Reading/Wokingham Today took a ringside seat as more than 60 novice boxers fought themselves to exhaustion for charity.
In the latest Ultra White Collar Boxing night, the beginners threw everything they had into their contests — and a fair amount of claret onto the nearest spectators.
“They put on a really good show and should be really proud of themselves,” said coach Hessel Williams, who’d helped prep the fighters.
More than 30 three-round bouts were watched by hundreds at Henley Leisure Centre on Saturday, November 18..
Fight of the night saw Alexander Audland walk into a cracking overhand right from Daniel Paton early in round one.
The bloodied Audland kept his feet and bravely stuck at it to the delight of his boisterous entourage. After eating several more Paton jabs, Audland struck back with a freight train of a right hook midway through the second.
A tense final round ended with Audland’s face and Paton’s biceps drenched in blood. Paton took the 30-29 points decision, but Audland was praised as a ‘Lionheart’ by the ringside commentator.
Earlier, mum-of-two Ebony Day slipped out of her gloves, slapped concealer on her bruised nose, and slipped into a daring evening gown after her own punch-up.
The 30-year-old from Finchampstead lost her brawl but said: “I got a big adrenaline kick out of it. All my friends are here but some of them said they couldn’t watch.
“My opponent absolutely ruined me. Every time she hit me I was thrown off my feet.”
Lucy Mitchell, 23, from Whitley, fought gamely to a stalemate against her adversary.
She said: “You feel so proud to be there, stepping into the ring. We both gave it everything on the night; I took multiple hits to the face but was giving them back. After the fight I was so relieved; it was a feeling that you can’t describe.”
Matt Williams, 20, from Finchampstead, came unstuck in his own encounter.
He said: “The game plan went out the window — I didn’t stick to my weapons like my reach and speed. He caught me with a good one. One minute I was up, the next I was on the floor.”
Hessel Williams, who helped to train the fighters at Shaolin Tigers Martial Arts Academy in Scours Lane, Tilehurst, said: “There were a lot of nerves before the fights. You could feel the nervous energy. I had a few fighters whose emotions got the better of them. They shed a few tears of joy after winning or just completing their journey.”
For more information about the March event, visit: https://ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/locations/reading/
Report by George Hamilton