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Te Puke Times - 2021-07-22

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Put a ring round it, Te Puke

FRONT PAGE

Rebecca Mauger Hall

Kickboxers are feeling the love in Te Puke. “Kickboxing is quite popular there, the Te Puke audience have got a real passion for it,” says Iron Shin Thai Boxing promoter Brent Maharey. “It’s been packed the last two times we held the event, we had to turn people away.” According to Brent, the World Kickboxing Association president told him the Te Puke show is one of the best around. The exciting event returns in its 12th year and this will the 20th show they have held. “We have a high calibre of fighters coming from all over the North Island to compete in this event which is set to be the biggest yet,” Brent says. The idea is to run the show three times a year in March, July and November and about 30 kickboxers compete in various weight divisions. On the night, 15 fights will take place, culminating in the main event — the battle for the World Kickboxing Association New Zealand title in K1 style. The main event fighters are Byron Pointon from Auckland and Isaac Kingsford-timling from Hamilton. Brent is coach at the Red Dragon Thai Boxing gym in Mount Maunganui. The sport is a great spectator sport which grows every year, he says. “To be honest, I’ve seen some negative stuff on Facebook about the sport. But you see, it’s a huge multibillion-dollar industry and it’s just exciting. There are two people in a ring and, when the bell goes, those two people are just relying on their skills they’ve learnt, and their physical and mental toughness to get them through. “As far as sport goes, it is one of the most gruelling things you can put yourself through.” What: Iron Shin Thai Boxing Where: Te Puke War Memorial When: July 24, 6pm Tickets: Pro Supplements Tauranga and Fashion Island or www. eventbrite.com or door sales $50

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