Ex-professional fighter Kev ’The Rock’ Burton is coaching young boxers again when his brand new club The Rock Boxing Academy opens opens in Marshgate Doncaster, on Monday.
The Doncaster boxing community and parents have rallied round to independently fund and build a new venue for Kev’s boxing club, which used to be held next door to Bentley Pavillion.
Abie Marshall, who’s son was trained by Kev and has put thousands of his own money into the project, said: “We don’t want to lose Kev as a local boxing coach for the community.
" We’ve rented a big room upstairs above the Twisted skate park which is a great place for youngsters – and we have created a proper boxing club for him.”
The team of volunteers built the ring offices and put the electrics in.
“We basically got it three quarters done and phoned Kev and said: “We’ve found a building, ” said Abie.
"Kev is a really upstanding person in this community. he helps autistic kids , gets lads off the street who would otherwise be smoking or drinking and taking drugs.
“The boxing club gives them structure.”
Kev Burton, 56 who turned professional in 1993 with 42 professional fights under his belt, said: ”The council didn’t want a boxing gym there any more. After covid they gave me two months to leave.
“Nobody would even help me with a garage or anything to store the gear and I was ready to pack it all in.
“When I saw the new place it really lifted me.”
He said boxing legends Joe Egan Josh Warrington and Max Hughes were supporting the club and were planning to visit to lend their support.
Kev added: "These kids have nothing to do at night and are ending up mixing with the wrong company. Some of them have anger issues. All I want to do is to turn one of them into a champion.
"They’ve shut the youth clubs down. We need to get them off the streets and get them to start respecting themselves.
"I want to thank everyone who has helped with donating money and time and Jewsons who helped us with building materials.”