Ripon and Blackpool go head to head for boxing match

By Stephen Pass

SECONDS out, Round Two!

That will be the scenario next Friday night when a team from Ripon fight Blackpool boxers in a white collar boxing event.

Teams from the two cities fought each other last year and they are again going head to head at The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool in aid of the NSPCC, for whom they raised about 3,000 last time.

The 400-strong crowd – which will hopefully include world champions Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton and his brother Matthew – will be treated to six bouts of three, two minute rounds.

Ripon team captain, Gavin Makewell will again be entering the ring, as will a new team he has trained from novices - Mark Crichton, Lee Fagg, Paul Davies, Kevin Field and Chrissie Stapley-Hinton.

Chrissie will be boxing Samantha Coates, who has trained with the Ripon team, in what is sure to prove an interesting bout.

Last year, Ripon beat Blackpool 4-1 with one draw and Gavin is again hoping for victory for the team, who train twice a week out of a warehouse in Ripon owned by Wolseley UK, for whom he is a manager.

“The training has gone absolutely brilliant, everyone has been committed,” said Gavin, whose wife Roo, a Boxercise and fitness instructor at the leisure centre in the city, helped the team with the fitness side of things.

The charity event, which will also include an auction, has come about after Gavin, who was a boxer in the Army, started his white collar boxing career last April at a bout in Blackpool.

He became friends with Michael White, who runs The Edge Fitness and Boxing Studio in Blackpool, who invited him to organise his own team to take on one of Michael's from his gym.

The first fight-night happened last year and after next Friday’s bouts, it is hoped another spectacular will occur on New Year’s Eve, with more matches in the future.

Gavin thanked everyone who has helped, including TJ Smith Complete Cleaning Services for sponsoring their kit and the team’s cornermen on the night, Shaun Mathison and Ben Hawkings, who fought in last year’s team.

About 40 people from Ripon will be going along to cheer the city’s team on and tickets are still available for the black tie / ladies’ evening dress event.

They cost 75 ringside, 50 others and can be booked by contacting Gavin on 01765 694451 by Wednesday.