Regan Kalmancsi's thoughts will be close to the cause when he makes his third appearance at the Battle for Life charity boxing event in Napier tonight.

"I was on the same team as Chy [Cassidy] when I made my debut in 2015. He became a victim of suicide this year and that's one of the main reasons I'm fighting again this time," Napier Port crane technician Kalmansci said as he pondered his bout against Manawatu's Shay Barber.

Their fight, which is scheduled for three two minute rounds, is the feature bout on the 15-fight card of the Laser Electrical-sponsored and hosted event which is a fundraiser for suicide prevention awareness. Tonight's show is the 10th edition of the event.

Kalmancsi, 31, lost his 2015 bout by a split decision to Jason Tuaputa and the following year beat fellow Bay fighter Douglas Samuels by a points decision. Tonight's will be his first fight against Barber but he will have plenty of knowledge on him as he has been training with Faamasino Aiolupotea who took on Barber at a show earlier this year.


A former rugby player and basketballer during his days at St John's College, Kalmancsi, took up boxing as a means of getting some fitness back after focusing on his career.

"I've mainly fought in corporate events. It was something different ... I enjoy fighting and I enjoy The Lab Fitness Training Centre where I am trained by Pat," he said referring to Battle for Life promoter and trainer Patrick O'Brien.

An 82kg division fighter, Kalmancsi, who boasts a seven-win, three-loss record, has been training four days a week for the fight.

"I'll keep fighting as long as the body allows me too," he added.

O'Brien pointed out for the first time in the 10-year history of the event a women's kickboxing bout will be staged. Hawke's Bay's Jahna Watson will take on Waimatao Hira from Waikato.

"Both of them have represented New Zealand in Muay Thai kickboxing and Waimatao recently returned from a fight in Melbourne. Jahna was a workmate of Chy's at Simkin Construction and that's what prompted her to fight this weekend."

There will be plenty of interest in the bout between Hawke's Bay kickboxers Kelvyn Jones and Jason Paenga. In 2015 Jones returned from the Unified World Championships in Spain with silver and bronze medals.

Paenga won't have to look far for his advice if the going gets tough as his 12-year-old son Alec, who is handy in a variety of martial arts, will have plenty of tips to pass on.


Hawke's Bay's Mike Henare will make his second appearance in Battle for Life when he takes on Steven Sentuli. Henare is the oldest brother of former New Zealand Residents XIII and Hawke's Bay Unicorns rugby league winger Richard Henare and former Hawks basketballers Jamie and Paul Henare.

In 2017 Henare beat national title-winning Hawke's Bay age group basketball coach Regan Spooner.

Hawke's Bay Saracens and Havelock North premier club rugby lock Phil McRoberts will have plenty of support when he takes on fellow Bay entrant Winara Paku. McRoberts endurance on the rugby field is top shelf and his never-say-die approach should see him register a victory.
Pearce Poipoi v Sietse Posthuma
Waitiria Greeks v Michelle van Gelder
Sophie England v Alayna Hokianga
Quade Smith v Sam McKellar
Mel Skews v Gundeep Singh
Wiremu Brown v Deniro Clark
Regan Clare v Daniel Bull
Richie Feulufai v Lee Wellington
Phil McRoberts v Winara Paku
Mike Henare v Steven Sentuli
Dayna Brown v Destiny Kingi
Cruizer Robinson v Koko Robertson
Jahna Watson v Waimatao Hira
Kelvyn Jones v Jason Paenga
Regan Kalmancsi v Shay Barber