The Duchess of Northumberland doesn’t usually allow visitors to Alnwick Garden to fight each other but will make an exception on Wednesday.
The keen sportswoman is opening the doors of the tourist attraction to local boxers for a St George’s Day bout dubbed the Punch Up in the Pavilion.
The Duchess, who is known to take an interest in the sport and has hosted a cage fighting contest before, will watch the fighting and present trophies.
An accomplished kick-boxer herself, she is keen to use the garden’s facilities to encourage others to take up various sports, and it was her idea to host the cage fighting event a few years ago.
She is also keen to continue to encourage local boxers following last year’s Olympic Games. Also attending the event is former IBF Cruiserweight World Champion Glenn McCrory who the Duchess has praised as a role model for youngsters.
The event is also the home show for Alnwick Amateur Boxing Club and has attracted competitors from all over the country as well as the rest of the North East.
The Duchess said: “We have seen some fantastic achievements by British athletes in the last 12 months and it is really important that we build upon the legacy left by the Olympic Games and continue to promote the benefits of participation in sport, to our youngsters.
“Boxing is an all-round great way to keep fit and is a very disciplined sport.
“Glenn McCrory is a great role model for young people. He is the first to admit that he did not do so well academically at school but excelled in sport and had a fantastic career in boxing which led to his current role as a sports presenter for Sky”. The Duchess of Northumberland will be Guest of Honour on the evening along with Glenn. Other special guests attending include Grant Davey, the leader of Northumberland County Council, and his deputy Dave Ledger.
Dave Ledger is also Chairman of ARCH, Alnwick Amateur Boxing Clubs main sponsor, which is an arms-length company of Northumberland County Council.
Master of Ceremonies will be Bill Hardy who held the British Championship at bantamweight and featherweight as well as the European and Commonwealth featherweight titles as a professional boxer.
The Duchess has defended her support for martial arts in the past,.
She has said: “We now have a whole generation of youngsters that need to exercise more and martial arts not only provides exercise, it also gives youngsters discipline and is really good fun.
“Although there will be some who disagree, I think children need to understand that they can win, but won’t always win.
“Martial arts are a good way to teach this lesson.”