A sell-out crowd at Zero Risk King of the Ring 2015 not only raised the roof of the Taupo Events Centre but also smashed the previous fundraising record.


With a spectacular showcase of seven hours nonstop entertainment, the crowd were treated to live music from Lyrica (a 1940s style trio), acrobats, dancers and a visit from Austin Powers. Boh and Pearl Runga graced the main stage with their band, Automatic 80s, and had everyone up and dancing in between the eight bouts of energetic boxing.

The Tomi’s Red Team entered the ring wanting to follow on from their team win at the 2013 event, while the Pitch Sports Bar Blue Team were seeking to reclaim the team title having previously won the most bouts in both 2009 and 2011.  They did not disappoint their fans, and picked up the Team trophy with a win count of five bouts to three going the way of the Red corner. The Pitch Sports Bar Blue Team was also recognised with Ben Westerman collecting the Most Courageous Boxer award and Shawn Vennell collecting the trophy for Most Funds Raised.

Event Director, Brent Marshall, said that the 2015 event exceeded expectations at every turn.

“From the amazing gourmet meal served by Eat Catering, to the 200 plus hard working volunteers and crew, to the passion and dedication demonstrated by the boxers, it was at an outstanding night from all
perspectives,” says Brent.

Delivering an event of this scale doesn’t happen without many months of planning, and a hardworking and dedicated event management team.

“I’d really like to say a huge thank you to a core group who have worked so hard to pull this event together,” says Brent. “I’d like to thank my partner Penny for her all her hardwork and support, Kylie Hawker-
Green for managing the masses of management tasks required as well as our fundraising & volunteer programme, Alistair Cameron for overseeing all the event production aspects and Scott Attenborough from Taup? District Council for his help, patience and can-do attitude.”

“Zero Risk King of the Ring is not just about boxing, but very much about raising funds for our hard working charities and not-for-profit groups in the Taup? community,” says Brent. “The generosity of our sponsors, the Taup? community, the event supporters, and those who bought auction items means we have absolutely smashed our previous fundraising efforts.”

The inaugural event in 2009 saw $100,000 raised and this was more than doubled in 2011 when the event generated $225,000 for local charity. “In 2013 we thought we’d reached the peak having raised
$311,000 but 2015 has blown it out of the park with a total of just over $410,000!” says Brent. “That means that this event has raised over $1 million for the Taupo community, making it the largest charity boxing event in terms of money raised in New Zealand,” says Brent. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of so many local businesses. I’d especially like to thank Tim and Tania Flowers from Zero Risk who have been our major sponsor since 2009 and have so generously supported us at each event.”

As well as raising funds through the actual event, Zero Risk King of the Ring also provided 16 local groups a chance to fundraise alongside a boxer. The groups and boxers have been actively fundraising for the past three months in a variety of ways, including over 75 Trade Me auctions, online donations and at community events. In total, the 16 groups raised $282,000 – nearly five times the amount raised back in 2013.

Greening Taupo Champion Shawn Vennell blew the fundraising contest apart with an incredible $95,675 that will be used to replant the Wairakei Corridor. His charity also collected a $10,000 bonus from 100% Lake Taupo Charitable Trust. Taupo Cancer Support Group raised an impressible $62,480 mostly due to the support of Central Motor Group who donated a brand new Ford Ranger ute for a $1 reserve auction on Trade Me and will receive a $2000 bonus donation from the Trust. Apopo, Bluelight, Hear 4 Kidz Trust, SPCA, Lake TaupoHospice and Lake Taupo Coastguard all raised more than $10,000 and will also receive a $2000 bonus from the Trust; as will Taupo Motorcycle Club, Empowered Learning Trust, Tauhara College Rugby Academy, Life Education Trust, and Towncentre Taupo who all raised more than $5000.

The remaining groups, Taupo Parents Centre, Taupo Cadet Unit and Taupo Pathways for Youth raised between $2000 and $5000 and will receive a $1000 bonus from the Trust. Taupo Parents Centre, Taupo Dog Training Club, Girl Guides, Taupo Rugby Club, Mountview School, Mt Tauhara Gym, Taupo BMX, Waipahihi School, Tauhara Primary School and the Hippy Trust will also each receive a $2500 donation for providing the 100 volunteers to help deliver the event.