Kiwis for kiwi's administrator Paul O'Shea took part in the Fight for Kiwi in 2015. Here is his story
It was my new year’s resolution to step into the ring.
We have held the Fight for Kiwi fundraising event for the last two years and I decided in a bolt of inspiration in December that this year was going to be my year.
After telling enough people that I was going to do the Fight for kiwi over the summer so that I couldn’t back out, I then eagerly waited till April when the call for boxers went out.
When I received the expression of interest email from Jamie Sanderson, who does an amazing job organising the event in between his real job at BNZ,asking me if I wanted to put my name forward to be part of this year’s event I replied almost instantaneously.
Working for Kiwis for kiwi, I knew that I had a pretty good shot at getting chosen to be one of this year’s boxers but my pugilistic dreams were almost over before they began as they could not find me an opponent my approximate height and weight. Luckily, however, they did find someone to step up to the plate so I was in.
Training began in late May at Boxing Alley.
Boxing Alley is exactly what you imagine a boxing gym to look like. Posters of Muhammed Ali and other boxing greats from the past line the walls, there are a couple of rings, punching bags and dozens of pairs of boxing gloves, along with a distinct smell of leather and sweat. It is also an amazingly welcoming environment. Under the tutelage of the trainers at the gym, we were slowly turned from newbies into somewhat decent corporate boxers. Our fitness was developed, our techniques honed and the sparing got us used to being punched in the face – which you do get used to!
So, after 2 months of training, fight night was finally upon us on the 17th of July
I was eerily calm before the event; I think that came from actually knowing that I had done everything that I could to get myself ready to box. No matter the outcome I knew I was happy with my preparation.
I was the first fight of the card.
At 7:45 my music hit and I walked out to cheers from family and friends. I made sure to take a moment standing on the ring apron to truly appreciate the scene.
I’m glad I did take that moment cause the next six minutes (three rounds of two minutes each) were intense. I wasn’t expecting to get hit quite as hard as I did, to be as tired as I was and for all the techniques to go out the window within the first 15 seconds of the first round.
That being said, the entire process was a fantastic experience. I am glad that I accomplished my new year’s resolution and took myself out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I will make it as the next Joseph Parker…in fact, I am happy to hang the gloves up after this but it will be an experience I remember for the rest of my life.
For those that are interested I lost my fight but we did raise over $47,000 for kiwi conservation and that, after all, is the most important part of the whole event.