11 Nov 2015

Mark 'The Super Samoan' Hunt

From Nine To Noon, 10:10 am on 11 November 2015
Front cover of the book, Born to Fight

Born to Fight cover Photo: Supplied

Mark Hunt could easily have ended up in a life of crime and prison.

Born to a Mormon-Samoan family in South Auckland, he and his brothers were  regularly beaten - and his sister repeatedly raped - by his abusive father, with his complicit mother offering no protection.

With two stints in prison, he says it was his resilience built up as a "punching bag" for his father that partly led to the remarkable turnaround in his life.

He was picked out of a street brawl by someone who recognised his talents as a fighter and began training as kickboxer, winning a world championship in 2001 and going on to be becoming a UFC - or Ultimate Fighting Championship - fighter.

With journalist Ben Mckelvey, the 41-year old has written an autobiography Born to Fight on his harrowing early life and his journey to success.

He talk to Kathryn Ryan about his life and his new book.