Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Video: A different kind of fight

THE main chamber at Henley town hall has witnessed more than a few arguments between councillors over the years

THE main chamber at Henley town hall has witnessed more than a few arguments between councillors over the years.

But none of them has ever involved exchanging blows in the way that was witnessed on Saturday night.

That?s because the room was turned into a boxing venue for charity.

About 150 people were packed around the ring for the ?Rumble on the River? featuring members of Twyford Boxing Club and an exhibition by professional fighter Asinia Byfield.

Click here to watch our video about the evening

The ?white collar boxing? ? so called because it involves people with office-type professions trained to fight ? included four amateur bouts.


The fighters were split into two teams ? the Reds featuring Rodrigo Simonin, Dan Bryan, Nick Rowley and Patrick Knightley and the Blues with Ben Woodhouse, Scott Simpson, Joe Abbott and Ollie Brown.

Mr Woodhouse is an assistant bank manager and Mr Knightley is a recruitment consultant.


The crowd, who paid either £25 or £50 each to see the action, cheered as the boxers were paraded in front of them. The fighters then retired to their ?changing room?, alias the d:two centre in Market Place to prepare for battle.

Each then returned to the ring for their fights to the accompaniment of tunes such as Warrior?s Dance by the Prodigy and The Game by Motörhead. They were introduced to the crowd by MC Peter Lowe.

The men wore protective head gear as they fought over three two-minute rounds with a minute?s rest between each one.

At the end of each round the boxers were applauded and cheered by the spectators who had access to a bar run by volunteers. After each fight, both boxers were presented with trophies.

The event was in aid of Henley youth and community project Nomad and raised £3,000.

It was dreamed up by financial adviser Chris Ward, a member of Nomad?s advisory group, and Simon Teague, joint head coach at the boxing club, six months ago.

Mr Teague and fellow head coach Lee Richards put the novice boxers through a 10-week training course to prepare them for their first fight.

He said: ?They put in the hard graft and in the end it was a fantastic event. They did themselves proud and I was really happy with their performances."

Mr Ward, 63, of Lambridge Wood Road, Henley, said: ?I?ve known Simon for about 12 years and he was a personal trainer for me. We would do boxing as part of my circuit training, which I?ve been doing for a long time.

?If I was a bit younger I would do the boxing myself! I think it?s a great idea for people who want to box to use it to keep fit and healthy.

?I think we could have got another 50 people in the hall and the event is capable of raising £5,000 but what we did is a great start."

Tim Prior, youth and families team manager at Nomad, said he hoped the event would be repeated next year.

He said: ?We thought it was really well attended, with a good atmosphere ? it had a wow factor. It?s a great thing to increase awareness about Nomad.?

He said the money raised would go toward diversionary activities such as Go Ape and paintballing.



Click here to see more photographs of the evening.

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