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STUFF : Heavy hitters return for wide open King in the Ring crown

The first King in the Ring event of 2018 is expected to be as wide open as ever as the big boys return to the elimination event.

Eight super heavyweight kickboxers will showcase their knockout power in a series of bouts at Auckland's YMCA Stadium on Friday night in a bid to find the last man standing.

With Paulo Lakai not returning to defend the title he won in 2015, a new champion will be crowned and Wellington's Nato La'auli is determined to go one better after two runner-up finishes at heavyweight.