"Punches into Pounds" - Boxing event raises over £5,000 in memory of Tony Howard

PUNCHES were turned into pounds as amateur boxers slugged it out for a good cause in memory of a popular joiner.

The ring showdown was hosted by the owners of the Fitness Factory gym at Mosborough Hall in Sheffield to mark the first anniversary of the death of Tony Howard, of Broom.

The annual boxing showcase was renamed The Tony Awards this year in memory of the 58-year-old, who died at Rotherham Hospice.

His wife Alison said: “The event was absolutely amazing.

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“It was attended by over 150 people and the boxers put on a great show.”

Alison, of Osbert Road, said the total raised, which is expected to top £5,000, was “phenomenal”.

She added: “It’s exactly a year today since Tony died.

“I know he would be so happy, as I am, that we have given something back for the amazing care and compassion we both received during his time at the hospice.”

Family friend and gym owner Bill Gavins organised the event with his wife Sonia and son Daniel.

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It featured eight bouts involving male and female boxers trained up over the course of 14 weeks.

“By the time they come to fight, they are in as good shape as they’ve ever been thanks to really hard sessions of boxing and strength and conditioning,” he said.

“Half of them have not thrown a punch in their lives before.

“We take them from being someone maybe sat behind a desk to being able to step out in front of a huge crowd and box each other, while keeping each other safe and raising money for the hospice.”

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Bill said he had known Tony and Alison for many years and had pledged to help Alison raise money in her husband’s memory.

“She said the end of life care he had received at the hospice was phenomenal,” he added.

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