OLYMPICS LEGACY: Local boxing set to pack a punch

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BOXING clubs in the Dispatch district are hopeful of a boost in the wake of outstanding success in the sport at London 2012.

Team GB had two male gold-medal winners, Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell, while Nicola Adams, from Leeds made history as the first female boxing champion at the Olympics.

Hucknall’s St George Amateur Boxing Club and Bulwell Hall Boxing and Fitness Club hope for an upsurge of interest and an influx of new members as a result of the Olympic successes.

Both clubs have fought hard in different ways to establish themselves in the community — and have done so with an impressive degree of success.

A big objective for both clubs is to keep young people on the straight and narrow from the training and self-discipline they achieve through boxing.

And members are sure to derive much inspiration from the example of the 22-year-old Joshua.

Last year he pleaded guilty to drug dealing and his life was at rock bottom. He looked destined for jail but a judge gave him a second chance.

Joshua took full advantage of of this opportunity to turn his life around — and on Sunday he won Olympic gold for Britain in the prestigious super-heavyweight category.

Roared on by 10,000 fans, he beat Italian Robert Camarelle in a closely-fought contest, staging a grandstand finish after trailing on points after the first two rounds

Barry O’Dowd, head coach of the Bulwell Hall club, which meets at its Totley Close base, said it was already well attended by dedicated members and the Olympics results could not fail to sustain this spirit of enthusiasm.

Girls had already shown an interest in taking up boxing at the club before Adams’s historic triumph — and Barry is now planning to stage a women-only night at the club.

Barry will cherish special memories of the lead-up to the Olympics because he carried the torch on part of its route through Nottingham city centre.

In fact, it was Barry who passed the torch to Nottingham ice-skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. “I have since taken my souvenir torch to various places, including schools and old people’s homes,” he added.

The deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, said he hoped young people would be motivated by the Olympics to join the go-ahead St George club.

He thought this would be a fitting tribute to club stalwart Paul Singleton, who died earlier this year.

OUR PHOTO shows boxing coach Barry O’Dowd, who carried the Olympic flame as part of the spectacular nationwide torch relay — DISPIC NHUD12-0620-4