Martin read – Sports Reporter
After 45 bouts for Horsham Amateur Boxing Club, captaining the Club and winning a world title as a welterweight, Horsham’s Ben Gumbrell is planning to hang up his gloves, foregoing the opportunity to notch up a half century of fights and turn pro.
33 year old Gumbrell wants a new challenge – he has previously tried karate and kick boxing – and is entered in a bareknuckle boxing ‘Prizefighter’ tournament at the O2 Indigo Arena on Saturday, September 14. Bare-knuckle boxing is popular at the London venue and elsewhere around the UK and, at the O2, Gumbrell has been drawn against fans’ favourite Tony Lafferty in a quarter final clash to be screened live on pay per view. The ‘Prizefighter’ winner will pick up a £10,000 prize and a shot at the world championship, Gumbrell explaining: “I follow bare-knuckle boxing and when I saw the possibility, I decided to go for it. I don’t have to change my boxing. The game plan is to box. You don’t want to get smashed up in the quarter finals because there are still two more fights to go.” Gumbrell accepts that this will be a stiff challenge and that he may have to slug it out against Lafferty. The TV coverage will include Jimmy Sweeney defending his world lightweight championship and Tyler Goodjohn meeting Sean George for the vacant world featherweight title, Gumbrell adding: “I wanted to fight Tony. People will enjoy watching it – and it’s a good way for me to get noticed! I believe I can stand toe to toe with him and outbox him as well. It depends whether I listen to my head or my heart !” Bare-knuckle boxing began in the era before padded gloves, continuing until the Marquess of Queensbury’s rules were introduced in the UK in the 1880s, but is enjoying a revival. Ben Gumbrell bare-knuckle training can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14_-ERjBbZY Horsham Boxing Club is situated at the far end of North Parade car park adjacent to Horsham Park – its home for 22 years – and is always recruiting for new talent! Males and females looking to get into the sport from the age of 9 years old are eligible. The Club saying: “HBC is open to anyone with the right attitude, willing to learn and wishing to train with the possibility of competing for the club. We also offer boxing fitness for all! Boxing will teach you to rely on yourself, to value the input of others, and most importantly to respect both your own skills and those of others. You will develop a level of self confidence that you will carry with you for the rest of your life, with a combination of athleticism, physical and mental conditioning and sportsmanship.” Contact details and training times are on the Club website – www.horshamboxing club.co.uk. Further information is on Facebook – Horsham Boxing Club – RH12 1AU –– firstname.lastname@example.org