Boxing's back on... but it's 340 miles away...
MONTHS of training and hard work were shattered when a junior boxing championships was axed over a '˜threat to life'.
But now young athletes and their parents have told of their shock at being told the bouts have been relocated – 340 miles away.
The England Boxing Junior Championships were originally due to take place at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.
But Hampshire police told organisers they should cancel due to a ‘threat to life’ at the event on April 2 and 3.
They will now take place in Birtley, Gateshead.
Tyler Hallawell, 15, was due to fight earlier this month.
He said: ‘I’m losing lots of support, it’s annoying.’
His dad Glen Hallawell, 34, of Leigh Park, said moving the event has meant Tyler will not be as well supported.
‘It’s six hours away. I don’t think it’s fair at all,’ he said.
‘I find it hard to see how they can change it.
‘Tyler would have had all his family and friends at the boxing and his sponsors coming down to watch him but now no-one is coming.’
Tyler will instead be cheered on by his mum and dad, and coach Daron Wiseman, of Team Wiseman.
Glen added: ‘We’re absolutely devastated.’
It comes after England Boxing board member Giorgio Brugnoli said Hampshire police told the organisation there was a threat to the safety of the participants, to the spectators and to officials.
In a previous statement he said: ‘They were clear that not to cancel the events would jeopardise the safety of everyone involved – potentially to a life-threatening degree.’
Northumbria Police said yesterday that they were not expecting any trouble at the rescheduled event.
Heart of Portsmouth boxer Paris Williams, 14, had also been due to fight. She will travel up with mum Lisa, 40, of Farlington, on Saturday.
Lisa said: ‘Not only is she boxing on Sunday but she’s boxing late on Sunday, and we’re going to be back late.
‘That’s going to affect Monday at school, she’s going to be shattered.
‘She wants to do it, we’ve got to support her in that.
‘I hope she comes back with a win otherwise it’s going to be a long drive home.’
In a statement England Boxing said: ‘We believe that hosting these two events at Birtley is the best possible solution and will enable us to conclude the Junior Championships.’