Winter Festival fight night the local match-ups

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The gloves are off for Winter Festival’s knockout new boxing bash Thriller in the Chiller. 

Eighteen Queenstown contenders have been matched up for nine bouts at the Events Centre in June. 

The granite-jawed locals will slug it out for charity in a series of three-round contests, featuring pairings like real estate agent versus real estate agent and a battle of the chefs. A final lineup – including two women Vicky ‘Pow Wow’ Zadrozny and Kristie ‘The Blonde Bomber’ Brown – was chosen this week from 40 wannabes. 

“Although it’s a bit of fun, all the fighters are taking this seriously,” festival boss Simon Green says. 

“Picking the bouts hasn’t necessarily been about finding the best boxers, it’s been more about getting fair match-ups.” 

The contenders have already been honing fitness at tough boot camps run by Darryl Giddens and Braden Lee at Queenstown’s Fight Science gym – they now face another two months of sparring and training. 

A second celebrity bout between TV sports personalities Clint Brown and Howard Dobson is slotted, adding to a VIP slugfest between former Kiwi rugby league hero Tawera Nikau and TV2 Lotto presenter Russell Harrison.

Floor seating tickets for the Mountain Scene event on June 27 cost $39. Grandstand seats are $59. They’re available from the usual outlets plus the festival website www.winterfestival.co.nz.