Joe’s set for debut in the ring
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Joe’s set for debut in the ring

Boxer looking forward to first fight - and raising money for Chai Cancer Care

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Joe Hildebrand (left) says he's in the best shape of his life. ahead of his debut in the boxing ring next week
Joe Hildebrand (left) says he's in the best shape of his life. ahead of his debut in the boxing ring next week

Joe Hildebrand will be entering the boxing ring for the first time next Thursday – and is doing so all in the name of charity.

Explaining how he came up with the idea of fighting for charity – and why he decided to do so for Chai Cancer Care, he says: “It’s a challenge I’ve always had on my bucket list and when a new boxing gym opened up near my office I decided to give it a go. Boxer Tony Milch, an old school friend of my wife, was a coach there so I got in touch and we’ve been training together for a good few months. I’ve since worked with Josh Burnham and am looking forward to having them both in my corner on the night!

“I’ve known of Chai for many years and have recently learnt more about what they do. The fact they have no statutory funding makes it all the more impressive and all the more important that people like me do something to support them.”

Although he’s never fought before, he does have experience in other martial arts, he says: “I’m finding that I’m having to un-learn as much as I’m having to learn because boxing is such a different skill.  But I’m really looking forward to the fight and have been getting in some great training with Josh.

“I’m spending a lot of time in the ring sparring, so my nerves are better than they would be otherwise, but I’m sure I’ll be pretty anxious on the night – but very excited too!”

Saying he feels the fittest he’s ever been. He’s training several times a weeks, doing a mixture of pad work, sparring and pure cardio.  “I’m confident I’ll last the three rounds without too much stress”, he says, “but you just don’t know what will happen on the night so I need to prepare for every eventuality.”

As to what he hopes to achieve on the night, he says: “I’m hoping to tick something really exciting off my bucket list and of course hoping to win!

“I’d love to raise as much money for Chai as I possibly can and am already a good way there, but would love the support of anyone else who might be able to make a donation.”

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