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Lord of the ring – former world champion Chris Eubank with youngsters from Dudley’s Priory Park Boxing Club

By Liam Keen | Boxing | Published:

Boxing legend Chris Eubank paid a surprise visit to a Black Country boxing club.

Priory Park coaches Paul Gough and Warren Davies alongside Eubank

The former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion, known for his toughness and granite chin throughout his illustrious career, gave a talk to members of Priory Park Boxing Club in Dudley, before signing gloves and taking pictures.

The 53-year-old, who fought between 1985 and 1998, brought a period of popularity to British boxing - particularly through his heated rivalry with countryman Nigel Benn.

And in the presence of budding boxers at Priory Park BC the former champion discussed what it takes to become a boxer and the respect a fighter should show - something the club preaches to its members.

Head coach Paul Gough said: "We train firefighters from West Midlands Fire Service in the gym, they use us as a base for their boxing.

"One of the lads organised for Chris to come in and so some sessions with the firefighters, but he ended up doing a talk with everyone at the club.

"He talked about what it takes to be a boxer, the dangers of being a boxer, how much discipline you need and how you need to be respectful to the elderly, your parents - the basics of years gone by.

"That's what a lot of the young generation lack, we want them to avoid getting into trouble so Chris' talk was very motivational.

"What he was doing was repeating what we say at the club anyway. He saw a quote on our wall at the gym that talks about respecting coaches, parents and teammates and giving 100 per cent - he said he liked that.

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"No-one knew he was coming in, it was a last minute thing, I didn't find out until the Friday night before he came on the Saturday morning.

"Everyone had some photos with him and he signed some gloves.

"He came in at the end of a kids class, aged between five and eight, and a lot of them didn't know who he was, but when their parents came to pick them up they obviously knew him.

"He was really pleasant, he was great and made a big fuss over one lad who has cystic fibrosis."

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The next event the club is hosting is a Development Show at Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

Fighters aged between nine and 44 are fighting on the card, with 18 fights taking place on Saturday.

Some of the fighters have cystic fibrosis and money raised from the event is going to the cystic fibrosis ward at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

"It gives them something to be excited about and what it's like to be in a boxing ring in front of people," Paul added.

"They'll be raising money for a good cause."

Then, on Thursday October 3, former boxer-turned-actor Joe Egan is visiting the club for a talk.

The Irishman become known for going the distance with Lennox Lewis and becoming friends with Mike Tyson when he joined the champion's training camp.

Paul said: "He'll come and talk to everyone about how he started boxing and his time with Mike Tyson and his boxing journey, he's a great guy."

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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