Mexborough councillor issues boxing challenge to South Yorkshire businessman

Mexborough councillor Sean Gibbons has teased that he may challenge Yorkshire entrepreneur Jason Mace to climb into the boxing ring for a charity bout, in partnership with the Empress Rooms White Collar Boxing initiative.

Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 1:12 pm

A chance for beginners to train to box over eight weeks, before fighting in the ring in a safe environment in front of family and friends, this white-collar boxing event will raise vital

funds for children’s charity, the Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre.

Founded by John and Jackie Irwin in 2012, and a place where young people attend who have found it difficult to fit into mainstream education, the Dearne Valley PDC’s learning program provides an alternative curriculum designed to engage the most challenging learner and has been tailored to meet their specific needs.

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Getting ready for the boxing challenge

The centre aims to create a positive pathway back into mainstream education or college.

With funds much needed to keep the project alive, former British and Commonwealth Featherweight Champion John Irwin is the event founder.

About the planned series of events, he said: “White-collar boxing is a fast-growing corporate sport, and we have the skill, venue and experience to host a glamorous event here at the Empress Buildings Ballroom in Mexborough.”

Coun Gibbons, who is a supporter, said: “I have signed up to participate in Iron Man sponsorship, as I plan on getting in the shape of my life and may even challenge the Empress

Building owner Mr Mace to take me on.”

He joked: “If I can stop the HS2 coming through Mexborough I can surely stop Mace.

“This a fabulous project to support. Some of these children wouldn’t stand a chance in life without this schooling project, which I believe should be rolled out nationwide.

"These are young people who find it difficult learning in traditional academic settings and the charity provides the perfect setting for young people to develop their life-skills and progress.”

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The charity, and the white-collar boxing event, is also supported by entrepreneur Jason Mace, Managing Director of Manvers-based Gala Tent, and he said: “The Empress Building is enjoying a new lease of life, it’s really great to see the building now providing a venue for raising funds for a great cause.

"I have also signed up for the Iron Man package, and I have heard Councillor Gibbons boast he might throw the gauntlet down my way.

"Let’s see what happens, I’m sure a lot of people would like to see this bout and it would be a great fundraiser.”

The first black tie event is to take place May 28, some two years after Covid-19 scuppered the first one back in 2020.

John Irwin added: “The great thing about these events is you get to meet a varied range of participants.

"We have doctors, dentists, and CEOs who all love to get involved. It’s a fantastic opportunity for networking as well. If the bout goes ahead with Coun Gibbons and Mace, then I may just volunteer to be the referee.

“The event is proving popular. Our VIP ring side seats, which include a two-course meal, are already selling out fast. Standing tickets are £25. Or there is the seated ticket priced at £30, or £40 if taken with a main meal. Wherever you are in the venue, you will get a magnificent view of the fights.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.