Former European, Commonwealth And British Super-Middleweight Champ Henry Wharton To Open Boxing Gym In His Hometown

By James Slater: Back in the 1990s, when British boxing was able to boast a number of fine middleweights and super-middleweights, York’s Henry Wharton was smack bang in the middle of the action; trading leather with big names like Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Robin Reid.

Unluckily, Wharton lost all three of his world title fights, but nobody, not even the lethal-punching Benn was able to beat him by anything other than a points decision. A genuine tough guy with a granite jaw and limitless courage, Henry always wanted to fight the best. Successful in challenging for European, British and Commonwealth honours, Wharton retired in 1998, with a fine 27-3-1(20) pro record.

Ever since calling it a day, Wharton has kept a pretty low profile. Never one to seek the limelight, Henry has not been seen on any boxing-related T.V shows, he has done no ringside commentary and he has given no interviews (even though a number of prestigious publications/ writers would very much like to get to speak with the former three-time world title challenger).

But some exciting news broke yesterday; news that tells us Henry is about to launch a new boxing venture. Wharton is currently converting a former cinema in his hometown of York (also my home town!) into what will reportedly be the biggest boxing gym the walled city has ever had. Giving back to the sport that made him famous, Wharton is excited about the venture.

“I can see two rings in here, loads of punch bags and work bags, exercise areas, changing rooms, an area for other fitness activities - it’s all here,” Wharton said enthusiastically when speaking to The Press about the gym he is currently working on. “All the stuff I have learned from my days in the sport as an amateur and then a pro is stored here in my head. I have that knowledge and want to pass it on. I want to pay that back to the youngsters of York.

“People have been amazing and we just want to thank them all because this is a project that will help the community of York. We want this centre to be open to all, to be a home, a proper home to its boxers.”

The new gym, to be named The Eastside Boxing Club and Fitness Centre, will surely prove to be an exciting place to visit once it is opened. There is no word yet as to whether or not Henry will become an actual trainer, yet as he says, he sure has a lot of knowledge which he can pass on.

A true warrior who is somewhat unappreciated in many ways, Wharton is a local hero and his giving back is sure to be a most welcome gesture. How exciting will it be for York (again, my home town!) if the new gym goes on to produce a future champion?!

Article posted on 10.12.2011

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