It does not get much better for a sporting occasion! Two teams, hundreds of enthusiastic supporters and the pomp and ceremony that makes army boxing such an impressive event. The final lived up to the best of expectations and was a tremendous display of courage, determination, fitness and sheer perseverance as each pair of boxers battled through the 4, 2-minute rounds, boosted by the roar of soldiers willing ‘their man’ to victory.
The 1st Bn the Fusiliers and 2 Para arrived, each determined to be the team to finally lift the Babcock Trophy at the end of the evening but nobody could have wished or expected such a brilliant contest from the two teams. The best of 7 Bouts would secure that victory.
The form book suggested that 2 Para were the team to beat — but clearly the Fusiliers had not read any such book! A highly dynamic flyweight fight saw the two boxers deliver a frenetic pace with victory going to the Fusiliers. Bout two swung to the Paras whilst the third produced another Para victory that consolidated a 2-1 lead. Whilst the boxers prepared for the last 4 bouts, Lt Gen Paul Jaques, President of Army Boxing, led the many ‘armchair boxers’ to the bar for the interval and the inevitable, analysis and re-living the action so far!
As the display of the Fusiliers’ Pipes and Drums finished, the boxing again got underway and the two teams climbed up the weight categories as the Paras needed just one more to seal victory as they led 3-2 with two bouts to go. The atmosphere was superb and volume of support seemed to go up a notch as the Fusiliers clawed back the Light Heavyweight bout to level the score. Two heavyweights and 8 minutes lay between defeat or victory! What a great ending. Hardly able to move, the two exhausted boxers gave it everything they had as the seconds ticked by in the last round. It could not have been closer, but victory was finally to awarded to LCpl Sterling of the Fusiliers .
20 Team Army sponsors were privileged to enjoy the show and I am sure left at the end suitably impressed. Team Army has been helping to fund army boxing from the outset through the sponsor support of our industry network. Without that non-public money, delivery of such an event with all the glamour, bells and whistles would not be possible. Army boxing is producing some of the best boxers in the country at the moment and so, again, on behalf of the boxers and units that invest the time and effort, many thanks to the headline boxing sponsor, Babcock and the many others in the Team Army sponsors scheme.
Watch the Forces TV coverage of the event.