While Kain Parsons is fighting for his life in hospital, friends are starting the battle to support his family.
Parsons was critically injured in a boxing match against former Canterbury and Tasman Makos rugby halfback Steve Alfeld during the Fight for Christchurch event at Horncastle Arena on Saturday.
He was taken to Christchurch Hospital where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.
Yesterday, friend Darren Jenkinson set up a Givealittle page to raise money for Parsons' wife and three children.
The page was still pending moderation by Givealittle but had already raised more than $9000 from 16 donors.
"Kain was fighting to raise funds and awareness for his chosen charity, Conductive Education," Jenkinson said on the page.
"Kain is now fighting for his own life in the ICU at Christchurch Hospital. He has suffered an extreme head injury during the bout.
"For anyone who knows Kain knows he's the first person to help someone in need. Here is a great opportunity to return the favour and support Kain and his young family during this time of need."
According to his fighter biography, Parsons was a former builder who now worked in project management at Versatile Garages in Christchurch.
He was a "keen spectator" at the 2017 charity boxing event, and this year decided to give it a go.
A spectator who was sitting ringside told the Herald the incident was "awful".
"He went down with a short clean blow, didn't appear too aggressive but when he didn't jump up within a few seconds it was clear it was more serious."
Emergency staff went straight in and were "amazing", she said.
Parsons was not wearing protective head gear, but not many of the fighters did, she said.
"I was surprised more contenders weren't wearing head gear. I know it's only amateur but surely that's more reason to make sure the fighters are fully protected."
Conducive Education Canterbury said in a statement they were "heartbroken" by the news of Parsons' injury.
"We are heartbroken at this turn of events and wish to extend our utmost sympathy to Kain and his family and are praying for his recovery.
"Our thoughts also go to his opponent Steve Alfeld – both of these men have big hearts and have supported us tirelessly.
"This is a tragedy for all involved and our thoughts are with them and their families."