[First published on Wigan Today – 8th October 2019]
A bar owner is taking up the sweet science and will step into the ring for a charity boxing night.
Alex Grundy, who owns Cafe Stella in Leigh with wife Zoe, will don his gloves and cross the ropes at White Collar Fighter in Manchester in November.
It is something of a personal campaign for Alex as he raises money for the Stroke Association in memory of his mum Pat Grundy, who died in 2015, and in support of stroke victim friend Caroline Sutton.
He will also split the proceeds with borough charity Just BU, which helps residents with disabilities and has run its Fusion club nights at Cafe Stella for the past six years.
Alex was also inspired to give something back to the community after setting up a monthly group at the King Street venue for people battling depression after he himself struggled with his mental health.
The 34-year-old said: “I was just thinking about other ways I could start helping the community and raising money for charity. This White Collar Fighter kept coming up on social media so I decided to go for it.
“I’ve never done anything like this before but I’m fighting to raise money for the Stroke Association in memory of my mum, and I also named the depression group Positive Action Together, or Pat, after her.
“I got depression after my mum died but I came through it and I’m on the other side of it now so I set the group up.
“I also want to help people a bit closer to home so I’m supporting Just BU. They are a great group of people. It’s somewhere vulnerable adults can go and be supported. They have their own premises and their own sources of income but every little helps.”
Alex was a huge rugby league enthusiast as a youngster, playing for Leigh Miners Rangers and getting into the Centurions academy before a serious knee injury at 17 forced him to pack the game in.
However, he has now thrown himself into the task of getting ready for his boxing bout and hopes to be fighting fit with the help of personal trainer David Morris of Become A Champion.
He is also about to start eight weeks of free training with White Collar Fighter ahead of the big night on November 29 at Bowlers Manchester, where he will face an opponent in three three-minute rounds.
Alex said: “I’m a little bit nervous because I don’t know who I will be fighting yet. I’m not exactly in the best shape of my life but by the end of the next couple of months I should be in a better position.”
The night will have all the razzamatazz of top-level boxing, with Alex and the other fighters getting flames and a full ring entrance with their choice of walk-out music.