Ricky Hatton and other celebrities to lead teams at Telford 'Box Off'
Former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton will lead a new tournament in Telford this month.
The Box Off will see four teams from Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London compete head-to-head in a knock-out competition held at Telford International Centre on September 16, which will pitch some of the country's best up and coming talent against each other.
Ricky Hatton will be leading his home town team from Manchester in the competition, which will mostly include novice boxers as opposed to seasoned professionals.
The British former professional boxer, who is originally from Stockport, said: "I'm very excited because in the world we're in with social media, YouTube and stuff like this, we can promote these lesser-known boxers.
"These lads who will be fighting in The Box Off would probably not get the opportunity to fight on a big stage, not many fighters do.
"There must be so many boxers out there sitting on their sofas, watching Sky and BT, thinking 'I could be him but no one is ever going to see me'.
"This gives the boxers who don't appear on TV and don't have several million followers on social media the chance.
"If I can bring through a talent from Manchester who no-one would have known otherwise, as a Mancunian, would be a very proud moment for me."
Birmingham grime artist Jaykae, whose real name is Janum Kahn, will captain the Birmingham team.
It will see several weight divisions with men and women competing for each team.
The Birmingham team, competing as 'The Tribe' is made up Jaykae, captain, Tanya Ledger, women bantamweight, Samuel Pikire, men super-featherweight, Kutaiba Chomi Jimenez, men light-middleweight, and Jackson Osagie, men light-heavyweight.
The Manchester Revolution team includes Ricky Hatton as captain, Sylwia Doligala, women bantamweight, Liam Gaynor, men super-featherweight, Reece Wood, men light-middleweight, Ryszard Lewicki, men middleweight, and Ben Thomas, men light-heavyweight.
The Leeds team, also known as 'The Armoury', includes captain Johnny Nelson, Bree Wright, women welterweight, Levi Smith, men super-featherweight, Jake Goodwin, men light-middleweight, Richard Popham, men middleweight, and Daryl Sharp, men light-heavyweight.
The London team, named 'The Guv'nors', includes team captain Tom Skinner, Sarah Worsfold, women welterweight, Daryll Tapfuma, men super-featherweight, Michael Likalu, men light-middleweight, Liam Wells, men middleweight, Robbie Chapman, men light-heavyweight, and Julian Wilson, cruiserweight.
The teams will be matched in two semi-finals, deciding which individual fighters will go through to the final.
The format will see fighters from London and Birmingham face off in one half of the draw, with fighters from Leeds taking on Manchester in the other.
Winners of each round will progress to the final in a bid to be crowned Box Off champions. Finalists will also earn four points for their team, with the winners in the final stage also gaining a further six points.
The team with the highest points total amassed over the two stages will be crowned Box Off team champions.
Boxing fans can secure their tickets at theboxoff.ticketco.events/uk/en/m/e/the_box_off_semifinals