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Locals ready for fight night

James Goodger, left, Steph Hunt, Marie-Claire Andrews and Nicholas Hohepa will all be competing at the Hands of Hope fight night. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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The final pieces of the puzzle are falling into place for the upcoming ‘Hands of Hope’ Muay Thai and boxing event at Trust House Recreation Centre in Masterton.

The event on September 1 — hosted by the Fortitude Gym — will feature a mixture of Muay Thai and boxing bouts.

The event is being run in support of the Key to Life Charitable Trust, with a percentage of the money raised from ticket sales going to the charity.

More than 10 fights have already been announced, with a host of locals ready to show off their skills in the ring.

Among the more intriguing match-ups will be two professional wrestlers — Paul Sayers and Jay Marshall — going head to head, as well as Wairarapa-Bush rugby player James Goodger taking on Joe Nelley.

Included in the women’s boxing action will be a fight between Dyana Hanson and Claire Townsend, while Steph Hunt will battle Sinead Namana.

The boxing bouts will be three two-minute rounds, but the Muay Thai title fights will be five two-minute rounds.

At the more serious end of the scale, Fortitude Gym Muay Thai fighters Jade Fleetwood and Brent Sugrue will be fighting for North Island titles at the event, and trainer Zane Hopman said they had been preparing well.

Sugrue fought a much more experienced opponent last month in Sam Haggitt, and went down in a narrow points decision loss.

“It was the fight of the night and a major step up in opponent, which is what I wanted for him,” Hopman said.

“He lost on the decision which was hard to take, but it was a really, really good performance from him.”

Fleetwood’s last fight was last month in Tahiti, and Hopman said the signs were ominous before she even stepped in the ring.

“The opponents were supposed to be of similar experience, but it turned out the opponent was a local champion there in Tahiti which threw a spanner in the works.

“I think Jade still won the fight, but she lost on points via decision.”

There will also be items auctioned off on the night, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Hopman said the show was coming together nicely.

“It seems like we don’t have enough time, but Chloe [Hopman] is doing a great job.

“I’m excited for the night and seeing what the locals can do.”

Ticket prices and other information can be found on The Fortitude Gym Facebook page, and the first 50 people to use the code ‘hohsept1’ when purchasing tickets online will receive a discount.

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