Fistic feast at Lunch of Champions

Paul Zanon
16/03/2017 6:57am

Paul Zanon reports from Cowbridge, Wales as three of the biggest names in Welsh boxing gather for a 'Lunch of Champions', and raise some funds for charity in the process...

When you stick an affable former light heavyweight Commonwealth champion on stage with two of Wales’ finest world level boxers, you’re always going to sell out a room. And that’s exactly what happened on 10 March 2017 at The Bear Pub in Cowbridge, Wales. The event, entitled, ‘Lunch of Champions’, was principally sponsored by Boss Brewing’s charming duo, Roy Allkin and Sarah John, and was organised by marketing guru Wesley Skeene, who runs the Cowbridge Business Club.

After a couple of courses of The Bear’s finest gourmet offerings, Nicky Piper MBE took to stage with current IBF featherweight boss, Lee Selby and, on his other flank, former WBO world cruiserweight champion, Enzo Maccarinelli. The pair shared some great tales which had not widely been covered in previous media, such as Selby’s anecdotes of the immediate aftermath of being told his recent opponent (Jonny Barros), would not be fighting him...only 30 minutes before the weigh-in.

Meanwhile, Enzo talked us through some of his world-title battles and also slipped in a hint that he may come back for a 50th and final fight.

zanon2Host Piper shared a story of when a young lad, who’d just turned 17, was asked to spar with him, in preparation for a world title challenge. Aware of the age and experience gap, Piper explained how he didn’t want to take any liberties and went into the ring expecting a relatively harmless novice. Well - that novice put Piper through his paces and if it wasn’t for his timely left hooks which kept catching the youngster, Piper maintains he could have been in trouble. The young lad was called…..Enzo Maccarinelli.

On revisiting the story, Enzo did admit: "My right ear was black and blue after that spar." Piper quipped: "It was the only shot I was able to connect with!"

Piper also added that he spoke with Enzo's father at the time and expressed the belief that his son was a special talent who would become world champion one day.

Not a bad prediction!

The event also raised vital funds and awareness for an excellent cause - George Thomas Hospice Care (GTHC). The charity is the major provider of specialist palliative care to those suffering from cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in Cardiff, also caring for the Vale of Glamorgan. It addresses a fundamental need in the local area and it’s outputs are highly respected. Between a raffle and auction, £275 was raised in all.

If you are a boxing fan, keep tuned, because GTHC will be involved in a number of other pugilistic fundraisers before the calendar year is up.

With Nicky Piper at the fundraising helm, a great event is always guaranteed.

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For further information of how to get involved in the sterling work of George Thomas Hospice Care, please take a moment to visit their website: