Free amateur boxing bonanza for fight fans

22/01/11 sport''Victory Amateur Boxing Club host Hampshire (in Red) V Kent (in Blue) at Hill Park Working Mens Club in Fareham. Pictured is Hampshires Jack Featherstone of Heart of Portsmouth who beat Robert Deards of Kent''Picture: Paul Jacobs (110238-24)
22/01/11 sport''Victory Amateur Boxing Club host Hampshire (in Red) V Kent (in Blue) at Hill Park Working Mens Club in Fareham. Pictured is Hampshires Jack Featherstone of Heart of Portsmouth who beat Robert Deards of Kent''Picture: Paul Jacobs (110238-24)
Joel McIntyre. Picture: Sarah Standing (161623-8349)

No rest for McIntyre after latest win

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A trailblazing free show is set to draw hundreds of fight fans to the Mountbatten Centre today.

A crowd of over 600 people is expected for Heart of Portsmouth’s (HOP) bumper bill this afternoon.

HOP’s partnership with Network Rail has allowed them to showcase the city’s up-and-coming talent for free.

That means over 20 bouts are scheduled, involving boxers from different schools and clubs around the area.

Schools such as Charter Academy, Milton Cross, Admiral Lord Nelson, Langstone Junior School, Cottage Grove and Purbrook Park are among the many represented.

Jack Featherstone, Joe Hunt, Ashley Pond, Duayne Foster and Robbie Patterson will be some of the many decorated talents involved.

And seniors like Biola Kudus, Terry Singh and Ryan Colquhoun will be aiming to showcase their talents.

Heart of Portsmouth boss Q Shillingford is looking forward to a day of exciting action and wants to see the local boxers rise to the occasion.

He said: ‘This is going to a great show and we want a big crowd turning out.

‘This show is being staged for two reasons.

‘This is for Portsmouth to advertise amateur boxing.

‘We want all the local clubs taking part and to have all the schools supporting the boxers they have involved.

‘But it’s also for Network Rail to push out their message about rail safety.

‘It’s their support which is making this a free show, and they need to get out their message for children to keep off rail tracks. We need to protect our young people.

‘There are going to be a lot of our champions involved.

‘There will be national, southern counties and Hampshire champions taking part.

‘Plus, there is going to be a lot of emerging talent getting a chance to shine.’

HOP’s free boxing show takes place at the Mountbatten Centre.

Doors open at midday, with boxing beginning at 1.30pm.

Meanwhile, the thriving Boxing Awards Programme piloted and now running successfully across Portsmouth is set to move to Havant, where Havant Academy is due to introduce the scheme along with the boxing GCSE, first introduced at Charter Academy.

Shillingford believes that is another exciting development for the amateur game.

He said: ‘Portsmouth and the surrounding area is leading the way for amateur boxing.’