Kaitaia Boxing Club: Irie Thomas ready for round 2 after Auckland bout

Irie Thomas (in green) had Rob Herewini, Emmz Trego and Talaiva Kolone in the corner for his ring debut at a corporate fight night event in Auckland last weekend.
Irie Thomas (in green) had Rob Herewini, Emmz Trego and Talaiva Kolone in the corner for his ring debut at a corporate fight night event in Auckland last weekend.

The fledgling Kaitaia Boxing Club was officially represented for the first time at an outside event when Irie Thomas fought at Balmoral Lee Gar in Auckland on Saturday night.

As the only amateur event on the card of the Born to Fight corporate event, Thomas was stopped in the first round of his light heavyweight match against Keiran Barnes.

The indefatigable 19-year-old was back training at his hometown club on Tuesday night, where he said he was determined to profit from his experience.

"It was daunting," he said of both the fight and the build-up to it over the preceding weeks, "and exciting at the same time. [It was a] bit overwhelming to be honest jumping into the ring. [But] I'm keen to keep going, there's a level of experience I saw that I want."

But he was happy to be the first one to represent the recently established club which was only established around four months ago, and, in the process, show many of the younger members of the KBC what was out there.

Head trainer Emmz Trego admitted Thomas' opponent had more experience but noted it was simply a privilege to be in the young fighter's corner.

"This was Irie's first amateur fight. I'm still really proud of what he did.

"We went there to show our kids ... If they put their hearts and minds to it, there's plenty of opportunity out there."

KBC organisers now have 60 local youth registered with anywhere from to 35 to 40 regularly training on any one night and the membership made up of a good mix of both female and male.

* In other news, boxing enthusiasts will again be flocking to Te Ahu for the fifth annual charity boxing event on the evening of Saturday, April 7.

There will be a minimum of 10 all local bouts on the card with the main event being a rematch of Dr Lance 'New Zealander of the Year' O'Sullivan vs Chaz Lazarus (O'Sullivan won this bout at last year's event and was later approached by Lazarus asking for a rematch). Only six of the 20 fighters involved have fought before, and there is one women's fight on the night but no juniors for the R18 event.

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Kaitaia Boxing Club and the Kaitaia Sports and Leisure Trust, and dress code is black tie which will be enforced. There are still a few 'standing' tickets left but anyone interested was advised to get in quick as they are expected to go quickly. Tickets cost $70 per person including dinner (and a cash bar) and can be purchased from the Kaitaia Boxing Club on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3pm to 6pm.

- Northland Age

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