Sometimes charity hurts - that’s the motto of boxing trainer Nick Morrish who’s putting a group of novice boxers through their paces in preparation for their first fight night.
The gang, who are all raising money for Cancer Research UK, have just eight weeks to prepare for the bout when they’ll do battle with one of their training partners in the ring in front of 500 people.
Getting them fit and ready is Nick from Adeyfield’s Britannia kickboxing and boxing gym, alongside fellow gum owner and trainer Shane Bernhauser. Nick, whose own mother passed away from cancer seven years ago, said: “When they first came they were terrible. They couldn’t even jog on the spot and within two weeks they had improved so much. They’re all losing weight like it’s going out of fashion.
“We had one lad who couldn’t even jog for 15 seconds, now he can do a whole session.”
The boxing event, being held at Berkhamsted’s Sportspace on December 13, is organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB), which has raised £2.5million for Cancer Research UK since launching the charity bouts just 18 months ago.
Among those stepping into the ring next month is 25 year old Charlotte White, of Adeyfield, who has an 18 month old daughter.
“Cancer runs in my family so I’m doing it for friends and family that have lost people,” she said.
“I’ve been lucky because my Mum is still here and she has been through three different types of cancer.”
Like the others in the group she is finding the training gruelling.
Tough love trainer Nick, who teaches the group twice a week, said: “It’s fun but the reality of it is they’re going to be standing in a boxing ring in front of 500 people. We are not playing tiddlywinks.
“I know it’s for charity but charity is going to hurt.”
Car sales executive Ian Matthewson, 35, whose mother died of cancer three years ago, is hoping to embark on a new healthier lifestyle through the challenge.
“I’m very unhealthy and I drink and smoke,” he said. “Hopefully I will have given up smoking by the fight.
“Although the training is getting more intense, I’m getting fitter. Whilst last week I felt like I was going to be sick and I had a headache, this week I only have a slight headache!”
The group are also being encouraged to get out running and doing additional workouts to increase their fitness ahead of fight night.
Mum Dawn Leigh, a purchasing manager from Apsley, said: “It’s physically and mentally gruelling but nothing compared to what cancer puts individuals and their families through.”
To book tickets for the event visit www.ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk.
Watch the group training at www.hemeltoday.co.uk.
>Britannia runs classes for all abilities on Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm to 8.30pm and Saturday 3pm to 5pm. Children’s classes run on Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm to 7pm.
Call Nick on 07813 877967 or Shane on 07583 692704. Visit Britannia Boxing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britanniaboxing/?fref=ts