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8 March, 2021

Cairns Charity Fight Night: Fighting for a cause

If you’ve ever wished you could fight your boss and get away with it, that dream came true for one Cairns spray painter and panel beater, Josh Nash.

By Tanya Murphy

Edmonton local Curtis Kris (red gloves) defeated Daniel Tilley at the Cairns Charity Fight Night on Saturday. Photo: FNQRoar Photography

He challenged his boss, Nathan Knight, to a fight - and it was all in the name of charity.

He was among 44 rising boxing stars who were able to test their skills thanks to the Cairns Charity Fight Night held on Saturday, February 27.

Unfortunately for Josh, the boss came out on top in their match, but it is unlikely to dent their friendship, and Nathan donated the money to the Cairns Young Animal Protection Society (YAPS).

It was the third charity fight night in five years organised by local personal trainer Rodney Little, and the sell-out event at Fred Moule Pavilion saw a prize pool of more than $20,000 donated to dozens of local charities.

Mr Little, who has been involved in boxing for 38 years, said the charity fight night encouraged new people to try boxing and was a great way to introduce new people to the sport.

“For about 32 of the fighters it was their first ever event and a lot only trained specifically for this fight, as a way to raise funds for a charity that they’ve selected,” he said.

Each fighter raised $500 to compete. The winner of each match took $750 and the loser kept $250, which each then donated to their charity of choice.

Fighters travelled to Cairns from as far afield as Thursday Island and Broken Hill in South Australia to compete.

Cairns local Curtis Kris, 24, said it was great to be involved in the fight night, which saw him defeat fellow local Daniel Tilly from Destination Fitness Gym.

“I started learning boxing as a teenager with the Streets Movement, an Indigenous community development organisation which runs a small community centre and gym in South Cairns,” he said.

“My goal now is to go professional, and this fight night was a great way to dust off the cobwebs after three years working away.”

Other locals who won their fights included Dale Murphy and Brayden Hill who donated their winnings to their not-for-profit gym Fight IQ, and Daniel Perrin, who donated to the Cancer Council in memory of his mother.

Although not a local, one of the highlights of the night was seeing the talent of 16-year-old girl Paige Candy from Charters Towers who defeated her opponent Megan Newman.

Paige’s brother Riley also fought skilfully in one of the main events of the night, but was ultimately defeated by “Magic” Michael Percy of Bowen, a former Australian champion with 40 fights and 30 wins.

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