Olympic legend Derek Redmond steps into the ring and raises £5,500 in Northampton charity boxing fight night

A former British sprinter who created one of the most iconic moments in Olympic history has swapped his spikes for boxing gloves and stepped into the ring for the first time.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 10:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 11:21 am
Mr Redmond put on his gloves on November 17 for the sold-out match at The Park Inn by Radisson, Silver Street.

Derek Redmond tore his hamstring during the 400 metre sprint semi-final at the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona - but opted to carry on and finish the race.

His father, Jim, rushed on to the track to help his son limp over the finish line, roared on by an emotional crowd.

The unforgettable father-son moment was recently voted the 3rd most memorable moment in Olympic history and has been viewed over 110 million times online.

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The gold-winning athlete, pictured after his win, is known around the world for the inspiring moment his father helped across the finish line at the 1992 Olympics after suffering a hamstring injury on the track.

Now aged 53, Mr Redmond rolled back the years by competing in a charity boxing event in his hometown of Northampton again with his 77-year-old dad in the crowd supporting him.

Before the bout, Jim jokingly warned Derek he wouldn't be jumping into the ring to help out even if his opponent was getting the better of him.

After eight weeks of intensive training, he fought in front of 700 people at the event organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing, which stages events across Britain to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

And Derek proved it is not only on the track that he is a champion - defeating his opponent in the first round by stoppage.

Following his victory father-of-four Derek, who raised £5,500 for the charity, said: "My dad said well before I got in the ring that he wouldn't be stepping in to help me again.

"Luckily I didn't need his help this time as I won the fight within the first two minutes.

"I was in the crowd at an Ultra White Collar Boxing event back in June when a family friend was taking part - I saw it and instantly knew I wanted to have a go.

"I have boxed before but never in an organised event - my friends and I have thrown on the gloves and waved our arms around, but we've never done it properly.

"I've never been a fan of going to the gym, I always need something to train for and this was the perfect situation to do that as well as raise some money for charity.

"The training was great, the coaches were brilliant and they taught everyone - including those who had never even put on boxing gloves before.

"During the group training, you get to see everyone's ability and you can try and work out who you could be matched to fight against.

"I was expecting to fight a certain guy because I thought we were very similar in terms of ability and fitness - but I ended up fighting someone bigger than me because we were matched on ability not just weight to make it a fair match up.

"After the eight weeks we each stepped in the ring and I felt we put on a great show in front of the 700-strong crowd.

"My advantage is that I have competed in front of crowds up to 100,000 back at the Olympics so that didn't worry me too much.

"My plan was to keep pace with my opponent in the first round and then step it up in the second.

"I was chuffed when I won - and I haven't stopped here.

"I had about 50 people in the crowd supporting me, we took up four tables and had people standing too.

"So it was great to make them all proud."

Mr Redmond now works as a motivational speaker - telling people about his iconic Olympic story and inspiring the next generation of young athletes.

He has already arranged another fight as he looks to continue his training.

He added: "I agreed with one of the other boxers that I didn't get to compete against that we wanted to fight each other - so we are planning that for down the line.

"It's an excuse to keep the training up and to keep competing.

"Everyone involved with Ultra White Collar Boxing were fantastic - they do a fantastic job with all of their events around the country.

"It felt amazing to raise so much money - some certain individuals donated hundreds each which I was really grateful for.

"As corny as it sounds, everyone knows someone who has been hit by cancer so it is a great way to raise money to beat it.

"Ultra White Collar Boxing has given me something new to train towards and dedicate my time into - so I am really glad that I did it, it's changed my life."

Jon Leonard, who runs UWCB, said: "It was fantastic that someone of Derek's stature took part and raised so much for charity. He is a fantastic competitor and it was great that he got so much out of it.

"We cater for everyone and I would encourage anyone who wants to get fit and raise money to fight cancer to give it a go."