Boxing Clever: Government funding snub for boxing will hurt communities

There is £300m to go around sport from the UK government and not a penny for boxing.

Why? Apparently the sport is not struggling without spectators like others.

Someone better tell the dozens of small-hall promoters across the country who haven't been able to put on a show since March.

Or the amateur clubs who may never open their doors again as they can't host tournaments that raise vital cash.

They can apply for government assistance but nothing is guaranteed even though England Boxing has been brilliantly working to do anything it can to help.

But even the biggest promoters with TV backing are hardly thriving with millions lost with no gate receipts.

Promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren have called on the government for help.

Not for themselves or their businesses but for those lower down in the chain in the professional game and those in the unpaid side of the sport.

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Boxing will survive this. It will rally around like no other as it often does when in trouble.

But it will suffer from it.

And the government's short-sightedness in assisting boxing will end up costing more in the long run.

Why? Because of the stunning work boxing does in deprived communities across the country for little or no reward.

For all the champions that end up on TV with gold-laden belts, there are 100s of people across the country whose life has been made better by boxing.

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They may not all turn out to be Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury with wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

But the sport has turned many away from a life of crime and the savings to the system that makes it often overlooked.

Then you only have to look into what the training – often offered for a few quid a week – does for the physical and mental health of children.

All sport has struggled throughout the last few months but while young kids have rightly got the chance to play football and other sports with their mates, young boxers have been left with no competition.

And some clubs have not even been able to open because of all the restrictions.

Those young boxers may turn to other sports or find themselves with illegal hobbies that ruin their lives.

Nobody in amateur boxing is looking for extra reward for what they do, they just want to be able to do what they do best.

While promoters in the professional game without TV backing want to get their fighters who depend on the sport to pay their bills active.

Boxing will fight on but it is about time it got some help in the corner.

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