A trainee accountant is embarking on a 174-mile round trip to swap his books for boxing gloves to support a charity fight night.
Alex Newens, 28, is travelling from Preston, Lancashire to take part in the charity boxing show on Friday 14 October at Rushall Labour Club in aid of Well Wishers, the charity of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
Former British lightweight boxing champion Martin Gethin has been busy training fighters at his Wild Star gym in Aldridge, and Alex, who is stepping into the ring for the first time, is one of the opponents.
Although based in Lancashire, Alex has local roots as his dad David and stepmother Joanne Newens, who currently works at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, live in Cheslyn Hay and he will be cheered on by 17 of his friends and family.
“I like to box to keep fit; I’ve never fought before but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while so when I heard Martin Gethin was supporting Well Wishers with this event I thought it’s a good cause and I’d go for it,” said Alex.
“It’s taken me out of my comfort zone and given me the chance to do something different. The training has sometimes been difficult because of work but I usually manage to train at least twice a week and it does you good.
“If you get punched it makes you want to hit back but then you find out if you hit them, you get hit more! But I would definitely recommend it.”
Alex has played football and done weight training in the past but stopped playing football at 17 when he broke his ankle. This is the first time he has used any of his strength on anyone else!
Tipping the scales at 11 and a half stone, 5ft 8ins Alex would normally be matched at middleweight and is interested to know more about his opponent.
“His name is John Vickers and I’ve seen a picture of him but apart from that, I don’t know anything about him,” added Alex.
Fiancée Laura, a meditation and life coach and also 28, will be hoping Alex returns unscathed. “She’s not too happy because she doesn’t want me to get hurt but I’ll have plenty of support from friends and family ,” he added.
Rushall Labour Club is at Liberty House, Lichfield Road, Walsall WS4 1HB. Doors open at 7pm with the first of eight to 10 bouts starting at 8.15pm.
Tickets, including a buffet, cost £15 and are available from the Fundraising Hub at Walsall Manor Hospital from Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager. Smart dress only.
Funds raised will benefit Walsall Healthcare’s Goscote Hospice.