A CHAMPION fighter is being given a helping hand to defend his title after a securing sponsorship with South Tyneside businesses.
Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson is England’s super-flyweight champion after beating Leeds’ Terry Broadbent in October.
However, the 29-year-old has been ordered to have a re-match in April, where he has set his sights on not only defending his title but taking his career to the next level.
The showdown, organised by promoter Eddie Hearn, will take place at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle and will be televised on Sky.
It is an opportunity Anthony says can only help as he looks to take a step up the ladder in his chosen career.
But to be in with a fighting chance he faced the impossible task of trying to secure sponsorship to enable him to give up work so he can train.
Seeing his potential, drive and enthusiasm, a number of South Tyneside businesses have jumped in to help including the Hedworth Hall in Dean Road, South Shields, which has offered to fund the majority of what he needs to take time off work to train.
Anthony said: “It is impossible to train for a fight as big as this and hold down a full-time job at the same time. You really need to be training full-time in order to reach your potential.
“To be boxing at this level, you really need to be training two to three times a day.
“Before, I was boxing four rounds and I was in the gym in the morning, then doing a full day’s work, then back in the gym on the night. But fighting 10 rounds you really need to up your training regime and you also need to rest.
“Having the sponsorship behind me, it enables me to do this. It really is a huge help and it shows to me that people do believe in me and to have that means a lot to me and my family.”
Other businesses coming forward to support Anthony with his sponsorship include Custom Diets, Market Health Spa, The Jolly Steward, MCPS Limited, East Coast Fibre Glass, Reface and Lifespace Interiors, Lawson’s Timber, Paul Davis Aerials, Kev Pascoe and Davy Carr.
Manager of the Hedworth Hall and Otto Restaurant Carl Mowattsaid: “Anthony has the potential to have a huge career within the boxing arena.
“It would be a shame for a talent such as his to be lost rather than nurtured, which is why we were only too happy to agree to sponsor Anthony so he can focus fully on his training without the financial worry, to ensure he has the best possible chance of furthering his boxing career.
“Everyone at the Hedworth Hall wish him the best of luck in his forthcoming fight and for the future.”