Pride In London, Xclusivetouch and Cobra Gym are looking for members of the LGBT+ community to take part in the UK’s first ever Pride Boxing. Trainer Jon Durrant explains more.
I started training in boxing and kickboxing when I was 13. I turned pro as a kickboxer when I was 16, and from then on I picked up numerous titles both domestically and internationally. More and more throughout my career, I leaned towards boxing so started that as well. As a coach, I train more boxers now than kickboxers. I have trained hundreds of white collar boxers, preparing them for their first fights as well as top level international boxers who fight for Team GB and pro fighters as well.
White collar boxing is a programme in which participants from any profession receive 10 weeks of professional boxing training in order to take part in an amateur fight. They wear head guards and 16oz gloves. Boxing is my life; it has given me everything, but the main thing is confidence. If I can deal with everything that has been thrown at me in my fighting career, I feel I can deal with anything in life. Essentially, everyone will take something different from boxing and it will become their own personal journey. I want everyone to be able to experience this, regardless of their profession, sexuality or race.
This partnership with Pride In London is about raising awareness for the sport. Over the years, I have trained competitors for shows from many different sectors and communities. It has made me realise that boxing is underrepresented in the LGBT+ community and I wanted to do something to change that. I’m so glad to be part of the first ever boxing event associated with the Pride In London festival and the support so far has been overwhelming.
Once a reader signs up, the core training is twice weekly one-hour sessions, along with up to 40 other boxing and conditional sessions available across the 10 weeks. This programme is hard but it is also very rewarding. They are working towards stepping into the ring and it’s my job to give them the mental and physical fitness skills that they need. And no experience is necessary!
I’ve trained individuals at any stage, from beginner to pro. Boxing is proven to increase fitness through stamina, strength, but can also help confidence. It’s a great all-rounder.
Participants are asked to pledge to raise at least £50 each for the Pride In London Golden Giving page, as the main aim of the event is to raise money to support the LGBT+ community so that Pride In London can continue the great work it does.
Pride Boxing will culminate with two boxing events at Porchester Hall, London, W2 5HS. Due to high demand, the Friday 30 June event is now fully booked, so a second date has been added on Friday 7 July, still within the fortnight Pride In London festival.