A former New Zealand and Australasian light welterweight boxing champion has labelled corporate boxing events disgusting and wants them banned.

Billy Graham has run a boxing academy for at-risk youth for more than a decade in the Wellington suburb of Naenae.

He said corporate events were ruining the sport.

"It's not about the regulation ... it should never have gone on in the first place."


Boxing New Zealand has ended its involvement in corporate boxing events following the death of Kain Parsons, 37, after he was injured during the Fight for Christchurch event at Horncastle Arena on Saturday night.

An upcoming corporate boxing event in Christchurch has been postponed but others around the country are still going ahead. One in Auckland is scheduled for tonight.

Graham said boxing was not a game people played like tennis or cricket, and the nine minutes spent in the ring were the hardest of any amateur sport.

He said it was tough enough even with the right training, use of headgear and medical assessments every time someone fought.

Kain Parsons died after suffering a critical head injury as a contender in the OneStaff Fight for Christchurch boxing fundraiser last weekend. Photo / Supplied
Kain Parsons died after suffering a critical head injury as a contender in the OneStaff Fight for Christchurch boxing fundraiser last weekend. Photo / Supplied

"These guys skite about doing this for twelve months when most boxers have been boxing for eight or nine years. With my boys, I'm paranoid about them getting into their first fight and I make sure they're well equipped to do so."

Graham said he was concerned people would think twice about supporting his gym if they thought the academy was involved with what happened in corporate events.

"Men that can't fight with other men that can't fight playing with our sport, and it is my sport and I love it dearly and it turned my life around."

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said the death of Parsons was a tragedy. She has now sought advice from her department about whether charity boxing matches should be better regulated.


She welcomed a suggestion by a boxing trainer that untrained boxers should spend at least a year training before stepping into a competitive bout.

"I've asked officials to give me advice on whether we can change the regulations, there are parts of this law that date back to 1908," she told Radio NZ.

"So there is a time to have a look at what we are doing here."

Fitness centre 1 More Round in Christchurch has postponed its Contenders All-Stars Fight Night scheduled for December 1 and said it would be reviewing the way it delivered both its Contenders Club programme and Fight Nights.

"Our goal will be to provide the sanctioning body with even greater comfort before fight night that boxers are being trained, skilled and conditioned under experienced boxing coaches."

In Wellington, a charity boxing event called Bring Back the Biff is raising money for Mary Potter Hospice and is scheduled for November 17.

The event described competitors as being from all walks of life who have "trained the house down" including rugby players, car salesman, gym instructors and stay at home mums.

In Auckland, another charity boxing event called Diamonds in The Ring is set to go ahead tonight with schoolteachers, navy personnel and public servants among those donning the gloves.

Event organisers said they had matched 100 fighters in previous events with no head injuries sustained in training camps or on fight nights.

They said raising money for Women's Refuge was their goal but competitors' safety was their number one priority.

"Our coaches take our fighters health and safety seriously and understand the risks involved with any contact sport and do not for a minute underestimate the potential for serious injury."