Gloves are on for fighting fund-raiser

John Horrocks with some of the boxers (left to right) Karol Leno, Andy Parker, Jamie Malone and Craig Ibbetson
John Horrocks with some of the boxers (left to right) Karol Leno, Andy Parker, Jamie Malone and Craig Ibbetson

WIGAN will host an American-style open-air boxing card for a fund-raising night which is certain to be a knockout.

Ten fighters will put on their gloves and square off beneath the open skies at Spring View Community Club in a night aimed at boosting coffers for Help for Heroes later this month.

The unusual event will see fighters taking part in the five bouts on the bill walk to the ring in the community club car park to the strains of their favourite music, escorted by a guard of two uniformed military veterans.

The event is the brainchild of John Horrocks, who says he hopes to attract a huge crowd to the boxing night to raise money to support wounded Armed Forces personnel and their families, and will also be stepping into the ring himself.

John, 40, said: “I like doing things for charity and this is a really good cause.

“I did a charity skydive last year to help send some youngsters to France to play rugby.

“I’ve always wanted to do a bit of boxing and I was talking to a few friends about doing a charity boxing night, and it came together from there.

“I decided to make it an open-air night because hiring a marquee was just too much money.

“The ring will be on the car park and there will be people watching all around it.

“There’s never been anything like this tried in Spring View before so it should be something different and a good night.”

“There’s been a lot of interest, I’ve already sold about 400 tickets and all the VIP seats went in the first week.

“Lots of young lads are interested and the fighters will have all their families there, but there’s also been interest from elderly people. I think they like to support that kind of charity.”

The card will see eight Wiganers attempting to transform themselves into masters of the ring, including rugby league players from clubs including Wigan St Patrick’s and Ince Rose Bridge, fireman Rav Daniels and former Army soldier Steven Eden.

John, who combines his interest in the sweet science with his day job as a production manager at Hitchen Foods in Ince, will step up into the ring second against fellow Spring View combatant Craig Ibbetson, while the headlining fight will see mixed martial artist Andy Parker take on Karol Leno, who has been boxing since he was 10 years old and lives in Platt Bridge, having moved to Britain from Poland.

The Help for Heroes boxing night will take place at Spring View Community Club, on Hatfield Close, on Saturday, June 15.

The event begins at 6.30pm, with the first fight at 7pm.

Tickets are available on the gate, priced at £5 each.