On Saturday 15th of June, Integra Solicitors sponsored the Longsight Boxing Club’s charity event, a night in memory of Yousef Makki, the 17-year-old South Manchester student who tragically lost his life to knife crime in March this year. The amount of support the local communities have shown after his death led directly to the success of this night. The sold-out event was resoundingly successful, with over 700 people in attendance at the Sheridan Suite who provided the decadent food in support of the event.

The boxing itself was preceded by a three-course meal, after which there was an auction led by the lively host for the night, multi award winning TV and radio presenter Connor Phillips. The auction prizes of a framed and signed Manchester City T-Shirt, glass cased and signed Tyson Fury boxing glove, meal for two worth £100.00 at Ribeye Steakhouse with a Rolls Royce Chauffeur pick up and drop off, and the last two tickets for the India v Pakistan cricket match understandably caused a lot of excitement in the room that night, with multiple bids in the £1000’s flying round the room! All proceeds from the donations and auctions went to Longsight Boxing Club, a registered charity and local initiative with ground-breaking visions and ambition to improve life opportunities through structured mentoring programmes, crime prevention education with a particular focus on knife crime and anti-social behaviour, community mental health and wellbeing development and the promotion of sports and fitness in the local community to tackle obesity, build self esteem and teach the importance of self-discipline and dedication.

Just before the boxing began, there was a touching minute of applause led by the classmates and friends of Yousef Makki, showing a true testament to his character and the effect his death has had on the community. This was followed by celebrity endorsements from the likes of former unified light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan, which echoed their support for the boxing club and condolences to Yousef’s family and friends for their tragic loss.

The boxing then started, with six fights of three rounds. There were local amateur boxers of varying weights including a Welsh National Heavyweight Champion, Reuben Wall, fighting against boxers from clubs across the country who had come down to Manchester to show their support for both the sport and the Boxing Club. Longsight Boxing Club won a total of five out of the six bouts. It was clear from the young boxers of Longsight in attendance that night just how well the clubs teaching has worked so far, as there was nothing but utmost respect in the ring in each and every match. The fights enabled us to see the hard work and dedication put in by the head coach, Omar Al-Wandawi, the rest of the coaches, and of course the fighters who put on a spectacular performance, making the night one to remember.

By Kathryn McGeoghegan