Gyms pull out of corporate boxing over fears it's too dangerous

A leading Auckland boxing gym owner says the days of corporate boxing are numbered.

Boxing has enjoyed a resurgence thanks to corporate Fight Nights, events in which people take 12 weeks to train for a bout.

But Dean Evans' gym is the latest to KO such events over dangerous mismatches and under-regulation.

Andrew Yovich went from a zero to a superfit hero three years ago, shedding 10 kilos on the way to a three-round corporate boxing victory.

"You definitely want to win, your friends and family are going to be there, so you train absolutely like your life depended on it," he told Newshub.

Corporate boxing transformed Mr Yovich's life but it's risky.

Corporate boxer Nev 'The Terminator' Knight died mid-bout in Hamilton two years ago.  

Just last month west Auckland boxer Joel Rea was hospitalised after a bout lasting eight seconds.

"If you want to be a fighter, amateur professional, it's regulated," Mr Evans said.

"We train you for a long time when we're satisfied that it's time you got in the ring, not because the course has run out, and its fight date you know."

But he's the latest gym owner to ring the bell on corporate boxing after a potentially dangerous bout last Friday.

For him, a 12 week course is not long enough to prepare.

"I think the lack of knowledge, the lack of regulating it, of course people are going to get hurt. Somebody's jumping in the ring wanting to kill the other guy," he said.

Veteran of corporate and amateur fights MediaWorks journalist Mark Longley has seen plenty of mismatches.

"It's a good fun thing to do and you challenge yourself in a way you wouldn't do otherwise, but you've got to be careful that you match people up properly," he said.

Former league player and champion boxer Monty Betham has trained many corporate boxers to face their demons in the ring.

"I'm a big fan of corporate boxing, I've seen it change so many lives, but when it takes lives or cause a bit of harm to an individual that's where I get a little bit worried," he said.

With so many gyms pulling out, corporate boxing must adapt to survive. Mr Evans has one solution: get boxers to train and spar together ensuring an even match and a fair fight.