Nathaniel May fights for his first career title tonight, but the Bunbury teenager won’t be the star turn at the WA Italian Club.
That honour will go to a girl celebrating her third birthday and for whom Perth’s boxing community will be out in force.
Kira Joyce not only suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, but has been hit by complications including a fungal infection which puts her chemotherapy sessions on hold.
Moved by her plight, CDL Boxing promoter Ty Colman has put together the “Fighting for Kira” card, headlined by May’s WBO Asia Pacific Youth super-featherweight title clash with Indonesia’s James Mokognita.
May was originally down to have a rematch with Waylon Law, who inflicted his only loss in February, but the Queenslander sustained a bicep tear, which meant Mokognita was drafted in.
“We’re sort of disappointed to lose the Waylon Law rematch but (Mokognita) turned out to be a step up anyway because I don’t think Waylon Law would have lasted five rounds with Nathaniel now,” trainer Peter Stokes said.
Stokes still contests the live TV points loss to Law – “We learnt you can’t rely on the judges’ call when you fight interstate” – but he agreed May could still take a lot from the six-round battle.
“Waylon pushed him to another level. I think taking the indigenous boy out of Bunbury and putting him on a show in Queensland where everyone (in the hall) has got no respect for you, he learnt a lot from that. The most important thing was to get on to Fox Sports to let the whole country see how good this boy is.”
May, who will likely drop down to featherweight after tonight, has signed a three-year deal with CDL, the team which helped resurrect Daniel Dawson’s career.
“They’re doing co-promotions in New South Wales now, the whole idea is to get this WBO (belt) and get a world ranking,” Stokes said. “We‘re hoping CDL can take us internationally and we can get a crack in Europe and America.”
Tonight’s show came about after Colman spoke to a close family friend of Kira's parents and learnt of her condition.
“She’s going through so much, including spells in a decompression chamber for 3-4 hours every day. This is five weeks after our last show but everyone was keen to help out,” Colman said.
There will be six professional fights and an exhibition bout tonight.