London stars Dereck Chisora, Frank Buglioni, Bradley Skeete and Tony Conquest gave the Army boxers of the Second Battalion ‘The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment’, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich a boost yesterday.
Chisora, Buglioni and Skeete are hard in preparation for title defences on the big Copper Box Arena show on Saturday 15th February, while Conquest is getting ready for a title challenge a week later at the York Hall – both shows will be live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) – but they took time out to show their support to the Army boxers who are competing in the Army Major Unit Quarter Finals Championships tomorrow night in Hounslow.
Along with top pro trainers Don Charles, Jason Rowland and Alan Smith, the boxers put the young amateur stars through their paces and were on hand to give tips and pointers ahead of their big night.
Big-hitting Chisora, who defends his European Heavyweight title, said, “I respect anyone who steps into the boxing ring, but these soldiers put their lives on the line for us so if by me coming here to the gym and chatting to the lads and giving them the benefit of my experience helps them and inspires them then it’s something small I can give back.”
WBO European Super-Middleweight Champion Buglioni, who defends his title and his unbeaten record against Gaetano Nespro, said, “It’s an honour to be asked to come down here and meet the Army boxers. I respect them so much for the job that they do so I hope my advice and coaching tips help them tomorrow night and I’d be delighted to come and help them out any time for boxing advice.”
English Welterweight Champion Bradley Skeete, who steps up to meet former World Champion Vivian Harris, said, “It’s fantastic to meet these young boxers who may not go on to be professionals, but they love boxing and competing and are all hungry to improve and win which is great to see. They’ve got some cracking and talented boys and I hope that they do the business on Wednesday night.”
Vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight title challenger Tony Conquest said, “Meeting the soldiers is an inspiration to me so the benefits works both ways! I’ve always been a big admirer of the work these lads do here and abroad and I’m proud that they invited me down to the barracks to help out.”
Major Reg Hollis said, “It’s been fantastic for the young lads to see these professional champion boxers who they look up to and see them here in person at the gym training with them. The boys will never forgot this and really appreciate them taking the time out to come and support them ahead of our championships tomorrow night.”
Sergeant Tony Richardson, one of the coaches on the team, added, “Having top professional fighters like Dereck, Frank, Bradley and Tony come here and meet the boys has given them a real confidence lift ahead of the tournament tomorrow night. They don’t ever get to meet boxers of that calibre and to train alongside them so it’s a very special day for them and I’d like to thank them for taking the time to do that.”
Tickets for the Copper Box Arena, priced at £40, £50, £70 and £120, are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or online at www.eventim.co.uk