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Rocky team knocked out by mini boxing rings

PACKING A PUNCH ... Sylvester Stallone, above. Below, Martyn Devlin presenting one of his mini boxing rings to Sugar Ray Leonard, and bottom, Broadways Winter Garden Theatre, where the Rocky musical is being staged.

PACKING A PUNCH ... Sylvester Stallone, above. Below, Martyn Devlin presenting one of his mini boxing rings to Sugar Ray Leonard, and bottom, Broadways Winter Garden Theatre, where the Rocky musical is being staged.

FROM Jarra ... to Broadway! Rocky movie star Sylvester Stallone was knocked out by mini boxing rings made by a fight expert from Jarrow.

The creative team behind the new Rocky musical, currently playing at the Winter Garden Theatre, Broadway, New York, were presented on opening night with decorative boxing rings made by Martyn Devlin, head of Bilton Hall Boxing Club, Jarrow.

Mr Devlin made more than 30 mini boxing rings for Stallone and the show’s creative team after he was contacted by Rocky executive producer Eric Cornell.

He said: “It was quite a move from providing the mini rings for young boxers in Jarrow to stars on Broadway. Only a Jarra lad could do that!”

Mr Devlin started making the pint-sized pugilistic artworks about a year ago, initially as trophies for local junior boxers, before orders started to roll in from the likes of former world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard.

“My nephew runs a website called Mini Boxing Rings and Eric Cornell found out about them via the site and ordered 30-odd for opening night on Broadway last month.

“It took me more than a month to make the rings and then send them off to New York.

“But it’s great to think of stars on Broadway being presented with the mini boxing rings I made in Jarrow,” Mr Devlin added.

Stallone, the original star of the Rocky movies, has both co-written the book and acted as a producer for the new stage version on Broadway, which tells of how down-and-out-fighter Rocky Balboa fights for a title – and love.

In an e-mail to Mr Devlin from his office on West 44th Street, New York, Rocky executive producer Mr Cornell said: “These rings were used as gifts from the producers of the show to the creative team.”

The stage version of Rocky is described as “a visceral and heart-stopping theatrical experience for everyone brave enough to follow their dream”.

Closer to home, Bilton Hall Boxing Club will stage its next show at the Neon Social Club, in Nairn Street, the Scotch Estate, Jarrow, on Thursday, May 1.

The show will feature young fighters from the Bilton Hall, Perth Green, Boldon and Horsley Hill boxing clubs.

Tickets are £10, and these are available from the Neon Club or Mr Devlin on 0775 251 5280.

Twitter: @terrykelly16

 

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