Boxer Sam Sexton joins cancer fight

Matthew SparkesHeavyweight Sam Sexton will enter the ring at Wembley Arena next month to defend his British title - but will return to Norwich to join the fight against cancer in June.Matthew Sparkes

Heavyweight Sam Sexton will enter the ring at Wembley Arena next month to defend his British title - but will return to Norwich to join the fight against cancer in June.

The Norwich-born boxer, and British Commonwealth heavyweight title holder, has pledged his support to Macmillan Cancer Support by signing up to the Starlight Walk.

The event will see the professional athlete walk 13 miles around the city's ring road to raise money for cancer treatment and support.

Sexton, 25, said that he had been inspired to take part because he had lost two grandfathers and a close friend recently to cancer.


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Grandparents Edward Manning and Louis Sexton both died in the last year, but were helped in their final months by cancer specialists like those financed by Macmillan.

'I lost the first one just before my last fight,' he said. 'They're big boxing fans and they knew they weren't going to make it and said 'do your best'.'

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'When they got cancer they just whittle away, it's sad to see. They were both grafters in their day.'

Sexton said that nursing staff had done a great job and that nothing was too much trouble for them. 'It must be hard for them. I know I couldn't do their job,' he said.

Close friend and former chief scout for Norwich City, Ronnie Brooks, also recently passed away from cancer.

He promised that he would convince as many people as possible to take part with him in order to raise as much money as he could.

Every penny raised during the event will go towards cancer support, and all of it will be spent within Norfolk.

Local electronics firm Bennetts has sponsored the event to help reduce organisational costs.

'They don't know it yet, but I'll all the boys in here doing it,' he told the Evening News during a training session in his Norwich gym.

Sam's fianc�e, Lauren Upshall, will also be entering the walk.

'There's so much that people could do. For the sake of walking around Norwich, to be able to help out, is nothing,' he said.

He urged people in Norwich to 'get involved' and said: 'What's one day a year?'

In May Sexton will fight Danny Williams for the British title at Wembley Arena after cancelling in February due to a hand injury.

'I've been training full-on now for about four or five weeks, flat out,' he said.

'It is hard, but I don't go to work every day, and I'd much rather be doing something that I enjoy.'

Are you taking part in the Starlight Walk? Tell us why by calling reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439, or by emailing matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk.

For more information on the event or to register to take part, visit www.starlightwalknorwich.co.uk.

To see more coverage on the Starlight Walk, visit the Evening News mini-site at www.eveningnews24.co.uk/starlight.

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