ITC: Firth Park Boxing Academy, Sheffield

October 5 2023

A new Flyweight contender emerges on visit to Firth Park Boxing Academy!

IBF Flyweight World Champion – Sunny Edwards – got more than he bargained for when visiting Firth Park Boxing Academy in Sheffield yesterday evening, as he was called out by 11 year old club member, Ali Nasser.

Edwards, looking ahead to his own super fight later this year with American Flyweight sensation, Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, responded in typical fashion by challenging young Ali to a face off and game of shoulder tag, before posing for photos with him and his club mates.

The visit came as part of the fight week build up for the domestic blockbuster between Nottingham’s Leigh Wood and Leeds’ Josh Warrington, with Sheffield acting as neutral ground between the two combatants.

Matchroom Boxing CEO, Frank Smith, attended alongside Edwards and Head of Community Development, Alex Le Guével – and was keen to express the importance of supporting grassroots boxing with the Matchroom platform.

We think boxing can give so much back to the community.

- Frank Smith

“For us, it’s all about community led initiatives. You see the kids in there today, all in the gym, all training – and we feel there’s so much more we can do,” explained Smith.

“We’ve got a huge platform and obviously the sport has given us so much, we think boxing can give so much back to the community.”

Firth Park Boxing Academy

Opened in 2016, Firth Park Boxing Academy now has more than 200 members of all ages and backgrounds and has become the beating heart of its local community.

In an area that has one of the highest crime rates in Sheffield, the boxing club aims to help youngsters stay off the streets by focusing their energy into something positive – and by providing good role models.

The club are heavily involved in community engagement initiatives across Sheffield, having built excellent working relationships with Yorkshire Sport Foundation, South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and several key local stakeholders, including councillors and MPs.

They were recent recipients of Tackling Inequalities funding from Sport England during the latter stages of 2022, with funds being utilised to purchase new kit and equipment – and to continue providing their services to local youngsters.

We now look forward to welcoming our new friends at Firth Park Boxing Academy to the Utilita Arena in Sheffield on Saturday night, with all club members being provided with complimentary tickets following our visit.

A huge thank you to Head Coach, Hussein Nasser, and his team for being so accommodating – and for the continued dedication you show to improving the lives of the young people you coach. Without passionate volunteers, grassroots boxing simply wouldn’t survive.