A friend of promising mixed martial arts fighter Fau Vake says he had been waiting for a taxi at the time of an incident that has left him fighting for his life.
The 25-year-old last night remained in a critical condition in Auckland City Hospital after an incident in Auckland central in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Friend Mike Angove, of City Kickboxing, said he had been with the Vake family at hospital until about midnight and that the young man was fighting hard to stay alive.
"There's no change... and he's hanging on to life," Angove told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning.
Angove revealed the father of one had been on his way home when the incident happened on Symonds St just before 3am.
"I think you should be able to be waiting for a taxi to go home after a night out without being set upon - or allegedly set upon - by a group of people," Angove said.
Fellow MMA fighter, champ Israel Adesanya, has called for "coward punch laws" to be introduced as a result.
It is alleged Vake fell after being hit from behind.
MMA champ Israel Adesanya calls for change
Adesanya said he was "distraught" about what had happened.
"My brother may die because of the actions of these men," he said yesterday.
The issue is a close one to Adesanya, who suffered a broken jaw in 2012 after being hit from behind.
"In the past decade, there have been numerous deaths from punches thrown when people are not looking."
Police and St John emergency services were called to the area, near the intersections of Khyber Pass Rd and Newton Rd in Eden Terrace, at 2.55am.
Two people were initially taken into custody.
However, police later charged a total of four men who appeared in the Auckland District Court on Monday.
Since Vake was identified as the victim in the incident, friends, family and the mixed martial arts community have rallied to support him and his family.
Three of the men charged in relation to the incident are 29.
One is charged with common assault, another is charged with two counts of assaulting with intent to injure, while the other is charged with wounding with intent and injuring with intent.
The fourth man is a 32-year-old who has been charged with common assault.
Police say inquiries are continuing into the circumstances of the incident.
However, they are not looking for anyone else in relation to it.