Former world featherweight champion Paul Ingle is honoured by the WBC

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Born in 1972, and growing up on one of Scarborough’s toughest estates, Paul Ingle earned a place in the heart of not only his immediate community, but the whole of the UK when he beat Manuel Medina for the IBF world title back in 1999. Doing the unthinkable, a few months later he was then thrown into deeper waters and shipped off to the USA to take on Hall of Famer Junior Jones – the man to hand legend Marco Antonio Barrera his first two losses, back to back.

On the 29th April 2000, in front of a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden, Paul came off the canvas and stopped Jones in an epic 11 round battle, and also picked up the IBO world title strap for his troubles. He then fought Mbulelo Botile eight months later, in what should have been a straightforward defence before challenging either Naseem Hamed for his WBO title or Erik Morales for the WBC.

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Unfortunately, Paul and boxing were both on the end of a sickening blow, as Paul was floored in the 12th round and was taken to hospital for emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Many wouldn’t have made it through the journey in the weeks soon after accident, but Paul Ingle simply isn’t ‘many people’. He is an individual with an incredible hunger, drive and internal passion for succeeding and he transferred those assets to his recovery.

 

Over 13 years later, the WBC, through their charitable arm, World Boxing Cares, decided to pay their honour and respect to a fighter they believe certainly would have fought for the WBC world strap had his accident not occurred, and would have continued to be a positive template for future boxers across the UK and worldwide.

Paul was presented the coveted WBC ambassador’s award, by David Walker and none other than super middleweight king, Steve Collins, for his services to boxing. The award had been in the planning for a long time and in fact the late great Jose Sulaiman had been one of the first people to give the award sign off last year. The presentation took place at the Paul Ingle Boxing Academy in Hull which is run by his close friend and former pro boxer, Sonny Pollard. It was an emotional affair for those in attendance, and Paul was genuinely touched by the generosity from the WBC and the number of people who attended to see him receive his honours.

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Straight after, Sonny Pollard and Steve Collins, along with an impressive undercard, headed to the KC Stadium, and put on the boxing gloves for the perfect end to a great day. Raising money for some great charitable causes, Pollard and Collins battled it out, with Paul Ingle watching ringside to make sure both men were putting their best into their respective performances!

 

A very memorable for Scarborough, Yorkshire, boxing worldwide, and most importantly, the Yorkshire Hunter and two time world champion – Paul Ingle.

All photography remains the copyright of Simon Baxter

 

 

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