British title holder visits Chichester boxers - plus video of what makes the club tick
St Gerards Boxing Club in Chichester had a surprise visit from one of the talents in the professional game, Joshua Buatsi.
The Ghanaian-born British professional has held the British light heavyweight title since March 2019. As an amateur, he won a light heavyweight division bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
St Gerards coach Gerry Lavelle said: “I received a text message out of the blue that I thought was a wind-up - it was from someone I didn’t know through the boxing game. The person asked if we could accommodate a boxer from the professional ranks with some ring and floor space and gym use.
“I found the request was genuine after speaking to the guy who was asking on behalf of Mark Grainger, who was his business partner in Chichester. Mark is the trainer of Joshua Buatsi. His current professional record is 12-0 with ten knockouts and he is looking to fight again in March.
“I told Mark we would love to accommodate them. We only had a small group of our boxers present as it was such short notice, but it also gave Joshua the space he needed to have a proper workout as our club can be very busy at times.
“He did a number of rounds of technical shadow boxing and padwork with Mark, then spent a number of rounds on three different bags. He looked in very good shape and was sweating as Mark was pushing him hard, then he had a good stretch out.
“Our club boxers were also working alongside him. When he had finished the workout he spent around ten minutes talking to all the boxers present about his boxing journey in life, about hard work, discipline and belief in your dreams.
“It was all very inspirational for the boxers who also got too have pictures with Joshua.
“I was very impressed by how humble he was – and the fact he took time out to give something back to boxers in the same position he was ten years ago speaks volumes for Joshua and his trainer Mark.
“We were extremely pleased he decided to visit our wee club and we wish him all the success for the future. I’m positive, and I think many will agree, he is a future world champion.”
St Gerards are always looking for sponsorship from local people or businesses to assist them financially. See their website or visit them at their HQ, the Swanfield Park Community Centre in Swanfield Drive, Chichester.