Fight gym owners across Lincoln have seen a huge rise in numbers coming through their doors in recent months.
Lincoln Fight Factory, Function First and Bracebridge Boxing Club are just a handful of boxing gyms in the city thriving.
Lincoln Fight Factory, which was established almost a decade ago, has seen its numbers in the gym quadruple in the past year.
Shawn Burton, who is the lead coach at Lincoln Fight Factory, located at Vulcan Park, George St, spoke on the increased numbers in an interview:
“Lincoln Fight Factory started off with only a few members. We had the basic boxing equipment, bags, weights, mats and ring. But in recent years, almost in tandem with the rise of Fury and Joshua, we have seen hundreds come through our doors each week. This has meant that we’ve been able to provide high quality facilities and coaching from top ex pros such as Lee Swaby who fought Tyson Fury in 2014.”
Boxing has seen a massive rise in popularity in the UK with the highest increase seeing participation going up by 30,000 in the last six months according to the Active People Survey. And the female participation rates in boxing have also increased dramatically. According to England Boxing’s Head of Development, Ron Tulley, ‘women make up 21% of boxing participation, an amazing increase given the sport was only recently considered a male-only activity’. This may be down to the meteoric rise in popularity for British Flyweight star, Nicola Adams, who was the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title in 2012. She also won the 2016 Olympic gold medal in Rio.
Boxing star, Anthony Joshua – who holds the IBF, IBO, WBO and WBA Heavyweight Championship belts, has been widely quoted as being the focal point behind the large increases in participation. His humble approach outside the ring and animal like aggression inside has seen British boxing become hugely popular around the world. One of Joshua’s lead coaches, Gevon Archibald, credits AJ and Hackney-born Cruiserweight, Lawrence Okolie, as the reason behind boxing numbers rising in the UK:
“I think boxing numbers have increased, due to fighters like AJ and Lawrence Okolie who are like normal people. They are easy to connect with as they are from the streets and know what it’s like to come from less privileged backgrounds to now earning millions.”
Boxing training has been recognized as a great way to lose weight. Huw Edwards, who is a newsreader at the ‘BBC News at 10’, has claimed that through boxing workouts, he has lost 13 stone.
Boxing workouts have been proven to increase cardiovascular health, total body strength, hand eye coordination and decrease stress levels.
Lincoln has seen successful boxers come from the city and onto the world stage for decades. Lee Swaby is the most recognizable of them all, with the Lincolnshire man fighting top boxers of the heavyweight division, such as Tyson fury and Derek Chisora.
Undefeated super-middleweight, Nathan Decastro and British light heavyweight champion, Callum Johnson are both up and coming Lincolnshire born fighters that will be looking to make their mark on the world stage in the near future.
So whether it’s Ron Tulley, Shawn Burton or Gevon Archibald – they can all agree on one thing.
British boxing is back.