Despite the fact boxers step into the ring alone, behind the scenes the friendships and family bonds that are created, through long hours of hard work, are inevitable. This team spirit and support couldn’t have been more apparent last weekend at Suffolk Punch Boxing Club, as both members and friends of the boxing club came together for a cause close to everyone’s heart.
On Saturday, October 7, the club and its members held a 24 hour Spar-a-thon to raise funds for one of the club’s original members, Tommy Cunningham, and the end result couldn’t have been more amazing.
Matt Brennan of Suffolk Punch Boxing Club said: “One of the pioneers of Suffolk Punch Boxing Club, Tommy Cunningham, was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“We felt helpless and wanted to find a way of helping him and his family. Tommy’s firm were only able to pay him statutory sick pay, which with a young family, was obviously a stress for them all.
“We decided on a 24 hour spar-a-thon, and called it ‘Knocking Out Cancer’.
“And then we invited our members and other clubs down to the gym to take part.”
Starting at 4pm on the Saturday, the club was open all evening and throughout the whole night, with many members coming along to show their support and jump into the ring for a few rounds during the whole 24 hour event.
“Two of our boxers, Jermaine Haynes and Darren Hearne, even managed to stay for the full 24 hours.”
Those who wished to get into the ring were asked to donate £5 for a two hour sparring slot, while other members of the club who could not box came in for morale support, bringing plenty of food supplies.
To help raise extra funds, the club also held an auction of boxing and football memorabilia. This raised a further £500, bringing the club’s fundraising total so far to £2600.