Boxing novice Stephen raises thousands for charity

Novice Melton boxer Stephen Keightley (right) and his opponent Chris Hackett at their charity bout in Leicester with some of the ring girls EMN-150330-164930001
Novice Melton boxer Stephen Keightley (right) and his opponent Chris Hackett at their charity bout in Leicester with some of the ring girls EMN-150330-164930001
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A novice boxer from Melton raised £2,500 for charity after bravely battling to a draw in his first ever bout.

Stephen Keightley was roared by around 80 relatives and friends during the fight at the King Power Stadium in Leicester.

The 32-year-old, who trained at Trev Booth’s Melton Amateur Boxing Club beforehand, ended up with an eye injury after three gruelling two-minute rounds.

Proceeds from the showdown with city man Chris ‘The Hatchet’ Hackett, who was experienced in the ring, have gone to Cancer Research UK and five causes supported by the LCFC Foxes Foundation.

Stephen said: “He gave me a black eye but I got a good shot in on his nose. It was very tough in the third round - we were basically just slugging away toe-to-toe. Three things kept me going, though, the charities I was fighting for, the crowd and my opponent - he was up for it as well and when your pride sets in you don’t want to lose.”

An audience of around 1,500 produced a great atmosphere ringside and the quality of Stephen’s bout led to it being voted ‘fight of the night’ on a busy card.

Former Army serviceman Stephen enjoyed the experience so much he is now planning two further fights for charity - on June 6 in Leicester and the following day in Nottingham.

He added: “The experience of being in the ring was right up there with fighting in Iraq. I’ve got the bug for it now and I want to keep raising money for my charities.”