Henry Wharton revels in inaugural show of home class

York Press: Henry Wharton with Dean Heslop, who won the award for best senior fighter Henry Wharton with Dean Heslop, who won the award for best senior fighter

KNOCKED out - that was York's boxing king Henry Wharton who admitted being floored emotionally by the first show at his own gym.

Henry's Gym staged a multi-bout programme to christen the 10,000 square foot gym - the biggest boxing gym in York - at the upper floor of the former Regent cinema in Acomb.

A flurry of boxers from Henry's Gym made their debuts in their own surroundings in front of a 100-plus audience - an occasion that left former undefeated European, Commonwealth and British super-middleweight champion drenched in pride.

"It was an amazing night. To see these young lads who many have come to the gym just for training actually taking on all-comers from across the country in their own gym was incredible," said Wharton, who together with his immediate family have poured their hearts, souls and no little cash into getting the York Street gym up and running.

"The first show was just a dream come true," added Wharton.

"To think less than two years ago this building was derelict and then to see it full with boxers, trainers, opponents from other clubs and supporters, well, it was better than I could ever have imagined.

"Not having staged a show before it was like a trip into the unknown, but it went so well it was class, sheer class.

"When the first bell went to sound the start of the opening fight, the hair just stood up on the back of my hands. I am so proud of these lads."

Even though some decisions went against the Henry's Gym clan, even down to senior fighter of the night Dean Heslop - the jockey winning a special award - Wharton was still beaming at the occasion.

And his enjoyment was boosted by many of the fans on the opening night pre-booking tickets for the next show at the Acomb gym to be held in September.

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