ROAD TO THE RING 1 Lto R Joe Eagan, Steve Collins, Pete Shuff, Frank Bruno, Ken Lawton, Carl Froch and Tony Bellew. Picture Courtesy of Tim Jervis Professional Photography (1)

South Cheshire people turned out in Nantwich to cheer on two former kickboxing champions as they stepped back in the ring raise money for charities close to their hearts.

There was standing room only at Nantwich Civic Hall during a spectacular night of entertainment including interviews with ring legends, music and
boxing action between Ken Lawton and Pete Shuff – back in their gloves for the Christie Charity and British Heart Foundation.

The Civic was transformed into a top class boxing arena, fit for the ring legends that graced the evening – Frank Bruno, Tony ‘The Bomber’ Bellew,
Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch, Steve ‘ The Celtic Warrior’ Collins and ‘Big’ Joe Egan.

They spoke about their career highs and lows during question and answer sessions and all were given a big Nantwich welcome – none more so than Frank Bruno who was greeted with chants of ‘Bruno! Bruno!’ and ‘We love you Frank.’

The former world heavyweight champion spoke about his ‘biggest fight’ to overcome depression and the Frank Bruno Foundation which supports people with mental health issues.

He looked back on his friendship with commentator Harry Carpenter – ‘know what I mean ‘Arry’ – and treated the crowd to his trademark laugh.

ROAD TO THE RING 7.Boxing legend Frank Bruno during his Q&A. Picture Courtesy of Tim Jervis Professional Photography (1)

Frank Bruno

Dubliner Joe Egan spoke about the childhood bullying that created his ‘fighting spirit’ and led him to the ring.

He’s now a Hollywood actor with many film credits including Vengeance with Vinnie Jones and Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Junior.

But the biggest applause of the night was saved for Nantwich men Ken, 58, and best pal Pete, 51, both former British kickboxing champions, back in the ring for five rounds after more than 25 years and months of training to get fit.

They came through unscathed and the event, called The Road to the Ring, ended in a draw between the fighters and a massive amount made for the causes.

Ken, owner of Alpha Omega Securities in Crewe, said: “Pete’s a man mountain and I took a few knocks.

“We’re both hurting his week but overwhelmed at how many people turned out and their generosity towards the charities.”

A charity auction sold sporting memorabilia including a boxing glove signed by Anthony Joshua which went under the hammer for £700 and another signed by Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson which went for £1,100.

The star-studded night drew more than 500 people to the Civic and funds are being totted up.

It is expected to make more than £10,000.

Other highlights included entertainment by glamourous string quartet Stringmania and X Factor opera stars G4.

ROAD TO THE RING 5. Referee Joh Blackledge declares the bout a draw. Picture Courtesy of Tim Jervis Professional Photography

Referee Joh Blackledge declares the bout a draw

Ken, who became British Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion at the Civic in 1988, added: “I wanted one last fight before I’m 60 and to do it in a way that supported causes close to my heart.

“I want to thank all the sponsors and everyone who came and made it such a memorable night.”

Anyone who would like to give to the charities is asked to call his personal
assistant Fiona Field at Alpha Omega on 01270 258881.

(Pictures courtesy of Tim Jervis Professional Photography)

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