Introducing: Combat Sports Boxing

A new boxing league made up solely of fighters from other combat sports disciplines is set to launch in New Zealand.

Combat Sports Boxing is a new league which is to be sanctioned by the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association (NZPBA) which will see combatants from other disciplines - Mixed Martial Arts, kickboxing, and Muay Thai - compete with each other under a boxing ruleset. The new league is designed to give combat sports athletes a chance to test their boxing skills and gain competition experience outside their usual disciplines.

The league will comprise five levels in which fighters will compete, dependent on their experience in other combat sports. The total number of fights from all disciplines (Muay Thai, kickboxing, MMA, and boxing) which a fighter has had will determine which level he or she competes in, as follows:

LEVEL ONE: 0-5 combined fights. 3 x 2-min rounds: NZPBA Corporate Boxing rules.

LEVEL TWO: 6-10 combined fights. 5 x 2-min rounds: NZPBA Corporate Boxing rules.

LEVEL THREE: 11-15 combined fights. 5 x 3-min rounds: NZPBA Professional Boxing rules.

LEVEL FOUR: 16-20 combined fights. 6 x 3-min rounds: NZPBA Professional Boxing rules.

LEVEL FIVE: 21+ combined fights. 8 x 3-min rounds: NZPBA Professional Boxing rules.

Female fights over all levels will compete with 2-minute rounds, with corporate female fighters able to request 1.5-minute rounds should they so choose.

Levels three, four, and five will all have title belts to be competed for by the top-ranked competitors. The rankings will be determined as the first fights take place, with the first two fighters to fight in each grade being ranked one and two. As further bouts take place, a ranking table will be constructed based on the results.

Combat Sports Boxing fighters will be eligible to compete in NZPBA title fights if they are registered and meet the fighters' requirements.

The North Island CSB representative is John Conway, with the South Island representative being Wayne Vaega. New Zealand Fighter spoke with Wayne Vaega about the upcoming CSB league:

NZF: How often will titles be contested?

"I can't really answer that question until we see how many promoters in kickboxing or MMA want to put on a Combat Sports Boxing show. As people fight they will be registered with the NZPBA and rankings will be established. Promoters will be able to have title fights based on fighters' kickboxing/MMA records. It will probably boil down to promoters and what they want to put on their shows"

NZF: Can pure boxers enter the Combat Sports Boxing league?

"At this stage, pure boxers would probably not be allowed unless they had a corporate boxing background. But that's not to say that down the track this won't change. It really depends on how Combat Sports Boxing develops"

NZF: When will the league commence?

"Commencement time is when a kickboxing promoter wants to put on a Combat Sports Boxing show or wants to include boxing in their kickboxing or MMA show"

NZF: Who will officiate CSB events?

"The NZPBA would need to be present to ensure reffing and judging is at a high level. I will organise reffing and judging workshops for our guys"

NZF: How can fighters and promoters contact you?

"By email at"

Written by Harry Greenfield

Harry Greenfield is New Zealand Fighter’s Executive Editor. Residing in Christchurch, he has a passion for combat sports, especially MMA, and is our man on the scene down south.

Promoters wishing to contact Harry can reach him at: