Sheffield Boxing Centre celebrates 25th anniversary

Sheffield Boxing Centre celebrated it's 25th birthday with a glittering bash in the city, an evening in which owner Glyn Rhodes paid tribute to the late Scott Westgarth and health-troubled ring legend Herol 'Bomber' Graham.

By Bob Westerdale
Monday, 12 August, 2019, 17:15
Glyn Rhodes.

SBC is booming after a quarter of a century in business and many familiar faces from its history attended the event at the Crowne Plaza Royal Victoria Sheffield on Saturday.

In an interview with The Star, Rhodes said the death of light heavyweight Westgarth, aged 31, - he passed away after injuries suffered following a victory in February last year - brought the club to its lowest point.

"You can't get much worse than that," said Rhodes.

"As a team, we all pulled together and I think we got each other through it."

He said SBC had him in their thoughts.

The gym boss also said he'd have loved to have trained world title contender Graham through his best years in the sport.

"You can talk about about your Naz's, your Johnny's (Nelson), your Junior Witters, your Ryan Rhodes, but Herol Graham was the first one.

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"There was no boxing in Sheffield before Herol came along."

He said Brendan Ingle and Graham - who has spent time in a mental health institution - were pioneers, with memorable shows at the City Hall and Bramall Lane.

Rhodes, who had 65 professional fights of his own, said the most skilled boxer in SBC history was John Fewkes - a boxer who didn't achieve his full potential but is turning into a fine coach, said Rhodes.

"Fewky could do things that other fighters couldn't do, as well as being a massive ticket-seller."

Rhodes has been excited to watch him sparring once with Amir Khan - but said he was the "greatest under-achiever that has come from SBC."

Boxers who joined the Hillsborough club from the age of 11 included Reagan Denton and Khalid Shafiq, he said adding: "One of the things we keep banging the drum about is that it is called SBC "Unit" - and the reason is because we all stick together. Everybody seems to be going in the right direction."

Rhodes, 59, said the gym's best moment was the visit of Prince Charles to the Burton Street in 1998.

And he said retired champion Sam Sheedy had his sights on running the gym, once he eventually retires.