A champion boxer donned his gloves for a new white collar boxing venture in Huddersfield.

Johnny Nelson, a former WBO cruiserweight champion for seven years, met new recruits at Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club, who began the first of eight weeks of free Elite White Collar Boxing training.

Twenty people turned up to the Gasworks Club on Leeds Road to learn how to get fighting fit in time to take part in a large charity boxing event in February.

Johnny, who lives in Sheffield, wanted to put his weight behind the sessions, which he hopes will make the club more accessible for new members.

He has known coach Mark Reynolds for many years. Mark runs the club with Sean Reynolds.

Johnny said: “It was a great start to the sessions.

“They were taught the boxing basics of conditioning (strengthening), footwork, hand-eye co-ordination.

“I think they have got what it takes for the event.

“I used to live in Huddersfield and know that its people are grafters.”

First white collar boxing training session at Rawthorpe Boxing Club. left to right, Coach John Doyle with Fight promoter Johnny Nelson.

But Johnny wants more women to get involved.

“These sessions are for women and men.

“I was surprised that no women turned up as women are better fighters than men.

“I think a lot of women want to do it but they are a worried about getting hurt.

“The club only allows people to train with others of a similar ability and women will only train with other women.

“Injuries happen when people are unevenly matched and are not fit enough and the coaches want to make sure everyone’s in top condition.

First white collar boxing training session at Rawthorpe Boxing Club, The Gas Club, Gasworks street. 20 year old Business Administrator, Ryan Robinson.

“It’s an uplifting and motivating sport so I hope more will join.

“The club is running two to three sessions a week and people can do more to get an edge on the others if they want.

“It’s not too late for people who would like to join to sign up.”

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The big fight will take place at Huddersfield Leisure Centre on February 28.

Anyone interested should call 07989 173533.