Organised by boxer and former Miss Cook Islands Maire Browne, the fight night featured Kuki fighters, from here and abroad, boxing in the name of Youth Empowerment and Well Being in the Cook Islands.
There were five fights (six were scheduled but one was won by default), under shelter from the driving rain, that showcased a variety of skills.
The first fight between Tereapii and Zane Urirau was more of a classic brawler-style fight, as both stood firm and traded powerful punches before running out of steam.
That was contrasted by the “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” approach of Maxwell Reti-Huch, who fought in the night’s main contest.
He danced around his opponent Eli Daniel, drawing a number of gasps and cheers from the crowd as he deftly dodged Daniel’s blows, any of which would have felled a lesser fighter.
Reti-Huch displayed hitting power of his own, and was crowned the unanimous winner.
If there was an award for courage, it would have gone to Gichin Fuhiniu as his opponent, Tamatoa Hunter, had 10kgs on him.
The disparity in size showed, as Hunter looked like he could have fought in a dinner suit for most of the match, until Fuhiniu landed a few solid blows that would have rattled an opponent his size.
It looked like Hunter, who was the unanimous winner, was going for the knockout to end the fight early, which was explained later as he had a family member’s birthday to get to.
Maire Browne also managed to get into the ring, something she wasn’t sure would happen only the day before, as her opponent had pulled out.
Terrance Edwards, who was brought over from New Zealand alongside Fuhiniu and Reti-Huch, battled Liam Cowan in the heavyweight division.
Edwards had a habit of dropping his body like he was going in for a scrum, which Cowan eventually cottoned on to as he landed some strong blows.
As the last round started, Edwards was noticeably hobbled, and the victory was a split decision in Cowan’s favour.
Iconic New Zealand rugby league player and special guest Shaun Johnson also featured in the night’s festivities, as he was invited on stage, alongside his brother Adam, to dance with Miss Cook Islands Lydia Tariu Simonis. The dance ended with him being crowned an “official Cook Islander”.
Johnson also spoke about the night’s theme during the halftime of the event.
“If you are going through a tough time, you have no shortage of people to look up to on this island. Everyone here, we all have a role to play in that,” Johnson said.