Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dinner with the London Boxing Academy

A good friend of mine, Simon Marcus, runs a boxing gym in Tottenham, which has proved fantastic at keeping local kids off the street and giving them a sport to focus on. Boris Johnson visited it last week (pic). Simon has poured a lot of his own money into it but is now engaged in some serious fundraising activity.

The London Boxing Academy is holding its first annual fundraising Gala on the 14th May at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, in partnership with CIVITAS and the Haringey Police Amateur Boxing Club. The evening will be hosted by SKY Sport's Adam Smith and special guests include Kenneth Clarke, QC, MP, Iain Duncan Smith, MP, Frank Maloney, Danny Williams and Shaun Bailey.There will be six bouts of amateur boxing, a charity auction of extreemly rare memorabilia of boxing greats such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Jake La Motta, Henry Cooper and Ricky Hatton and many more attractions. In the superb surroundings of the five star Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, this promises to be a superb evening of sport and entertainment. For more information please go to and click on the Gala Dinner tab or contact Simon directly at

Simon writes...
According to the latest Metropolitan Police statistics there are 479 violent crimes a day in Greater London, which equates to 20 an hour. Further to this there were 37 fatal attacks on teenagers by other teens last year alone, and a quarter of all gun crime was committed by under 18’s. Much of this has been attributed to a six-fold increase in gang culture, with children as young as five joining local gangs. But I want to tell you about something positive you can do to help us fight back. I am writing to you on behalf of the London Boxing Academy Community Project. Working out of Tottenham, we use boxing, football and other sports to capture the imagination of excluded students and re-introduce them to education and mainstream society. Through sport we help our students understand the values of team-work, discipline and responsibility which help them achieve academic qualifications and walk away from drugs, crime and poverty. We are meeting with unprecedented success. Our attendance levels are over 80%, many of our students are predicted A-C grade GCSEs, and we are developing some exceptionally talented athletes including several 2012 Olympic hopefuls. You can help us continue the fight-back against educational failure and youth crime! In order to raise funds we are holding a Charity Boxing Gala Dinner on 14th May 2008 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington and we would be delighted if you could join us. If you are unable to attend and you would like to make a donation or become involved in other ways such as becoming a mentor or speaker please complete and return the attached form by e-mail or post. Any help you can give would be deeply appreciated.

So please do contact Simon directly or otherwise contact me and I will put you in touch with him, This really is a worthwhile cause. If you can't go to the dinner but would like to help a worthwhile cause financially, the gym would really appreciate your support.


Anonymous said...

Will Clarke and IDS be recreating their famous 2001 leadership bout?

Anonymous said...

"a boxing gym in Tottenham, which has proved fantastic at keeping local kids off the street and giving them a sport to focus on"

It's not a sport. It is licenced violence. There is no evidence that boxing contributes to the well-being or advancement of its proponents. On the contrary, it is censured by the Medical profession and harbours criminals on all sides. Each year, boxers die of their ring injuries or sustain permanent brain damage. If not, they end up dying violently outside the ring or kill someone themselves.

It is time to stamp on the myth that pugilism is in any way good for people. You may as well suggest that getting pedophiles to work in youth clubs will in some way "keep them off the streets". Don't fall for the myth.

The idea that watching young poorly educated boys knocking the crap out of each other will enable them to control their violent tendencies is has no basis in fact.

Anonymous said...

"The London Boxing Academy is holding its first annual fundraising Gala..."

Surely it should be their first annual fundraising Bash... :-)

Scipio said...

someone please tell Boris to stop doing his bottom button up. For a guy who was educated at Eton, he has no dress sense.

On the issue of boxing - I think it isn't sport really - it is legal violence.

Wouldn't ban it, but I wouldn't promote it either.

If my son came home and said he wanted to start boxing, I would seriously discourage him

Chris Paul said...

I'd not be as hard as wrinkled weasel on the sport as a whole but this style of dinner bouts featuring poverty escaping waifs battering each other while rich voyeurs stuff their faces is I think perverse.

asquith said...

Disagreed, wrinkled weasel. Boxing, martial arts etc are controlled use of force, for self-defence. Many children who were once victims to lawless bullies can protect themselves in such a way. They learn not to use their training in a wantonly violent way.

The youths on my estate who are battering each other have never done any organised activity in their lives, so you can hardly blame boxing! Something of this kind would give them a positive activity and some structure and meaning in their lives, and I therefore support it.

Which means I agree with Iain Dale and Boris Johnson.

But don't get used to it.

James Higham said...

Boxing has always been a major factor in deprived areas for the youth of that area. Should never be banned if only for that reason.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of getting Bozza in the ring? That would be some fund-raising opportunity! Or, Levy vs. Brown ?? Even better ... Mandelson vs. Brown. Or maybe Clinton vs. Obama? What a way to settle the Democratic nomination battle.

Maybe others could suggest political bouts that might grab the electorate's attention.

Chris Paul said...

Boxing should not be banned. Fat cat dinners while waifs and strays batter each other and the toffs have another brandy and an after eight should clearly be banned.

It is perverse. Just have the guilt ridden fat caps send in their £200. Don't have kids - often young kids - slogging each other over pudding.

Anonymous said...

I am definitely not a fan of boxing, but it's stupid to deny that many young men have a need for strenuous physical workouts, and also like 'bashing' things.

I'd say it's a lot better that they do that in a properly controlled environment, where they learn (as in the Forces) to discipline themselves, rather than get caught up in the drugs and gun culture.

And it would be really pleasant if Mr Paul could get himself out of his ancient mindset, wherein members of the aristocracy force the poor up their stately chimneys.

Anonymous said...

For god sake ban it! We're English, we might hurt ourselves.

(Can't believe asquith has said something sane.)