A boxing night to raise funds for The SMASH Youth project was a great success and thanks to many donations over £1,700 has been raised.
Norman Butler undertook several months of physical and technical training and some serious sparring and a variety of injuries led up to the big day itself.
There were 2 huddles in the venue – the Swindon crew and their opposition the Jersey crew. The Jersey guys were generally that bit more experienced but being the ‘away’ team so to speak it must have been a bit more intimidating for them. However, there was certainly a mutual respect for one another.
Norman’s opponent for the evening was nicknamed "Dolph" after Dolph Lundgren for obvious physical reasons. Norman is considered a capable novice boxer with a good jab and after a few words of encouragement from his coach and mentor, 9 times ABA champion, former Olympic squad member and announcer for the night, Paul Rogers, the bell rang at the start of the match. After 3 rounds the bout was declared a draw to rapturous applause, with Norman receiving a trophy, which he will treasure and use as a reminder that he conquered something that he thought might be beyond him not physically but emotionally.
The Swindon Boxing Academy boxers all performed well against tough and brave opponents and it was pleasing to see everyone’s hard work and dedication pay off.
An insight from spectator (Toby) who had never attended such a fight night before: "The Swindon Boxing Academy is based in a lovely old chapel building with a high vaulted ceiling. The first thing that strikes you when you enter is the amount of decoration – numerous cuttings, pictures, articles, t-shirts and items relating to boxing fill every square inch. But amidst them all are various philosophical quotes, and time and time again, you’re struck by the underlying themes of respect, honour, and seemingly counter-intuitive, ‘peace’".
The objective of the fight was to help raise money for SMASH and its profile which was definitely achieved.