Ringside tribute to knife crime victims ‘who gained’t see Christmas’



ormer British boxing champ Ashley Theophane says he goals to ship a knockout blow to knife crime in what could possibly be the ultimate bout of his profession.

Theophane’s dwell TV conflict in opposition to super-welterweight contender Sam Eggington tonight will characteristic 4 empty chairs at ringside, representing the variety of victims stabbed to dying on common every week within the UK.

Paddington-born Theophane, 40, spent six months on remand awaiting trial for armed theft as a youngster and was acquitted at trial.

However realising he was “losing his life”, he took up boxing and was later promoted by legend Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.

The ex-light welterweight champion, who has 50 wins underneath his belt, is now spearheading the charity Gloves Up, Knives Down.

Outdoors the ring, Theophane – nicknamed “Treasure” – raises consciousness of youth knife crime, going to colleges encouraging pupils to take up boxing to study self-discipline, respect and self-worth.

He instructed the Customary: “I really feel strongly about knife crime however not a lot has modified from once I was a youngster.

( Ashley Theophane and Floyd Mayweather (left) / Hennessy Sport )

“Every empty chair will symbolize an individual who gained’t see Christmas and 2021.

“Funding must be put into youth companies to assist these children channel their vitality.

( Ashley Theophane and Sam Eggington conflict tonight / Channel 5 )

“I come from that background. Once I was a younger, I used to be as much as no good and I modified.

“I can present them you don’t need to stroll this path. You may go on to realize your goals.

“You solely have to take a look at what Anthony Joshua has accomplished. With sport in case you don’t put the work in, you don’t get the rewards.”

If Theophane wins the bout in opposition to Eggington, he plans to field as soon as extra overseas earlier than retiring after 17 years.

Promoter Mick Hennessy, of Hennessy Sport, stated: “It’s implausible that followers are being let again into sporting arenas however it’s necessary we don’t overlook these unable to attend, particularly attributable to tragically having their lives taken away from them.”

Joe Brett, founding father of Gloves Up, Knives Down, added: “It’s simple for individuals to dismiss knife crime as a statistic – however these are actual lives misplaced, younger individuals robbed of their futures, and actual households and communities devastated.”  

( Ashley Theophane helps Gloves Up, Knives Down / Hennessy Sport )

London Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey stated: “Once I was youthful, gymnastics and the Military Cadets saved me on the straight and slim. Boxing can do the identical factor for younger individuals at this time.”

Theophane’s battle with Eggington in Redditch is completely dwell on Channel 5 tonight beginning at 10pm.

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