A service engineer for door and loading bay manufacturer Hörmann has helped to raise over £13,000 for charity, after stepping into the ring for Cancer Research UK.

Neil Grimes signed up for the Ultra White Collar Boxing event, which took place in Blackburn last month, after hearing about it from a customer. With bouts set up across the country, Ultra White Collar Boxing is aimed at adults with no previous fighting experience.

After just eight weeks’ training, Neil donned his gloves to fight it out over three two-minute rounds, beating his opponent in the second. 40 friends and family were ringside to cheer Neil on at the black tie event, held at the Mercure Hotel.

Neil said: “It was an amazing feeling to take to the ring - especially with so many friendly faces in the crowd. I think excitement just about outweighed nerves on the day and I was able to win my fight.

“Having trained together, I’d got to know the other fighters quite well so it was strange to be up against one of them. It was a real mixed bag of people taking part - the youngest was 18 and the heaviest 19 stone. The organisers make sure that you’re closely matched for weight, age and ability though, so the fights are all fair and exciting.”

As part of the sign up, Neil was entitled to two free training sessions per week, which he supplemented with private lessons at a local gym. Preparation included sparring, drills, cardio and strength training.

Thanks to sponsorship from Hörmann, as well as donations from friends and relatives, Neil was able to make a significant contribution towards the event fundraising. Raffle tickets were also sold on the night, helping the 40 participants to achieve their impressive total.

Neil is planning to keep up his boxing training, with two sessions per week.

“It’s a great way to get and stay fit,” he said. “I’d encourage anyone who’s open to raising money in this way to go for it! There are lots of UWCB events around the country, so why not?”

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