A Huddersfield woman is taking to the boxing ring for the very first time in aid of Cancer Research UK.
Ultra White Collar Boxing Halifax runs a programme that sees people taking part in a charity boxing match in exchange for expert boxing tuition.
Keely Haigh, 29, of Paddock, has risen to the challenge and signed herself up to take part in the fight today (Saturday, April 15) at the Northbridge Leisure Centre in Halifax.
Keely, who has no previous experience in boxing, has been undergoing eight weeks of intense training at Calder Thai Boxing in Halifax to get herself into shape for the big day. She said: “It’s been a lot of hard work. We do sparring with men and women, shadow boxing and fitness training. I have seen a lot of bloody noses and bruised ribs, but I haven’t been injured – yet!”
Keely, who has a three-and-a-half year old son Aiken and works as a store assistant at Aldi in Slaithwaite, will meet her opponent at a weigh-in on Tuesday. They will battle it out in three, two-minute rounds. In total, about 30 first-time boxers will take part in the fundraising event.
Keely said: “A friend of mine mentioned Ultra White Collar Boxing to me a year ago. In January this year when I saw the advert on Facebook I applied and got accepted. Initially, I signed up to get fit and raise some money for Cancer Research.
“I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected by cancer, whether it be them, their family or friends. It really is a very worthy cause. I have been blown away by people’s generosity when it comes to donating.”
She added:: “I have never boxed before in my life and it’s not something I had considered doing before, but now I love it and it’s all I think about!”
Keely has even gained sponsorship from Lockwood-based flyer distribution company Mr Flyer to help her reach her fundraising target of £1,100.
Managing director Andrew Robinson said: “When we heard about Keely’s story we knew we definitely wanted to support her. It’s so brave of her to do something like this. We’ve been keeping track of her progress and she’s really giving it her all. At Mr Flyer, we try to support charities as much as we can so we’re proud to be sponsoring her and we will be rooting for her on the big day!”