A man behind a major boxing Fight Night planned for Levin said the sport helped him to fight off the demons of depression.
Charlie Rudd said boxing saved his life. The former Levin policeman said he went through a "real dark patch" a few years ago.
"I was looking for something. I found boxing," he said.
"It saved me. Then I thought, I could use this as a vehicle to help other people. That was the vision."
Realising what boxing was doing for his own wellbeing, he set up a boxing gym in Paraparaumu two years ago, called The Stable.
"Originally it started as a stable for the unstable," he said.
The Stable soon grew legs. People began to join not only for wellbeing, but also for the challenge and fitness it provided. Numbers swelled.
Realising that almost half of its 60 members were travelling from the Horowhenua region, it made sense to set up a satellite stable in Levin.
Rudd said he wanted to make sure The Stable stayed true to its roots in making sure wellbeing was at the forefront of ethos.
"It's a simple hello and making everyone feel welcome.
"Then you find out why they want to join and what it is that's driving them. Everyone has different reasons, but if you understand why it can push you to do that extra burpy or that extra push-up."
The idea of staging a series of boxing bouts - dubbed Taitoko Takeover - happened organically. It was another chance for people to challenge themselves, he said.
Taitoko Takeover was being touted as a "Premier Fight Night" and would involve local people from all walks of life, from policemen to builders, firemen to chefs, office workers to prison guards.
Five female fights would feature on the 12-bout card, to be held at Horowhenua Events Centre on May 29.
A collective of Rudd, Zane Bull, Mick Longley, Michelle Rudd, and Johnny Royal were involved in organising the event and training boxers.
Rudd said the event had the backing of Boxing New Zealand which would provide umpires. Each bout would be three rounds of two minutes.
"They are vastly experienced and will call it off and the first blip of someone getting hurt," he said.
There would be a strong emphasis on safety and towels would be thrown in the ring at the first hint of a boxer struggling.
"The last thing we want is a knock-out. The best outcome is three solid rounds and good friendships at the end."
Six boxers from the Levin stable were on the card and three from Paraparaumu. The remainder were from boxing clubs from the lower North Island.
For many, it would be their first time in the ring. The main event would see Levin man Junior Vaikai take on Jay Rea from Lower Hutt.
Levin policeman Shaun Stout has been given a stern task in his debut, carded to fight Shayn Van Der Fecht from the Eltham Kickboxing Academy.
Stout said his reason for stepping forward was to challenge himself. He was training accordingly.
"We're not here to [cuddle] spiders," he said.
Tickets for Taitoko Takedown tickets were on sale now. It would be held at Horowhenua Events Centre.
Ringside tables with multiple seats ranged in price from $2000 to $1250, while there was also general admission seating available from $39.95.
The venue was licensed and there would be ring announcers, dancers, introduction music, meals and a bar serving beer and wine.
While not quite black tie, the dress code was smart casual. Attendees were required to wear a suit or collared shirt and jacket, tidy pants and tidy shoes or dress - no wearing of caps or sunglasses permitted.