Late changes for NZ Boxers at Fight for Christchurch

Late changes for NZ Boxers at Fight for Christchurch

Promising pro boxers Chris Bamford and Harry Scaife have been ruled out Saturday’s Fight for Christchurch.

The duo were expected to be among the draw card contenders at the annual charity boxing event at Horncastle Arena (formerly CBS Canterbury Arena) but have had to withdraw just days out.

Bamford, a Canterbury and New Zealand Residents rugby league player, has been forced to miss what would have been his second pro fight for health reasons.

It means American Clarence Tillman, whose last high-profile clash was against All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams, will no longer be taking part either.

Scaife, a former New Zealand light welterweight amateur champion, broke his hand during sparring, spoiling his pro debut.

His opponent Ricky Campbell will now face Brisbane-based Cantabrian Matt Te Paa.

Event director Justin Wallace says Scaife is gutted about missing Fight for Christchurch and delaying his pro debut.

“He really had a fire in his belly but he’s going to carry on training and we’ll get him a fight in the new year,” Wallace says.

It is likely Scaife will take part in Christchurch’s first Super 8 event in March, which Enth Degree is promoting.

Wallace says Te Paa is the ideal replacement for Fight for Christchurch and brings a wealth of professional experience.

Te Paa left Christchurch about two years ago to become a professional Muay Thai trainer and fighter in Thailand. He relocated to Australia about five months ago and has returned to pro boxing.

There is still much to look forward to this weekend, Wallace says.

Headlining the event is the bout between New Zealand light heavyweight champion Reece Papuni and Australian Joel Casey.

The usually drama-filled weigh-in will take place on Friday at Aikmans in Merivale, 154 Aikmans Rd, from 7pm.

Wallace says he is expecting “a bit of smack talk” from the pros, as well as the novices.

In the novice match ups, Geoff Cavell, owner of Winnie Bagoes, and Chris “Ted” Casserly, of Ted’s Bar & Grill, will go toe-to-toe.

Theirs will not be the only food fight on the night – Chillingworth Road executive chef and owner Darren Wright has signed on also. He will face Ashley Newsome, of MediaWorks.

Jono Huntley takes on Vodafone’s Paul Frewen in a showdown of the telcos.

Other contenders include:

Clive Wentworth (Elite Auto Groom), Jono Gallacher (Adgraphix), Lisa Mead (KPMG) and Lana McCarroll (Lane Neave).

All contenders will be raising funds for either Cure Kids or Ronald McDonald House.

The charity boxing series launched four years ago is set to top the $1million fundraising target this year. So far, more than $70,000 has been raised for this event.

About 3500 guests are expected to attend Saturday’s black-tie event. With a red carpet entrance complete with paparazzi, celebrity guests and spectacular entertainment, Fight for Christchurch 2014 will have all the glitz and glamour of a top Las Vegas fight night.

In true Enth Degree style, this year's event is going to be spectacular with Epic Entertainment putting together an amazing Latin American "Rio Carnival" theme.

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