Topic: Boxing

Kickboxing champ Jason Rarere out of retirement for good cause

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Former world class kickboxer Jason Rarere is stepping back into the ring for the first time in more than a decade.  He's doing it all for a good cause, a charity event to raise money for the permanently disabled.

For the first time in 12 years, 47-year-old Rarere will don the boxing gloves once again.

"It's actually quite exciting I haven't been in for a while, so it's just about putting the gloves back on and get back into those training routines which is a challenge.  But it's pretty exciting, I forgot how exciting it can be actually," he says with a smile.

He's come out of retirement to help raise money for his uncle Jim Edwards and his charity Ngā Tukemata o Kahungunu Charitable Trust, based in Hawke's Bay.

It's an organisation that helps the permanently disabled regain their confidence through hands on therapy work, but funding is very limited and over the years his uncle has had to put around $150,000 of his own money into the charity to help keep it afloat.

His uncle who helped raise him, was very grateful when Rarere put his hand up to fight, "I thought I was hearing things when he mentioned that, but it was his way of giving something back, so I'm very pleased," says Mr Edwards.

In the late 80s and 90s and into the early 2000s, Rarere racked up multiple national kickboxing and boxing middle-weight titles, two Pan Asian titles and got a shot at a world title.

He's a product of Putanga Gym in Hastings which opened in 1984, under the tutelage of international martial arts expert Selwyn Jones.

The training ethic he learned there is what he'll be taking into the three round match.

One of his training partners Darcy Whitaker says even though he's much older now, he's still got it, "How hard are his punches?" he says.  "Well, I suppose it's like a boulder rolling down such a big hill and it just comes crunching into a car that's how hard they are - they're really hard."

Originally from Wairoa he spent most of his childhood and adolescent years growing up in Flaxmere, a place he still calls home today.

The charity boxing match will be held on March 5 at Pettigrew Arena Taradale where he'll face unknown fighter Shaun Rankin 17 years his junior.