Boxer stepping back into ring almost 30 years on


Former Jameson Belt holder Dean Calvert is stepping back into the ring 27 years after his final professional boxing bout to raise money for charity.

Gentle ribbing about a sparring session between Calvert and another seasoned combatant Danny Masterson has manifested into a fundraising fight card for the Trek charity for children at Cowles Stadium on October 31.

Calvert, who had a 7-0 record as a professional, last fought in 1993.

“Danny and I were in the New Zealand team together. We never fought, that’s how it all come about. It was just a bit of banter one night,” he said.

“Danny said we should have a sparring session to see how we’d go against each other. One thing led to another over a couple of beers and I said ‘Stuff the sparring, let’s have a fight for charity’.

Calvert said there would be five amateur and four corporate fights on the card which hopes to raise at least $20,000 for the Christchurch arm of the charity formerly known as Variety Bash.

And clearly he was taking the main event seriously.

The 49-year-old bar owner started his preparations last December and ramped up training with three hour sessions on the treadmill during the Covid-19 level four lockdown before hitting the gym.

“It’s been great for the health, I’ve dropped from 115kg down to 87kg,” he said, noting his opponent has also worked into fighting shape.

“Danny was 108kg and now he’s down to 92kg,” Calvert said.

The pair have held several national titles while Calvert and Masterson also took ownership of the Jameson Belt for New Zealand’s most scientific senior boxer in 1992 and 1993 respectively.

Calvert fought for New Zealand at the Oceania championships in Auckland in 1989 with Masterson and was confident he was still equipped with his necessary pugilistic skills to last six two-minute rounds, at the most.

“It’s slowly coming back. it’s still there, I’m just a bit slower than I used to be. Hopefully I’ll finish him in the second or third,” he smiled.

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