A group of 25 men and women who had never stepped foot in a boxing ring three months ago will tonight take part in a charity fight event in front of 800 people to raise money for neuroblastoma research charity Niamh’s Next Step.
Chris Curry, dad to five-year-old Niamh Curry from Wellingborough who died from neuroblastoma in 2012, put out a call on Facebook in December last year for people to sign up to train as boxers as part of the Niamh’s Next Step Fighting Fit Challenge.
The challenge involved twice-weekly boxing and cardio training at Pro Action Martial Arts and The Castle Theatre and following a healthy eating plan before taking to the boxing ring for a glittering fight-night tonight at The Deco Theatre, Northampton hosted by comedian Russ Williams.
Chris said: “The response was amazing and we quickly filled the places with some amazing people from all over Northamptonshire. We have an incredible mix of guys and girls from white collar workers to factory workers, from chefs to company executives and store managers to builders.”
The people who stepped up are: John Hanvey, Craig Windsor, Baz Lever, Harry Brindle, Helen Seal, Karl Jewkes, Guy Stewart, Russ Dickenson, Jak Balshaw, Shaun Hughes, Darren Fenner, Kieran Hanrahan, Callum Jewkes, Kelly Costello Cox, Bex Timms, Karl Thorne, Robbie Edmonds, Nick DeLaSalle, Jack Thomas, David Sinclair, Paul Simmons, Floyd Gent, David Dillon Redmile, Connor Brown and Adrian Harrison.
Chris added: “During this process we took the fighters up to VIP Boxing Club in Manchester to be trained by our charity patron and current British boxing board of control trainer of the year Jamie Moore and his partner Nigel Travis. It was an incredible experience being trained by the best boxing coaches in the UK.
“These guys have been trained under the guidance of James Wright from Transformation For Life and David Marshall Personal Training Service and they will be in the fighters corners on the night.
“As things stand we have completely sold out The Deco Theatre with 820 tickets sold.
Every penny from this event including ticket sales and the fighters Just Giving Pages goes directly to Niamh’s Next Step to fund vital childhood cancer research projects in the UK and to help children fighting neuroblastoma.
“It has been amazing to watch these guys over the past 3 months and witness their weight loss, body shape change, general fitness grow and confidence improve massively. I am incredibly proud of all them all and thank them for the incredible time and effort they have put in to make this event such an amazing success.”
Niamh’s family managed to raise nearly £365,000 for their daughter to have groundbreaking neuroblastoma treatment but she died just days later. All of that money went to charity and they have since raised hundreds of thousands more to help provide research into the illness that currently receives no government funding in the UK.