Stevenage boxing night packs such a punch for Billy’s Wish charity that organisers will make it an annual event
- Credit: Archant
A charity boxing night in support of an anti-knife crime charity which is rolling out its education programme in Stevenage secondary schools in the new year proved so successful that organisers say they will make it an annual event.
Hundreds of people packed into the town’s Holiday Inn on Saturday to support the iBox Promotions evening in aid of Billy’s Wish, the Herts-based charity set up by grieving dad Paul Dove in the wake of his 21-year-old son’s death four years ago.
Popular trainee mechanic Billy died when he tried to break up a late-night brawl in Hemel Hempstead town centre in November 2011.
The education programme developed in his name has won awards for its pioneering work, and schools in the west of the county have already had the benefit of tailored lessons highlighting the dangers of knife crime and highlighting personal safety issues.
After seeing the success of the programme elsewhere Stevenage Borough Council’s community safety team is funding the programme for all seven secondary schools in the town, and a new extended version of the education programme will be rolled out in the new year.
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Saturday’s event was hosted by TV presenter and Billy’s Wish supporter Rob Lamarr, and featured two big name guest judges – former world welterweight champion John H Stracey and national flyweight title holder Ashley ‘Flash Ash’ Sexton.
Both took great delight in handing out trophies to the boxers and John also hosted the charity auction, which included a pair of golden gloves signed by him, an Absolute Radio football signed by Ian Wright, and lots of boxing memorabilia.
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With eight exciting bouts involving both male and female fighter, there was something for everyone and the crowd cheered loudly all evening. For some of the boxers it was their first first competitive bout.
iBox Promotions owner David Stephenson said: “Billy’s Wish is a fantastic charity that has worked so hard to educate young people about the dangers of knife crime.
“It was an absolute pleasure to put on this event to raise much needed funds for them. We have so far raised £800 with more pledged.
“The event was a huge success and my team at iBox Promotions have decided to make this an annual event. Together we can fight the fight against knife crime!”