A childhood friend of a Kirkby man who was killed on a level crossing has stepped into the boxing ring for the first time in four years to raise money for the victim’s family.
Neil Huntley grew up in Annesley with Phil Dawn (34), who was tragically killed in May 2012 while cycling across a level crossing near King’s Mill reservoir.
While at Phil’s funeral, Neil vowed to hold a fundraising event in his memory and organised a successful boxing and kickboxing night which was held in Alfreton last month.
This comprised of two World Championship kickboxing bouts and several boxing matches and the event even saw Neil fighting for the first time since 2010, when his own professional Mixed Martial Arts career was brought to an end when he was stabbed nine times while out in Nottingham.
He took on an opponent from Birmingham whom he beat on points.
Said Neil (35): “I took this fight on with nine weeks notice and lost three stone in weight so it sort of did me a favour!
“I trained twice a day with the help of my coaches, Richard Wheldon, from Kirkby Amateur boxing club, and Dave Morris, from Tap or Snap in Ripley, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Phil’s wife Jane and three children went along to the event along with over 100 other people, many of whom knew Phil.
It raised hundreds of pounds for his family.
“It was a memorable night that will stay with me forever,” added Neil.
“I knew Phil from the age of five and grew up with him through school. This was a terrible accident that could have been prevented and I hope this event raised more awareness and hopefully did him proud.”