Why a Leeds United fan made the Toon talk during a charity boxing match



Andy Benson.

Lifetime supporter Andy Benson had set up a contest to get people to donate more money and said whoever sponsored him the most could choose their ring music.

Restaurant owner Michael Bland a Geordie sponsored him £ 200 which gave him the right to choose and he told Mr Benson he should go out to listen to his team’s theme and wear their shorts .

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Andy Benson.

Mr Benson said he joked with the owner of his favorite restaurant about the White-Magpie rivalry and received a text message telling him he “wouldn’t like” the song that had been chosen.

The 43-year-old insisted he found it “fun” and didn’t care too much as the fight, hosted by Ultra White Collar Boxing, was only to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

He said: “A restaurant we go to called Vivido in Harrogate sponsored me £ 200. Because I’m a Leeds United fan, they picked Blaydon Races which is Newcastle United’s theme song. They also gave me Newcastle shorts to fight and a Newcastle flag.

“I just found him funny and I was like ‘do you know what charity is for’ and he had spent all together, I think, £ 1,700 to buy a table and some items at auction that evening .

“So I just said to him ‘whatever you want me to wear, I’ll go with it, for the amount you sponsored me.’ I didn’t mind that it was just for charity and a bit of a laugh – it was worth it.

The father-of-four decided to step into the ring after his wife posted a photo on Facebook poking fun at his fat stomach.

Mr Benson revealed that his level of fitness deteriorated after having Covid in September.

However, the determined gas engineer underwent a complete transformation by cutting bread and training in a gymnasium he set up in his home.

Mr. Benson was inspired to take it one step further and signed up for a grueling boxing program with Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) before entering a fight.

He has now come down to just over 15 stones after weighing 17 stones and 2 pounds and has lost his stomach.

UWCB participants have the opportunity to raise money for Cancer Research UK by participating in eight weeks of free professional training before a demonstration fight in front of hundreds of spectators.

Participants are encouraged to sell tickets for the show and to raise at least £ 50 for Cancer Research UK. So far, Ultra Events has raised over £ 23million for the charity.

“I had Covid in September so my physical condition was a bit poor, Mr Benson said. you take a photo like this, you have to share it with all your friends ”. She thought it was hilarious and I said ‘I’ll get rid of this in eight weeks’ and I did it in 12. “

Mr Benson said he had to train at home as he had to care for his children Nya, 14, Erica, 13, Ayla, nine and Thomas, six, whom he shared with his Lindsey woman, 35.

He said: “I changed my diet – I cut the bread completely, that was the main thing I think. I set up a small gym at home so I worked out every night. The gym has two punching bags, a rower, a bicycle and a few dumbbells.

“I posted pictures on Facebook when I worked out with a link to the fundraising page that helped motivate me every time I worked out. “

Mr Benson – who has so far raised £ 1,490 for the charity – was supported overnight by more than 70 of his friends and family. He lost the fight on points.

The next Ultra White Collar Boxing event in the region will take place in Huddersfield on December 19th.

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