It’s seconds out for a Walsall business after it pledged support for two boxers at Well Wishers’ forthcoming charity show.
Best of Walsall is sponsoring boxers Martin Taundry and Stuart Taylor at the event hosted by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s charity on Friday 14 October, to the tune of £200.
Both Martin and Stuart are long-term supporters of Best of Walsall, which represents and promotes 340 businesses in and around Walsall. Best of Walsall provides marketing advice and support to businesses, which is particularly relevant during the current economic climate.
Taundry Doors, which fits and supplies garage doors, gates and barriers, and SP Taylor, a plumbing business, have been members of Best of Walsall for six and 11 years respectively, and not surprisingly, owner Alex Murray has divided loyalties.
Both Martin, 45, and Stuart, 51, are keen boxers but this will be the first time they have stepped into the ring to fight.
“I can’t support either of them because they’re both members and we’ve supported their businesses for many years,” said Alex, who has owned Best of Walsall for 13 years and was once presented with a sales and marketing award by former world heavyweight champion Frank Bruno.
“Stuart has been training well for this fight and has lost a few stone in weight through boxing, and Martin is a boxing coach so I’m looking forward to seeing them in the ring.”
Alex is delighted to be extending Best of Walsall’s support of Well Wishers.
“Over the years our business has provided considerable support to Well Wishers, and during lockdown, we provided toys and biscuits for patients and staff,” he added.
“We’re passionate about Walsall and giving the community a voice, as well as getting local businesses to support local charities, so this is an ideal opportunity for us.”
Father of two Martin, from Pelsall, is a coach at Martin Gethin’s Wild Star gym in Aldridge which is supplying the boxers for the show.
Martin Taundry said: “I just love the hard, physical training – I’ve got quite a few people who work for me but I don’t suffer from stress and I think that’s because I live in the gym. I used to suffer from social anxiety but boxing has changed my life.
“I love helping others too and I coach at the gym Mondays and Fridays and do running in between.
“Stuart and I are the oldest who train at the gym and we’ve been coming for years so I know he’s a fit bloke. I’m a bit bigger than him – 90 kilos – and about a stone heavier so fair play to him for stepping up.
“It’s more for the cause – to raise money. Well Wishers is a really good cause and we’re grateful to Best of Walsall for sponsoring us. They sponsor lots of people, businesses and charities and Alex is local and a good friend too.
“I’m glad to be helping the Trust out too because I’ve been there a few times with broken arms and broken wrists through my work!”
Martin’s wife and sons, aged 23 and 19, will be there supporting him.
“My wife hates boxing but my two sons are both musicians so they’re into that. I’d love to get them in the ring, but they think I’m stupid!” he added. Can we cut?
Stuart, 51, from Rushall, has boxing in the family as his great-grandad George Heath was a bareknuckle fighter. “I’ve been boxing for a few years now coming to the gym so it felt the natural thing to do to give it a go,” he said.
“I’m too old to do anything too serious but I train three times a week. Martin Taundry coaches me and my son Alex, who’s 18, is an amateur boxer and we spar together.
“When I first came here I was 15 and a half stone and couldn’t run to the bar but now I’m 12 and a half and run 10k easily.
“I know Georgie Westley from Well Wishers well and it’s a great cause. My business has been in Best of Walsall for years – that’s our charity – and Alex who runs it is a good friend of mine.”
So what can we expect from Stuart? “A good fight. We’ll get stuck in,” he said. “I’m always getting marked – my son wallops me!”
The sell out show takes place at Rushall Labour Club at Liberty House, Lichfield Road, Walsall WS4 1HB. With the first of eight to 10 bouts, starting at 8.15pm.
Funds raised will benefit Walsall Healthcare’s Goscote Hospice.