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Fundraising fight night yields bonus as RL stars come out to slay
IT has proved so popular that the capacity at Huntington Working Men’s Club was risen to 300 and the £25 tickets have still sold out, with the last two going for £150 at auction – bought by former York City Knights favourite Craig Forysth.
The long-awaited Boxing Bowel Cancer Fight Night now takes place tomorrow, with amateur rugby league players in York swapping the oval ball for boxing gloves before entering the ring and punching for club pride.
All four of the city’s amateur clubs are represented and Nic Caldwell, of York Acorn ARLC, says it will be a night to remember.
The event has been organised to raise money for the Boxing Bowel Cancer fund set up in aid of Caldwell’s wife, Christine, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year, aged 29.
He said: “I think it’s going to be a really good show. It’s going to look really professional. We could have sold the place out twice such has been the demand.”
The original idea of a prize-fighter format has been ditched in favour of one-off bouts.
Representing Acorn will be Johnny Waldron and John Tattersfield. For Heworth, Luke Judson and Chris Brown – the latter a late call-up — go into combat, while York Lokomotive will see Matt Chapman and Tom Gargan enter the ring.
New Earswick All Blacks, the only club to be in mid-season, will be represented by junior coach Chris Judge, the former York Wasps star, and Ben Fairburn, who has turned out for both All Blacks and Acorn. All Blacks’ Mark Tipping had to withdraw.
Those fights are each to comprise three two-minute rounds, while Acorn players James Cooper and Joe Budd will also go head-to-head in a separate exhibition bout, the pair having previous ring experience.
Boxing training has taken place at mixed martial arts venues in the city, namely Chokdee Academy, Legion’s Gym, United Masters Academy and Craig Long’s Black Belt Schools, primarily because boxing clubs would not be licensed to be involved in such white-collar fighting.
The night will also see an auction of sporting – mainly rugby league – memorabilia, including signed St Helens, Newcastle Knights and Brisbane Broncos shirts, Leeds Rhinos items supplied by Danny McGuire, and signed gloves from world title challenger Kell Brook.
York boxing trainer, manager and promoter Glenn Banks, who has staged licensed bouts at Huntington WMC before, has played a part in organising the event, along with the hard-working Acorn contingent of Fran Starkey, Gary Endersby, Paul Payne and Terry Parker, and their respective partners.
Caldwell added: “We’re really grateful to everyone for their help. We spoke to a couple of bigger venues at the outset but some didn’t want to get involved and Huntington WMC have been brilliant all along, and having someone like Glenn on board has greatly helped too.”