Boxing legend to commentate at London boxing event
Boxing legend Johnny Nelson is to commentate at an exclusive charity white collar boxing event being held in London.
The 52-year-old former WBO cruiserweight world champion, and now Sky Sports pundit, will appear at the annual Float Like A Butterfly Ball, sponsored by Diginex, in front of an audience of over 700 eager boxing fans and a select group of world champion boxing legends.
Nelson, from Sheffield, commentated at last year’s event and he’s delighted to be returning to perform at this year’s Ball which will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair, London, on Saturday 16th November, 2019.
Now in its third year the event will raise vital funds for Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
The prestigious black tie Ball, which also includes an evening of top class entertainment, will see eight, mainly novice boxers stepping into the ring for four bouts each consisting of two, three minute rounds.
Nelson is no stranger to supporting good causes having spent some time working with the prison service helping inmates with life management skills, and fighting a charity boxing match against Jos Battle.
Nelson says he’s delighted to be involved in the event again. As he explained: “Our sport has a habit of bringing people together from all walks of life and it’s a very supportive community.
“Events like this bring out the positive messaging around boxing that is sometimes overlooked or given less share of voice.
“Last year’s event raised a brilliant amount of money and hopefully we’ll be able to raise the same again on the 16th November.”
Nelson says that he enjoyed running as a child and that he only began to box when he started to accompany his elder brother to the gym.
“I wasn’t massively into sport at the time but my brother used to go to the Brendan Ingles Gym to box,” he said. “So I went with him but I didn’t go because I was into boxing, I just saw it as an opportunity to make new friends.
“I enjoyed the training and the camaraderie in the gym, but the boxing was just the output of my time there.”
Nelson says those taking part in the event will need to show all the qualities of a boxer on the night if they are to win their bout. As he enthused: “They’ll have to show mental strength as much as physical.
“Luckily I mastered the mental side thanks to my trainer Brendan Ingle, but on the physical side discipline is needed to get up early in the morning to train.
“Not only that boxing can be a lonely life at times, especially when you have to work out on your own, which is why resilience is needed in and out of the ring.”
BXR London, the high end boxing gym, are the official training partner for the event and Nelson says their support will be crucial. He said: “It’s hugely important that boxers prepare for their fights, both through training and diet, so the team at BXR London will be giving them the right advice.
“But they need to be committed to their preparation and if they do that BXR London will ensure that each boxer has a champion mind-set going into their bout.”
Nelson says that the standard of boxing at last year’s event was high and he could see that the fighters wanted to do the best that they could do for the charity and for the crowd.
“It was a great night and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and it’s sure to be just as good this year,” exclaimed Nelson. “I brought my childhood friends with me last year and we were all inspired by the stories of the children that the charity supports, alongside the efforts from the fighters putting on a show for everyone.
“It’s one of the things that I love about my sport, how it brings everyone together and succeeds in raising money for an important charity.”
Nelson, who retired from the boxing in September 2006, after snapping his kneecap in a sparring session, loved commentating at the 2018 Float Like A Butterfly ball and says he found it easy. As he explained: “I just love being around boxing and due to the cause and the efforts of the fighters I found it easy to communicate.
“Hopefully I gave a few words of encouragement, but it really is as much about the experience for these fighters as it is the quality of the boxing or the commentating, but hopefully I added some fun to the action.”
Nelson says that he struggled after retirement from the sport and admits that initially he shut himself off from his family and friends. Thankfully, Sky Sports turned his life around.
“I’m grateful to have a second career as a pundit which still very much keeps me a part of our sport,” said Nelson. “So anyone who is looking for a great night of entertainment, in brilliant company, within a superb venue, should get involved.
“It genuinely is an inspirational night and no doubt ideal for people who want to network or just enjoy the evening with friends.”
Kerrie Davies, Associate Director of Events at Caudwell Children, says it’s going to be a fast and furious night of entertainment. As she explained: “The event includes a Champagne reception, the finest cuisine, white collar boxing, fantastic live entertainment and an amazing array of must have auction prizes.
“The evening will also play host to an audience of world champion boxing legends, high net worth individuals, a selection of corporate contacts and celebrity attendees from the world of sport, TV and film.”
The event, delivered in partnership with sponsors Ewing Law, a specialist solicitors, barristers and legal consultants practice who are experienced in organising high quality white collar boxing events, has quickly become one of London’s finest boxing occasions.
“Each boxer will have trained relentlessly for the contest and when they climb into the ring, and go glove to glove, they won’t be pulling any punches,” said Kerrie. “The energy sapping rounds will make it a really tough challenge for those taking part.”
With Caudwell Children’s reputation for delivering world-class charity events and entertainment and Ewing Law’s fantastic record in creating superb white collar boxing events, the Float Like A Butterfly Ball is going to be a special evening.
This year’s host will be former Sky Sports presenter and TV star Kirsty Gallacher, whilst each bout will be refereed by former WBC light-heavyweight champion John Conteh.
“It’s going to be a fabulous evening,” concluded Kerrie. “Every jab, bob, block, clinch and punch will raise vital funds for Caudwell Children. Bring it on!”
To find out more and to book a table contact the Caudwell Children Events team on 01782 433755 or visit teh web page here.