Seventeen Sheffield kids head to New York today for the boxing education of a lifetime.
Sheffield Boxing Centre has raised £20,000 to send the aspiring fighters to take part in an amateur show.
And they will also visit Gleason’s gym, Brooklyn, where the bags have been pounded by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Jake LaMotta, Roberto Durán, and Mike Tyson.
Gym owner Glyn Rhodes said: “It all came about by chance, John McCormack (a member) did the New York marathon and ran alongside a member of the NY police department. They got chatting and the guy invited us over, he said they would put a show on if we could get over there. It took us a year to raise the money to go, £1,660 per person,but we’ve had unbelievable donations. No big companies..the money has come from working class people, some just gave us a fiver.”
There are two 10 year olds in the party and the rest are aged 11-18.
“We raised £20,000 that’s enough to take us there. We hoped to raise a bit more, so kids could have had a bit of spending money but we’ve not managed to do that.”
Rhodes, talking on video at thestar.co.uk said: “It is a once in a lifetime trip for most kids.” The group are taking in a New York Yankees (baseball) game, the Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero.
n Promoter Eddie Hearn said it was reasonable to target a Kell Brook v Floyd Mayweather fight in 2015 - as well as a domestic tear-up with Amir Khan. That would be a mind-boggling opportunity for Sheffield’s Brook, who out-pointed IBF world champion Shawn Porter on Sunday.
n Barnsley hosts a big show at the Metrodome on September 5. Middleweight Ben Davies takes on Coventry’s Mike Byles, Lee Noble, faces Denaby Main’s Adam Jones, and Ben Wager boxes Tommy Carus a southpaw from Merseyside.