Fitzdares Fighting Futures Supported by Battles of London

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Battles of London was very proud to support Fitzdares Fighting Futures, an evening of top-flight amateur boxing at The Ned featuring London’s most venerable gyms.

Watching BT Sport or Sky, you could be forgiven for thinking that you pay a monthly stipend just to watch bookies’ TV ads. Rarely do you see a gambling house genuinely put something back into the games they indirectly profit from.

Invitation-only bookmakers Fitzdares, who favour a personal , lo-fi approach to placing bets, are different. Its latest initiative – showcasing amateur boxing from London’s historic gyms at the city’s most salubrious new venue.

The Ned, Soho House Group of hotels and members’ clubs venture into the City of London, provided an opulent backdrop for authentic grassroots combat sport. Four bouts announced by star analyst Steve Bunce gave top amateur boxers a chance to compete in an electric atmosphere, in front of a glamorous and highly engaged audience. 

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The fighters walked to the ring in Battles of London’s new ‘Dempsey’ T-shirts (which of course they were given to keep), while Bremont watches sponsored the well-received event. Gyms represented included the famous Fitzroy Lodge, Finchley ABC where heavyweight star Anthony Joshua made his name, Lewsey Boxing Club in Luton, Lynn Boxing in Camberwell and Dale Youth, previously situated in the Grenfell Tower site.

Fitzdares’ head of boxing Charles Hall, who himself trains at Fitzroy Lodge, says, “We felt amateur boxing was somewhere where you can make a real difference and you can change lives. Since going down to Fitzroy Lodge, I see the difference it can make. Everyone is polite and respectful. There is a respect there. We feel that’s something that might get lost in the pro game when actually, money becomes more of a target for some people. In the amateurs, it’s more about progressing, learning your skills and making a difference that way. It was more appropriate, really.”

Enjoy our photos of the evening by Andrew Jackson.

  Joey Epshon from Fitzroy Lodge walks in wearing our new 'Dempsey' T-shirt in black

Joey Epshon from Fitzroy Lodge walks in wearing our new 'Dempsey' T-shirt in black

  Gardener Jack Johnstone, a former MMA fighter training at Finchley ABC, walks in wearing our 'Dempsey' T-shirt in Battles of Paris livery

Gardener Jack Johnstone, a former MMA fighter training at Finchley ABC, walks in wearing our 'Dempsey' T-shirt in Battles of Paris livery

  The bouts took place in The Ned's sixth floor hall beneath antique tapestries and lavish chandeliers

The bouts took place in The Ned's sixth floor hall beneath antique tapestries and lavish chandeliers

  Johnstone won the first bout by split decision

Johnstone won the first bout by split decision

  25-bout veteran Jonathan Kumuteo of Finchley ABC prepares to leave the dressing room

25-bout veteran Jonathan Kumuteo of Finchley ABC prepares to leave the dressing room

  Kumuteo's opponent Charlie Wincott of south London's Lynn Boxing enters the ring

Kumuteo's opponent Charlie Wincott of south London's Lynn Boxing enters the ring

  ...followed by the intense Kumuteo

...followed by the intense Kumuteo

  Wincott was to take home the win, but all eight boxers did their gyms proud with skilled performances

Wincott was to take home the win, but all eight boxers did their gyms proud with skilled performances

  In the third bout, Lewsey's Shafqat Khan fires a long jab at Fitzroy Lodge's Tosin Olalekan

In the third bout, Lewsey's Shafqat Khan fires a long jab at Fitzroy Lodge's Tosin Olalekan

  Highly rated Frankie Storey from Finchley ABC, fired up ready to fight

Highly rated Frankie Storey from Finchley ABC, fired up ready to fight

  Storey receives attention in-between rounds

Storey receives attention in-between rounds

  The doctor called off the final bout after Storey's opponent Kyran O'Neill took heavy damage

The doctor called off the final bout after Storey's opponent Kyran O'Neill took heavy damage

  Fitzdares' Charles Hall and veteran boxing reporter Steve Bunce announce the Boxer of the Night

Fitzdares' Charles Hall and veteran boxing reporter Steve Bunce announce the Boxer of the Night

  ...and Boxer of the Night honours went to Tosin Olalekan, a graduate of Mark Reigate and George Turner's respected  Carney's Community  program working with young men in need of guidance – or formerly, in Tosin's case.

...and Boxer of the Night honours went to Tosin Olalekan, a graduate of Mark Reigate and George Turner's respected Carney's Community program working with young men in need of guidance – or formerly, in Tosin's case.

Battles of London extends its profuse thanks to the competitors, the gyms, plus Fitzdares’ Balthazar Fabricius and Harry Collins, and projects* agency's Justin Quirk.

Steve Beale