The second annual Trad TKO Boxing Gym Boxers and Celebrity Charity Football Tournament, in aid of the Indee Rose Trust, which took place at Concord Rangers FC in Canvey Island on Sunday 14th August, proved to be a massive success, having raised in excess of £18,000 on the day, with a further £3,000 being pledged on-line for the worthy cause that supports children that have been diagnosed with brain or spinal tumors.
More than a hundred star boxers, including WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly, WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Champion Kevin Mitchell, WBA International Super Bantamweight Champion Rendall Munroe, former WBU Lightweight Champion Graham Earl, former WBU Light Heavyweight Champion Tony Oakey, former WBA Featherweight Champion Barry McGuigan, former British Super Middleweight Champion Paul Smith and his brother, British & Commonwealth Featherweight Champion, Stephen plus many, many more.
In addition to the boxers there were many celebrities, from the world of TV, Film and Music, that also turned out to play or support their teams, as well as sign autographs and be photographed with some of the thousands of fans that made the trek to Canvey from all over the country.
Sky Sports Ed Robinson, along with camera crew, also made the trip to Canvey to cover the event for Sky’s Ringside show and highlights from the event will be on this Thursday’s Ringside show, which goes on air at 6pm on Sky Sports 1 and repeated at 9pm on Sky Sports 3 and again at Midnight on Sky Sports 1.
After eight hours of nonstop football, featuring teams from all around the country, it was two of Trad TKO’s that made the final. But before we get to the final each of the teams deserve a a mention and big hand for their magnificent efforts.
Last year’s Champions - Paul Smith’s Pick Pockets - got off to a poor start, losing to the Trad TKO 1 team by a 2-1 margin. They did get to win their second match of the day, against the Boxing-Ireland.com team, by 3 goals to nil, and their third, against Ben Day’s Ringtone Gym team by a whooping 5-0 margin.
Unlucky for Paul and brother Steven in the next round they come up against Trad TKO supremo Johnny Eames’ All Star team - that not only featured boxers Nathan Cleverly, Rendall Munroe, Billy Joe Saunders, George Hillyard but also a couple of pro footballers - and had their hopes of lifting the trophy for a second year dashed by an exquisite, match winning, Nathan Cleverly goal.
Then to make matters worse the Millbank team from Southampton held them to a 1-1 draw to prevent them even making the third and fourth place play-off.
Former WBU Champ Graham Earl bought his House of Champions team down from Luton. Graham had been so confident he’d lift the trophy this year that he was trying to lay bets with everyone. It was lucky for him most ignored the offer as his first class squad failed to make the final, but they did make the third and fourth place play off, where they lost to the the third Trad TKO team.
Joe Gallagher bought down a team of stars from his gym, unfortunately for him he only had an eight man squad, as Paul and Steven Smith had their own team. Joe did his best to fire up his team but they fell to both Alan Smith’s Sarf London team and Russell Dopson’s Indee Rose by a 2-1 deficit in the first two matches.
In their third match they managed to hold the Boxing News team to a 0-0 draw but got well and truly thrashed 5-0 by Trad TKO Clapton Rangers. In their final game they drafted in Paul and Steven Smith to bolster their hard worked team.
Last year’s ‘Wooden Spoon’ recipient Boxing News Rangers, having not just lost every game but also failing to score a single goal in the 2010 tournament, drafted in Barry McGuigan and Ben Doughty to ensure they did not to finish last this year. This clever move paid off in their very first match, where they beat Indee Rose by one goal to nil. Mind you in their very next match they got beat 3-0 by Trad TKO Clapton Rangers.
Boxing-Ireland.com’s star player, Matthew Macklin, had to cancel due to another engagement the night before. However the boys that made the trip over from the Emerald Isles played their hearts out. They beat Ringtone 1-0 in their first match but got thrashed 3-0 by the back on form Paul Smith’s Pick Pockets in their second.
Southampton Millbank took them down 1-0 in the third. They more than made up for the two losses when they beat the Trad TKO 1 team 3-1 in the fourth, but got turned over by the Trad TKO All Stars 1-0 in their final game.
