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Hometown hero headlining charity boxing event

Reece “Lightening” Papuni will headline the Fight for Christchurch. 

After his emphatic win two weeks ago against Sam Rapira, the New Zealand light heavyweight champion is stepping into the ring at Horncastle Arena on Saturday, November 22. 

 Papuni has signed a two-fight contract with event promoter Enth Degree and expressed a strong desire to fight on the biggest boxing stage in front of his hometown.

Enth Degree director Justin Wallace says locking in a boxer of Papuni’s class is a major coup for the event. He is unbeaten after eight fights.

"I’ve been keen to get Reece on the card of one of my events for some time and I believe at home at Fight for Christchurch is the perfect stage to display his talents,” Wallace says.

Papuni's opponent is Australian Joel Casey. Casey, a 30-year-old southpaw, has fought 32 times and won 10 times by knock out.

The duo will face off over eight, three-minute rounds.

Also confirmed for the heavyweight undercard is a matchup between Chris “Bam Bam” Bamford and Clarence Tillman.

For Bamford, a Canterbury and New Zealand Residents rugby league representative, it will be his second professional fight.

Tillman, a 6’5 American, is an experienced campaigner, with 31 bouts under his belt. His last high-profile clash was against All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams in 2012.

The four rounds will be like a “jog around the park” for Tillman, Wallace says.

However, he is confident Bamford can step up after his debut win at the Battle of the Rebuild in May.

“We want to test Chris with every fight,” Wallace says.

Former New Zealand light welterweight amateur champion Harry Scaife rounds out the pro card. He will take on Ricky Campbell over four, three-minute rounds.

The charity boxing series launched four years ago is set to top the $1million fundraising target this year.

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