I've eaten one packet of little breakfast biscuits all day and worked out twice, once in a sauna suit, and just feeling horrible."
Caydan is still training while teaching boxing to youngsters and adults, who approached him while he was training at the gym to ask if they could join in.
"They've seen I'm busy, so I started the personal training up to give people an opportunity to train up and fight themselves," he says.
Caydan has won 24 of his 27 fights and says the most recent one - against Xavier Mata'afa Ikiniofo - was the toughest.
"I got eight-counted, my second eight count, I did get a little bit roughed (up). That's what happens in boxing, and you can't win everything."
The mandatory eight count is a rule in boxing and kickboxing requiring the referee to give any fighter a count of eight seconds once they have been knocked down by their opponent, and before the fight is allowed to resume.
Boxing is no game, says Hope.
"You don't play getting punched in the face because it's your life at the end of the day. You don't want to get hurt, that's how I think of it and how I've been drilled.
"I've got aunties that say 'when is your next game?' and I say no, you don't play boxing, I could get knocked out so it's not a game."
Boxing classes are on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday for the fight team, with an additional class on Wednesday, and Saturday sparring.