The gloves are off for unbeaten boxing pals

BOYHOOD friends Lawrence Bennett and Alex Gibbens will be reunited in a huge boxing show in Southampton this weekend both looking to preserve their professional unbeaten records.

Bennett and Gibbens were both pupils at Bognor Regis Community College and now both are unbeaten professional boxers looking to extend their perfect ring records at Club Oceana in Southampton on Saturday night.

Light-heavyweight Bennett said: “I remember Alex at school. Everyone knew he was a top boxer, while I was more interested in running.

“I did have a couple of amateur fights, but opponents kept pulling out, I got fed up and drifted away from the gym.

“A few people have asked me about boxing and I thought I had better give it a go before it’s too late. I don’t want to sitting in the pub in years to come telling people what I could have done.”

Gibbens was a top amateur – he boxed for England and won Junior ABA honours – and has put together five straight wins in the paid ranks, while Bennett is making up for lost time.

Bennett was a late comer to boxing and at the age of 29, he looks set for a fantastic fighting future after pulling off a tremendous shock win in Sweden in April.

Stefan Scallengbruber was the crowd favourite in Linkoping and had won four of his five fights, but Bennett used his southpaw skills to snatch an upset four-round points win.

Bennett said: “I took the fight at short notice and just went over there for the experience.

“It was a great experience and now I want to see how far I can go.”

Bennett trains at Riley’s gym in Bognor and at a gym in Swindon where manager Keith Mayo’s boxers are based.

Southampton-based King Davidson, bronze medallist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, tops the bill in a 12-round clash for the vacant WBO International light-middleweight title against Joseph Lamptey and home-town favourites Tony Hill, Matty Tew and Darryl Still also box.

Tickets for the show can be brought by calling 07539003311.