New Zealand rugby league star Shaun Johnson got on board when organiser and former Miss Cook Islands Maire Browne approached him about the event.
“Maire asked iAf I’d be interested in coming over. I saw that it was a really good cause and I’m always up for things like that,” Johnson said.
The importance of youth empowerment and wellbeing is the driving message behind tonight’s show and last week in CINews, Browne spoke about the theme being close to her heart.
“As a Cook Islander and a former Miss Cook Islands who has suffered from depression, I really wanted to speak up, raise awareness and do something positive to raise funds to try and make a difference or at least start something to get the awareness and education out there,” Browne said.
The message clearly resonated with some of the fighters, as that was the reason that they decided to take part.
“I got the opportunity to fight from Maire from the gym I go to in Manukau, Auckland,” said Maxwell Reti-Huch.
“I’m a part-Cook Islander, and (I support) the cause behind it, about empowering our youth, giving them the support that they need in the Pacific.”
He also mentioned that he was quietly confident about his chances tomorrow night, but that he was ultimately there for the cause and for his country.
Gichin Fuhiniu, another part-Cook Islander, was similarly enthused about the cause.
“I’m always looking for a different challenge every year at work,” Fuhiniu said.
“It’s a good cause as well. I love to do things for charities, places that are fundraising money; I’m always looking out for a good cause.
“Especially because it was something to do back home made it even more important.”
Fuhiniu, whose arm was in injury tape, said that would not be a hindrance.
“Even if I didn’t have the arm (injury), I’d still go.”
The boxing is scheduled to start at 7pm.