For 26 local men and women the tension is really building now – in just four days time they will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime.
For one night only the 26 will be transformed from lorry drivers, engineers, shop keepers and builders into fighters as they step out in front of almost 800 screaming fight fans in Sussex Coast College, to take part in what its organisers say is the ‘biggest and best’ boxing show in Hastings.
Victory White Collar Boxing was launched in 2014 by six time world kickboxing champion Ed Lofts. It provides an opportunity for people who have never fought before to train to become boxers then take part in a fully competitive bout. There is an intensive ten week training programme before the big night and Ed is proud of the quality of the show that he puts on.
He’s proud too of the family atmosphere his shows create and the fighters are encouraged to bring family and friends along to support them.
For Ed though it’s about more than just staging a boxing show, he says that fighting is not about, “being a neanderthal” he says there is much more to it, it’s about building character and taking responsibility for yourself, for your own training and for your performance on the night.
“It’s about the way you deal with yourself after a loss, about taking responsibility for the times you didn’t turn up at training or ate a Mars bar when you knew you shouldn’t,” he says, Victory Boxing doesn’t just develop an individual physically it develops them mentally too as they prepare to face such a huge challenge – possibly the biggest challenge of their lives.
Ed is supported by a team of dedicated and experienced coaches who all have a competitive fighting background and who can and do offer the contenders the very best advice.
Speaking to previous contenders they say Victory Boxing is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one, overcoming the nerves to walk out in front of a cheering crowd then the intensity of the one-to-one competition. But win or lose Victory contenders are a tenacious bunch and many go back for a second, or even third, time.
Saturday night’s event consists of 16 bouts, including two three-way challenges. In each of these competitions a group of three boxers will compete in a round-robin type competition and each man will have two fights during the course of the night, each fight lasting for two two-minute rounds rather than the usual three two-minute rounds
One of the highlights of Saturday’s show will be a return match between Arron Evans and Hussain Gh. They fought each other at the last Victory show in November and although Hussain came out winner on that night the contest was judged by everyone who watched it to have been the closest of the night and on the day night, after watching the fight Ed said he didn’t know which way the judges would call it.
On Saturday Arron is out to even the scorecard and for many Victory devotees it will be the fight of the night but just to add some additional spice this confrontation is one of the three way challenges and the man hoping to upset things is Luke Cross who has won fights at each of the last two Victory Boxing events.
If you want to come along and see what Victory is all about there are still tickets available just call Chris on 07840 279479.
Is anyone you know taking part? Here are all the fighters who will slug it out on Saturday night…