Boxers buzzing for ring return

GUERNSEY’S competitive boxing scene is set to make its long-awaited comeback on 30 October.

Billy Le Poullain will be eager to get back into action with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games a target. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29838294)
Billy Le Poullain will be eager to get back into action with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games a target. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29838294)

That is when, provided restrictions permit, a team of RAF boxers will face Sarnian opposition after first undertaking a week-long training camp on domestic soil.

It would end a 20-month competitive hiatus for Guernsey boxers, the sport having been on the ropes since the pandemic started with not a single show held since February 2020. Even solely-local competition has been off-limits due to the need for a qualified officer in charge.

But Mandy Hobart, who took up her new role as Guernsey’s first ever boxing development officer this week, knows just how excited the locals are to have a taste of real competition around the corner.

‘They are absolutely buzzing about it,’ she said of a competition planned to take place at Beau Sejour.

‘The new ones, it’s just given them an extra bounce in their step, if you like.

‘Over half our members have been there anyway, but this will push us up to full capacity at the club, which will be so good.’

Unlike their England counterparts, Guernsey boxers have been able to train fully in the background during the pandemic.

A grateful Hobart, who coaches in a Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club set-up headed by Ben Duff, now hopes they can provide a full and exciting show to mark the sport’s return.

‘I’m hoping that we’re going to carry on as we finished, so we’re talking 12, 13 bouts,’ she said.

‘But again, it’s all about how long England have been back in the gym and whether they can match our boxers.’

The GABC also have a dinner boxing show lined up for 26 November.

Meanwhile, Billy Le Poullain is still taking aim at his second Commonwealth Games.

Success at the ‘Nationals’ set for November and December would qualify him to compete at Birmingham 2022.

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