The gloves are ON: Swindon councillors to fight it out in boxing ring
Politicians are routinely described as ‘heavyweights’ and ‘big hitters’.
Now two councillors from Swindon are taking that literally.
Conservative Dale Heenan and Labour’s Bazil Solomon will slug it out in the ring for charity in October.
They will fight as part of mayor Kevin Parry’s charity boxing show, put on to raise money for his nominated charities Children ‘s Cancer and Leukaemia Movement and the Swindon and Wiltshire Deaf Children’s Society.
The bout was Coun Heenan’s idea. He said: “Kevin is a massive boxing fan, and goes to all the local shows.
“When he became mayor he wanted to do something different to raise money for his charities and came up with a boxing show put on by Tank Promotions.
“I joked about it in the council chamber when he announced it some months ago, and he’s been on at me ever since to actually do it.
“I thought about suggesting one councillor but thought better of it, then was thinking, who else?
“Bazil and I have some history politically, so I suggested we go three rounds.”
Coun Solomon, who represents Liden, Eldene and Park South, was happy to take up the challenge – most of it. He said: “I’ve got to take some medical advice at the end of the month but I think I’ll be fine for one round. If we can get £1,000 donated direct to CALM, then, doctors permitting I’ll box for three rounds for the Swindon Charity Cup.”
Despite an age difference of 10 years the councillors are relatively well matched physically. They’re similar heights with similar reaches and both take an orthodox, left foot forward stance.
It would be impolite to list their weights – but suffice to say they are both towards the upper end of boxing’s categories.
The big difference is that Coun Solomon has more boxing experience, having boxed at school in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa.
He said: “I was quite sporty at school. I ran 400 and 800 meters and boxed at middleweight. Then when I went off to university my father said I didn’t want to go on and bet my face bashed in
Coun Heenan, councillor for Covingham and Dorcan, said: “I didn’t know Bazil had boxed before when I challenged him. I did it for a bout six weeks a few years ago, so he has the edge in experience, and I have the edge in age.”
Both battling councillors said it was going to be a good natured bout with the main aim to raise plenty of money for the mayor’s charities.
Promoter Richard Loveday of Tank Promotions said: “I think this is unique. I’ve put on boxing shows, and while-collar boxing all over the country but I’ve never know two councillors to agree to box each other.”
The charity boxing show is at the Meca at Regent Circus on Saturday, October 19.
Contact Meca for tickets on 01793 251111 or firstname.lastname@example.org