The famous Reebok Stadium in Bolton will be the venue for the HOP Boxing Academy Magnificent Seven who will be in action against clubs from Scotland, Wales, Liverpool and Bolton at the Network Rail Boxing Tournament 2011.

HOP Magnificent Seven

Network Rail sponsored 5 boxing clubs in Great Britain last year and part of the agreement was that the clubs would have a Network Rail Boxing Tournament in January 2011 at the Reebok Stadium with special VIP guest and the new WBA World Champion Amir Khan meeting and giving out trophies and awards to the boxers.

Amir Khan’s Amateur boxing gym “Gloves” in Bolton will be competing and hosting the event at the Reebok Stadium. All the team’s will be staying in the very posh DeVere Whites Hotel which is part of the massive Reebok Stadium set up, from Friday 7th Jan to Sunday 9th Jan and watching the local football live on the ground on Saturday afternoon then boxing in the main hall in the Reebok Stadium on Saturday night.

The boxers will have the opportunity to spend some time with Amir in his boxing gym and get signed memorabilia. The Chairman of the ABA of England Keith Walters who has visited HOP on a few occasions will also be present cheering on the Portsmouth team as they try and lift the Network Rail Boxing team trophy.

HOP Boss “Q” Shillingford commented this is a very exciting time for HOP and especially the young boxers, its not every day you get the opportunity to meet and box in front of a World Champion. The event preparation has been a full club commitment, all the coaches have given up their time over the Christmas period, training and teaching the boxers and ensuring they are fit for the Network Rail Team Championship. I am very proud of the Coaches and volunteers who willingly night after night volunteer their services to ensure the boxers are fully prepared and ready for competition.

We have taken the boxers to the top clubs in London to spar in preparation for this event over Christmas, as HOP are looking at this event as a warm up bout for this year Schoolboy Boxing championships and the Junior ABA’s Championships starting early this year.

All the boxers will have tough bouts in Bolton, all the boxing clubs will come prepared, but our team is ready to represent Portsmouth, Hampshire and the South of England to the highest level when they step into the ring at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton in front of WBA World Champion Amir Khan.

Portsmouth Based Southern Counties ABA President Mr John Faulkner feels “we have every confidence in HOP putting on a top class performance in Bolton, Southern Counties ABA are supporting them all the way”.

Also Portsmouth based, Hampshire & IOW ABA Chairman Mr Dave Rogers said “this is another great advert for our young people in the sporting world; to be representing the city in such a big event, is fantastic”.

Network Rail Wessex and Sussex Area manager Ellie Reilly said “I have worked with Q Shillingford and HOP Boxing Academy for over a year now and in that time; we have managed to engage a vast number of young people who may otherwise be messing around on the railway. Similarly to my work with Q, colleagues of mine work with other boxing clubs around the UK in order to promote positive activities amongst young people and divert them away from crime and anti-social behaviour – using boxing we are seeing some great results in terms of reducing trespass and vandalism on the railway”.

Amir Khan is an Ambassador for our No Messin’ campaign and not only supports our aims and objectives but acts as a role model for many young boxers.

On the 8th January we will be celebrating our 3 year anniversary of working with Amir and the team at Gloves and, to mark this, we will be hosting a boxing show involving 5 of our sponsored clubs.

The event will be hosted by Amir Khan and will be held at DeVeres hotel in Bolton which is part of the Reebok Stadium.

Network Rail feel that the work that HOP put in to the community of Portsmouth with their national boxing award and educational scheme in local schools and youth clubs is fantastic.

“I will be cheering the Pompey boxers all the way”.