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Kickboxers ready to rumble

Friday 17 November 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Other Sports, Sports


Kickboxers ready to rumble
Scholar Ngatokorua (back left), the Cook Islands’ very own international kickboxing champion, and athletes from New Zealand are geared up for the Cook Islands 682 Ultimate Rage Fight Night this evening at Te Are Karioi. MELINA ETCHES/23111609

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes will be showcasing their skills at the inaugural Cook Islands 682 Ultimate Rage Fight Night this evening at Te Are Karioi (National Auditorium).

Scholar Ngatokorua, the Cook Islands’ very own international kickboxing champion, is geared up for an impressive outing in tonight’s event.

“I’m excited to get in the ring to showcase my skills in front of my family and friends, and to gain more experience up against fighters from New Zealand,” Ngatokorua said.

Thirteen-year-old Alana Tuteru and 15-year-old Gabriel Tuteru, both from Aotearoa New Zealand, are “excited” to demonstrate their kickboxing abilities in the Cook Islands for the first time.

Alana said: “This tournament will be my seventh opportunity in the ring and I’m pretty excited to be here and perform in the sport I love.”

Tonight’s event will mark Gabriel’s 13th appearance in the ring. “I like the sport, it’s good disciple and keeps you away from bad things, and keeps your mind focused.”

The Fight Night is organised by Aotearoa-based Cook Islander Terry Tuteru, a coach and sports promoter at the South Auckland Leegar Thaiboxing Gym (SALT Gym), with the support of the Avatiu Boxing and Martial Arts Club.

“Our athletes from New Zealand are performing well internationally, and to have them here to take part in this event will help promote the sport,” Tuteru told Cook Islands News.

Following the closing of the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting last week, Tauranga Vananga (Ministry of Culture) staff are back into the swing of things assisting with the hosting of the Ultimate Rage Fight Night.

Cultures’ acting Secretary Emile Kairua said they have taken everything into consideration and have mitigated all the risks to ensure that the athletes and the audience are well taken care of.

“It’s exciting to see the calibre of these athletes here,” Kairua said.

Young Avatiu Gym kickboxers will also showcase their talent in a special Children’s Exhibition.

Tickets are $40 for general admission, and VIP tables are available for a more personal up-close experience.

Te Are Karioi doors will open at 5pm and the event is scheduled to start at 6pm.

For ticket information and reservations, contact: Nicholle Ama – 79355, Ngametua Maea – 72347 and Terry Tuteru – 73088.