Alan Smith fielded the only female player in his Sarf London squad and boy could that girl play. She was good but the real star of the team was Bradley Skeet who played his heart out and even scored. Sarf London won their first game 2-1 against Joe Gallagher's All Stars but things went down hill from there, losing 1 - 0 to Graham Earl’s House of Champions, 5-0 to Trad TKO Clapton Rangers, 5-1 to Indee Rose.
Southampton’s Millbank squad, which had a large contingent of non-boxing sports personalities, proved to be a pain in Johnny Eames’ butt early on, by holding his Trad TKO All Stars to a 0-0 draw in the first game of the tournament.
So imagine Johnny’s joy when his Trad TKO 1 team beat them 2-1 in the second match. Mind you they also did Johnny a big favour by beating Boxing-Ireland 1-0, Ringtone 4-0 and holding Paul Smith’s Pick Pockets to a 1-1 draw.
Ben Day and Scott Borthwick’s Ringtone Gym team suffered right from the start, not only did they only have an eight man squad but their main striker, the aforementioned Ben Day, suffered a pulled hamstring in the very first game - mind you that didn’t stop him playing!
After the league element of the tournament was done Ringtone suffered even more, becoming this year’s ‘Wooden Spoon’ recipient having lost 1-0 to Boxing-Ireland, 2-0 to Trad TKO All Stars, 5-0 to Paul Smith’s Pick Pockets, 4-0 to Millbank and 3-0 to Trad TKO 1.
Indee Rose’s dad Russell Dopson put together his own team for this year’s tournament, and bought along the noisiest legion of fans to support them! What a bunch they cheered every move by the Indee Rose team, however that was not enough as they went down 1-0 to the Boxing News mob in the first match.
You can imagine the cheers when they beat Gallagher’s All Stars 2-1 in the second. The fans were still cheering even when they lost 3-1 to Graham Earl’s House of Champions. They turned the noise level to maximum in the fourth match as the Indee Rose team went on the rampage to beat Sarf London 5-1. With a possible place in the third and fourth play-off beckoning if they got a win over Trad TKO Clapton Rangers, but they didn’t they got beat 3-0.
Trad TKO Supremo put together three teams, the All Stars, a who’s who of boxing superstars, TKO 1, which featured boxers from the famous Canning Town gym, and Clapton Rangers which featured a mix of former footballers and celebrities. The strength and depth of the three teams really paid dividends as the All Stars and Clapton Rangers made the final and TKO 1 beat Graham Earl’s House of Champions 1-0 to secure third place.
Unlike the league section the third and fourth play-off and the final were played eleven a side and on a full size pitch. As the result of the third and fourth place play off has already been mentioned, we’ll move on straight to the final.
Johnny was over the moon that two of his team faced each other in the final, especially after losing to Paul Smith’s Pick Pockets last year.
Clapton Rangers pushed forward for most of the first half, the former footballers experience definitely coming into play as they controlled the game with crisp passing moves. Nathan Cleverly and his play making partner Billy Joe Saunders did their best to set up the odd counter attack, but were thwarted by the stronger defenses of the Clapton back three.
The All Stars defenders worked their socks off against the ever forward pushing Clapton juggernaut. Saying that the All Stars mounted a late attack, with George Hillyard starting the move with a cracking pass to Rendall Munroe who fthen flicked it into the path of a forward charging Billy Joe Saunders, who slotted a precision pass to Nathan Cleverly.
With three defenders closing him down fast Nathan let rip with a vicious shot that look set to smash into the back of the Clapton net, if not for some excellent goal keeping.
After fourty minutes of non-stop action the score remained 0-0, it was that competitive, so it went to a penalty shoot out, which Clapton Rangers won by a 4-2 margin.
So there you have it, another cracking day that raised some much need funds for the Indee Rose Trust.
Highlights from the event will be on this Thursday’s Ringside show, which goes on air at 6pm on Sky Sports 1 and repeated at 9pm on Sky Sports 3 and again at Midnight on Sky Sports 1.