A teenager found guilty of a cowardly one-punch attack in Australia has agreed to fight a professional boxer to raise money for his victim.
Caleb Maraku, 19, who has faced a furious backlash over the shocking video showing him assaulting a fellow teenager, will taken on light heavyweight boxer Kerry Foley.
His 30-year-old opponent has vowed to “teach him a lesson” and promised to make his life a “living hell” in the charity fight.
“I won’t need to go hard but I will make his life a living hell and right at the end I’ll put one on his chin and ice him,” he told Australia’s Daily Telegraph.
Mr Maraku showed no remorse after escaping a jail sentence for the attack which left victim Taliesin Tardrew-O’Meara unconscious on the pavement in Surfers Paradise on November 27 last year.
Amatuer and professional fighters are challenging coward punch attacker Caleb Maraku to a bout in the ring for charity. @kathrynforan #7News pic.twitter.com/ERGZrMsA5g
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 16, 2018
He was filmed laughing and taking selfies after his court appearance, while calling reporters approaching him for comment “his fans”.
A petition to deport the New Zealand-born Mr Maraku, who has been living in Australia for six years, has also garnered more than 25,000 signatures.
“He not only had cowardly punched a unsuspecting teen in an unprovoked attack but had also disregarded the fact that he was already suspended from Surfers Paradise when the attack took place,” it says.
“One punch CAN KILL. Is it really worth risking the law abiding citizens of Australia for this type of person.”
Yvette D'Ath: Seek to see the Deportation of Caleb Maraku for cowardly one punching a unsuspecting… https://t.co/a9SfWaFOcY via @ChangeAUS
— Terry Mays (@EBFarnum) January 15, 2018
Mr Maraku was fined A$361 (£210) and given 12 months probation, during which he can’t touch alcohol or drugs, after pleading guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm and breaching a banning order.
Despite the growing outrage, Mr Maraku will soon return to the public eye after agreeing to the charity fight.
Epic new year with the man @brickstangakuru. Time to get back to business! Bring on March @musclerepublicapparel @jtrainathletic @trueprotein @altitudeaustralia #nwc #boxing #art #fight
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“Caleb contacted me last night and has accepted to fight,” his boxing opponent posted on 17 January.
“He has also offered to give the money to charity and his victim to apologise for what he has done.
“I’ve got a lot of people backing me about what he did and how bad it was and how disgusted they are with it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the victim’s mother, Tasha Tardrew, has written an open letter to Mr Maraku about the emotional impact the incident has had on Taliesin and his family and friends.
“I hope that you don’t have to explain to your 12-year-old daughter what has happened to her older sibling and have her in hysterical tears and petrified her brother won’t be coming home,” she wrote.
“I hope you don’t then have sleepless nights over the following weeks as you constantly check on your child every hour to see that they are still breathing.”
She added: “I hope you don’t have to watch your child struggle each day with not being able to eat due to split teeth, head spins and horrific headaches weeks after being attacked.
“I hope you don’t have to watch a video of the person who has hit your child laughing as they leave court and experience that sickening feeling that they really don’t care nor have any remorse not only for all the pain and suffering they have caused to the person they have hit, but the domino effect that it has had on all their family and friends.”
Mr Foley said the fight is likely to take place in Brisbane as his opponent is banned from Surfers Paradise.