Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The final Thursday of February saw one of the biggest events in the Royal Marines sporting calendar take place at the Lympstone Commando Training Centre – the Royal Marines Boxing Championships.
The Championships took place in CTCRM’s Hunter Hall. The boxing ring in the centre was dominated by Corps flags and Union Jacks. Around the hall giant posters proclaimed the ethos of Commando Spirit.
Gathered to watch the event were Commanding Officers from around the Corps and over a thousand recruits and trained staff.
Present as a special guest was professional boxer George Groves. George is the former amateur champion as well as the former Commonwealth and British title holder in the super middleweight division.
Before the boxing commenced everybody stood to attention for the National Anthem.
Then Deputy Commandant General Brigadier Bill Dunham, OBE, AdC, received a Corps of Drums display by five Drummers from the Royal Marines Band before having a toast of port with Band Sgt Helen Annett.
Following this the Master of Ceremonies, WO2 Richie Asson made the announcement: “Let’s get ready to rummmble,” and the event started. The boxers for each of the 12 fights were heralded by a fanfare of trumpets from the RM Band before entering the arena to the pumping beats of The Prodigy.
The boxers all wore safety head guards. They also wore vests because their ripped physiques might be too much for the gathered WAG’s.
As the matches began each round was accompanied by wild cheering and applause from the audience. From the outset the marines went at each other with typical Bootneck gusto and enthusiasm.
The bouts conformed to the rules of Amateur Boxing. Each match had three rounds of two minutes with the winner being the boxer who had struck the most scoring blows on his opponent.
Boxing squads from around the Corps had been at CTCRM since Tuesday when the weigh-ins and quarter finals took place. The semi finals were on Wednesday and the finals on Thursday.
“It went fantastically well, the event was packed,” says Physical Training Instructor Sgt Ed Ballance one of the principle organisers of the event. “George Groves came and met all the boxers before hand and gee’d them up for the fights.”
There was also a trophy to commemorate the CTCRM boxing coach CSgt Aaron “Tiny” Winter who tragically died in December 2013. His wife Laura Winter presented the Tiny Winter Trophy for the top CTCRM boxer.
“The event was definitely a fitting tribute to Tiny,” says Sgt Balance. “The whole hall was packed out – overall it was a massive success.”