Rotorua's most well-attended corporate boxing event just got even bigger.

Being held in the Energy Events Centre for the first time, this year's Christmas with a Punch was expected to be the biggest yet and included a national professional title fight.

Having outgrown the Rotorua Girls' High School arena, with boxing events continuously selling out, Rotovegas Boxing Gym worked with the Rotorua Lakes Council to hold this year's edition at the Energy Events Centre on Saturday night.
The feature bout was between Rotorua's Tyrone Warren and Christchurch's Ratu Dawai for the light-heavyweight NZNBF national title.

Warren, whose professional record stands at three wins, one draw and one loss, said he was proud to be part of a title fight in his hometown.


"It's something I've wanted to do since turning professional, fight for a New Zealand professional title, and having it in Rotorua is awesome," he said.

The fight will comprise 10 three-minute rounds and Warren had put a lot of focus on his fitness to ensure he lasted the distance.

"I don't know much about [Dawai], I just like to focus on myself and make sure I'm prepared to go in and box all the rounds. I've only done four three-minute rounds before, so I've been working really hard on my fitness.

"The biggest thing I've learnt from my other fights is to make weight on time, instead of having to starve myself and sauna it off. This has probably been my easiest being on target on the day, which makes things a lot easier mentally."

The team chants are always a highlight at Rotovegas Boxing Gym's Christmas with a Punch. Photo / File
The team chants are always a highlight at Rotovegas Boxing Gym's Christmas with a Punch. Photo / File

In the lead-up to the title fight there will be 10 corporate women's bouts and six men's bouts as team blue and team red battle it out in the ring for bragging rights.

Rotovegas Boxing Gym owner Aaron Warren said the move to the Energy Events Centre had paid off.

Related articles:

"We've sold close to 70 tables, the limit at Girls' High was 46 tables. This will 100 per cent be the biggest crowd we've had yet, it's almost doubled in size with the tables and there's general admission as well.

"I think the boxers are all looking very good, there will be some real skilful, strong, hardened fights. Especially the 20 female fighters, there is a tonne of heart there. It doesn't matter who wins, every person who steps in that ring is a winner," he said.

He said, win, lose or draw, Tyrone's title fight would be a good learning experience and was a huge boost for the sport in Rotorua.

Limited general admission tickets are available from Rotovegas Boxing Gym today between 7.30am and 10.30am, or at the door from 6pm.