MATE AGAINST MATE: Ivan Tava, left, and James Hemi, will face off in the ring next April for the Fight 4 Victory charity boxing fundraiser. Photo: Andrew Board.

Latest Victory bout announced


And then there were seven.

The latest bout of the Fight 4 Victory charity boxing event has been announced and it will see two men with strong ties in the Victory community battle each other in the ring.

Born and bred in Victory and father of five, James Hemi, will square off against Victory School trustee, Ivan Tava, at Saxton Stadium on April 4 next year. It is the seventh confirmed bout for the event and leaves just one fight unannounced.

The heavy weight clash will be the first fight for both men, but James says his children are heavily involved in boxing and have been keeping him on his toes at home. “They’ve been giving me a quick shot in the ribs as they walk past me, saying ‘keep your hands up, Dad’. So I’ve been getting some training,” he joked.

James says that as a former Marist rugby player he’s also keen to get one over his Waimea Old Boys opponent. “Come April, it will be whack a Wobba day,” he joked.

Ivan says he is keen to take part because he’s seen first-hand the effect the boxing gym has on the children who attend it.

“One boy I saw started off [at the gym] as quite a shy boy, now he’s confident and assured. It does great things for the kids so why wouldn’t I support a programme like that?”

Programme director, Paul Hampton, says he wouldn’t be surprised if another bout sneaked onto the fight card. “We’ve just had so many people put their names forward and want to get involved. We’re delighted that so many want to help what we do for the kids. That’s what it’s all about.”

Fight 4 Victory ticket info at [email protected]