DEVA Boxing Academy will welcome some real heavy hitting special guests to their first show of 2009.
Former WBU light-welterweight champion Shea Neary and one-time WBO featherweight title contender Richie Wenton will be attending the show, at Airbus’ Wings Club in Broughton, on Friday, February 20.
The academy has grown out of the Deva Boxing Club which was based at Saltney Community Centre until they were moved out by the town council.
Undeterred, club officials set about securing sponsorship from local companies and sourcing new premises.
They linked up with the police to set up Deva Boxing Academy at Unit 16 on the Central Trading Estate on Marley Way in Saltney.
Next month’s show is the first to take place under the club’s new name and will see it showcase its crop of young, hungry fighters.
The club is working on matching up 20 fighters with top talent from Liverpool and North Wales. Deva fighters on the card will include Andy Jones, who was recently called up to captain the Welsh team against a Midlands select squad, and Joseph Lovell, who has also been making waves by reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Championships.
Dave Evans, one of the brains behind the creation of the club 12 months ago, said: “It’s exciting to have the number of boxers we do now ready to fight.
“We are training these young fighters up properly. The kids love it and since we moved to the bigger premises we have a crop of senior fighters who are very promising.”
The show will be hosted at the Wings Club in front of around 200 people.
“The Wings Club was good to us with our first ever show last year,” said Dave. “It is well suited to our needs and we were happy they agreed to have us again.”
The academy aims to provide a community service, not just by giving youths the boxing training, but by allowing other groups to use the building to increase the number of activities on offer for young people.
“We allow recognised Olympic sports to use our facilities,” said Dave. “It’s our policy that if a sport is worthwhile and positive, it is recognised by the Olympic movement.
“We will have tae kwon-do for instance, but we don’t have mixed martial arts, or cage fighting. But we want this to be a true community facility, not just a boxing club.”