ITC: London Youth Games Finals Festival

June 30 2024

Copper Bosh: Fisher, Visioli and Buttigieg light up the London Youth Games!

As the anticipation builds for next week’s headline clash at the Copper Box Arena between The Romford Bull, Johnny Fisher,¬†and The Savage, Alen Babic, Fisher – flanked by Matchroom prospects Giorgio Visioli and Leli Buttigieg – attended the London Youth Games (LYG) Finals Festival on Sunday, where the trio invited attending youngsters to try out the basics of boxing and take part in a series of fun games and competitions, all outside the very arena they’re due to fight at on Saturday 6th July.

The event was the latest in a series of collaborations between Matchroom Boxing and StreetGames, which sees us offering inspirational participation and development opportunities to youngsters from marginalised backgrounds. The three fighters were ably assisted on the day by our friends at Limehouse Boxing Academy, who we visited last August as part of Joshua vs. Helenius fight week. As a thank you for their help, Team Fisher handed out the last remaining tickets for fight night to each young volunteer.

Our partners at Drip were also in attendance, ensuring participants remained hydrated and engaged, with Everlast providing a selection of kit and equipment to hand out to lucky competition winners.

London Youth Games

The London Youth Games (LYG) is an annual multi-sport event held in London, England. The LYG offers competitive opportunities for young people aged 7 to 18 (who live or go to school in London) across approximately 30 sports every year. The LYG are contested between the 32 London boroughs (as well as the City of London) and take place at venues across the capital nine months of the year.

The focal point is finals weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, which traditionally takes place on the first weekend in July. However, there are around 50 events that take place annually, including qualifying rounds and stand-alone finals at venues as prestigious as Lord’s Cricket Ground, Copper Box Arena and Hampstead Heath. The LYG is free and open to all young people living in or going to school in London.

With around 100,000 young Londoners take part in the LYG each year, it is said to be the largest annual youth sports event in Europe. Notable past participants include four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah, Chelsea and England Footballer Raheem Sterling and World and European sprinting gold medallist Dina Asher-Smith.

Hosting the Finals Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park provides an opportunity to inspire more young people to build lasting associations with physical activity and sport, competing in iconic venues while having fun participating and creating life-long sporting memories.

This is the legacy that we want to see from the London 2012 Olympic Games.

- Johnny Fisher

Speaking to the Matchroom cameras, Johnny Fisher was keen to highlight the importance of events like the London Youth Games and the role they play in inspiring the next generation of sporting talent.

“I remember when I was a kid and I used to see athletes coming into school or visiting events like this, it inspired me – and if we can inspire one or two kids from the London Youth Games today, that’s great,” said Fisher.

“This is the legacy that we want to see from the London 2012 Olympic Games. We’re still using venues like this, still getting kids involved – that’s what it’s all about – being involved in the local community and putting something positive back in.”

Fisher also paid tribute to the young volunteers in attendance from Limehouse Boxing Academy, with many of their faces already familiar to him, having visited the Limehouse gym in the build-up to his last fight in the capital.

“These boys in these areas, they’re quite disadvantaged and it’s important to come down and give them some words of inspiration,” Fisher explained.

“We’ve just seen Timmy, he’s lost 15kg since we saw him last year! A few of the other boys have had amateur fights now. Competition is important for them, learning about winning and losing – it’s all a vital part of growing up.”

Despite his focus being firmly on the upcoming challenge against Babic next Saturday night, Fisher couldn’t contain his enthusiasm for coaching and sharing his knowledge with aspiring young athletes.

“I’d love to be a trainer one day and I’d love to have my own gym at some point, when I retire,” beamed Fisher.

“I just enjoy it. I enjoy trying to inspire, trying to motivate people… And anyone can do it, you don’t have to be a boxer. You’ve got to be someone that wants to coach, help people and pass on a bit of knowledge.”

As the event concluded, the excitement and joy from the weekend left an indelible mark on everyone involved. Whether as competitors or spectators, the young participants of the London Youth Games created memories that will last a lifetime, celebrating the power of sport in bringing people together.

With the Games behind them, attention now turns to next weekend, when Fisher, Visioli and Buttigieg will all be in action as boxing once again takes centre stage.