Friday, 24 April 2009

Birmingham gym raises charity cash in sponsored spar

A CITY gym punched above its weight by raising more than £2,500 for charity in a sponsored sparathon.

Novice and professional boxers took turns at fighting with each other for a whopping 12 hours.

And there were plenty of high- profile contests to keep the crowds happy at the Fighting Fit Gym, on Lionel Street, in Birmingham city centre.

Broad Street manager Mike Olley sparred with Stuart Hyde, assistant chief constable of the West Midlands Police.

The gym’s owner and professional heavyweight Neil Perkins took on Birmingham chef Glynn Purnell over four rounds.

Neil, 29, who is undefeated in his fledgling boxing career, said: “It was a great day.

“We had loads of people down here coming and going all day.

“I would just like to thank all our members who worked really hard.”

The event also served as an open day for people wanting to find out more about boxing training and nutrition.

The £2,840 raised during the mammoth boxing bout, held on Friday March 13, was donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan fund-raising manager Sharon Battersby said: “They did a really fantastic job.

“I think the amount raised was beyond their expectations.

“The money will go towards helping fund a number of nursing posts in the city centre.

“They cost £140,000 over three years so the money is a massive help.”

The gym chose Macmillan after one of their staff received assistance from them when both his parents died of cancer.

Personal trainer Paul Gough, 43, from Dudley, said: “I lost my mum and dad to cancer a few years ago and the support they got was brilliant.

“I did a similar thing in my old gym in Dudley and it worked pretty well so I thought we would try it here.”

British cruiserweight champion Rob Norton was on hand to lend his support and show off his title belts.

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