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Rose Corbett is fighting in the ring for the first time during Chaos on the Coromandel this weekend. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

‘Chaos’ the first bout for female boxer

Rose Corbett says when it comes to the sport of boxing, women are “not just the ring girls anymore”.
“Watching fights previously, the female fights were always the ones where everyone would go to the bathroom, you know? They were a pit stop for people,” she tells The Profile.
“But there’s definitely some good fighters coming through who are female and that’s been nice to see over the last few years.”
The 39-year-old mum-of-three is fighting in the ring for the first time during Chaos on the Coromandel this weekend, a one-night-only boxing event being held at the Thames Civic Centre, hosted by Never Surrender.
It’ll be her first professional bout and she says she’s looking forward to it.
“I’ve met the fighter who I’ve been matched with. She’s from Hamilton and I’ve had a little spar with her… She’s nearly a good foot on me but that’s something good to train around, and we’re both southpaw,” she says.
As part of the event, there will be celebrity bouts including one featuring Thames’ own Black Fern World Cup winner Vita Dryden. The night will also act as the much-anticipated Hauraki homecoming for Francis Waitai, who holds the WBC Australasia Silver Belt.
“I’ve gone through the emotions of being scared, excited, nervous, and backing myself,” Rose explains. “Everyone in the club is really supportive – I’ve had moments of doubt, but I break it down to it being only six minutes of work: three, two minute rounds.”
She has been training for four days a week at Never Surrender in Thames, adding to that some personal training sessions at TCA Fitness Club.
She also has an added advantage at home – her husband Brock Corbett is a boxer himself. He approached Never Surrender’s founder Shaun George to coach him for a charity bout 14 years ago.
“My husband was one of the first fighters Shaun had in his garage back in the day, so I’ve seen the club evolve from a basement garage right through to where it is now,” Rose says. “I’m so proud of the place.”
Rose, who by day works at Goldfields Special School in Paeroa, says boxing is a sport any female, of all ages and abilities, can take part in. Never Surrender, she says, is a supportive and inclusive community to be a part of.
“Stepping into the ring, no matter what, I’ll be proud,” she says. “My kids are going to come along and watch, so hopefully they’ll be proud of me, too.”
DETAILS: Chaos on the Coromandel takes place this Saturday, September 23, doors open 5pm, fights start 6pm. Visit for tickets and info.