Sheffield boxing icon Johnny Nelson beams with pride as Prince Williams hands him his MBE
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The city’s former world champion boxer, who now works as a Sky Sports Boxing pundit and is launching his own charity, was presented with the medal at Windsor Castle, in a grand ceremony at one of the Royal residence’s majestic rooms.
And in celebration of his MBE, awarded for services to boxing and youth sports in Yorkshire, he is set to launch the Johnny Nelson Foundation at a star-filled black-tie dinner at Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield.
The dinner will take place on Saturday February 3, and over 300 guests are expected to see the ex-boxer launch his foundation, with proceeds going to charities that support youngsters and deprived families in Yorkshire and the surrounding area.
“I’m extremely honoured to have received my MBE, not just for me but on behalf of Brendan Ingle, my coach, mentor, and friend. As well as all the people who work tirelessly for the charities that I’m an ambassador of including MAMA Youth, Sheffield Children’s Hospitals and Prostate Cancer. It feels very special to be hosting the launch event in my home city, and we’re hoping to use the dinner to fundraise,” said Johnny.
“I didn’t expect to receive this honour, and didn’t believe it, not even when it was announced in the papers on New Year’s Eve! It meant a lot to have my three daughters Jorden, India and Bailey alongside me today, and I hope that it will help to escalate awareness of my foundation and the legacy I want to create.”
Tickets and tables for the event are on-sale now via johnnynelsonfound[email protected] Tables of 10: £1,000 or individual tickets: £100.
Like many other boxers in the city, he started his career training under Brendan Ingle, at the legendary trainer’s gym in Wincobank.
Johnny held the World Boxing Organization cruiserweight title from 1999 to 2006, and remains the longest reigning cruiserweight world champion of all time. Nelson defended the title against 13 different opponents, more than any other cruiserweight in history.
One of his belts later become an exhibit at Sheffield’s Weston Park Museum.