'Ref should've called it off': NZ boxing great urges change after charity fight left boxer critical

There's calls for changes in the boxing community, following a charity fight which left a corporate boxer critically injured.

Promoters of the event 'Fight for Christchurch' are now running a detailed review into the tragic situation. 

However legendary boxing referee Lance Revill believes the match should have been stopped earlier.

Kain Parsons was fighting for charity but now, he's fighting for his life, battling on in hospital after the 'Fight for Christchurch' left him in a critical condition.

The annual event pits inexperienced boxers against each other in front of a crowd. 

Fighters have the option of wearing protective headgear - but on this occasion, Mr Parsons went without. 

"We need to see the regulations, which Boxing New Zealand has been talking about over the last two to three months and developing, put in place sooner rather than later," Boxing Commentator Mike Angove says.

Now many, including his former sparring partner and fellow charity boxer Jake Waghorn, believe organisers should consider making headgear mandatory.

"It's something we need to look at and more than anything it's going to stop those guys hitting their head, the back of their head, when they hit the mat," Mr Waghorn says.

A spectator told Newshub Mr Parsons was knocked out and fell unconscious after hitting his head on the canvas. He immediately went into a violent seizure, before medical professionals swarmed the ring. 

Controversially, the 37-year-old was given two standing eight counts, where the referee counts to eight after a fighter has been stunned.

Legendary boxing referee Lance Revill believes it should have been stopped earlier. 

"The referees are there to protect the score and protect the fighters. He should have called it off."

Corporate and charity boxing events have exploded in popularity, but event organisers now have some soul searching to do to ensure their inexperienced fighters are kept safe.