Hundreds sign up for new boxing competition at Lowther Castle

Date: Monday 14th May 2018

PENRITH boxing enthusiast Steven Sharkey has launched a new annual competition, the Lord Lonsdale Box Cup, to be competed for annually by boxers aged 10 to 18 at Lowther Castle, former home of the earls of Lonsdale.

There will be a total of 280 contests over four days — 31st May to 3rd June. Boxers have entered from all over the country, including the famous Repton club in the East End of London.

Two female boxers who are part of the England team will also be in action.

Winners of every age and weight category will receive a pair of gloves worth £100 from sponsors RDX Sports. Several Eden-based firms are also supporting the event.

Four years ago, Mr Sharkey, who been involved with the amateur boxing scene for the previous 37 years, put on a display at Lowther Castle about the history of the Lonsdale Belt and boxing.

He said some boxing clubs were unaware that the now British boxing title belt — the Lonsdale Belt — originated from Hugh Cecil Lowther, who lived at the castle more than a century ago. To this day, it is the toughest belt to win, and it brings the best professional boxers together to compete to become its holder.

However, it is competed for only by professionals, and Mr. Sharkey wanted a similar award for amateurs. “We wanted to give up-and-coming kids a goal to aim for in the gyms year round and hopefully keep them in the gyms aiming to train to get the new amateur Lord Lonsdale Box Cup title belts.

“We had been to several box cups over the years — in Denmark, Germany, Hull and Ireland — and have seen the workings of these amazing events which bring the amateur boxing community together, competing against one another to become gold medal winner in their category,” he said.

“Because of legal reasons and trademarks, we cannot give Lonsdale Belts out to winners of this event. They are the property and rights of the British Boxing Board of Control within the professional ranks and we appreciate this and do not want to cause a conflict regarding their preservation of the Lonsdale Belts’ history. We fully appreciate what they do.

“In 2019 we are hoping we have our own trademark for the Lord Lonsdale Amateur Box Cup Belt which will be commissioned by the present day Lord himself, Hugh Lowther, who now resides at Towcett, near Penrith.

“He is fully behind the concept of young boxers competing within his estate to become champions and returning yearly to defend their titles within a 7kg difference to claim their Lord Lonsdale Amateur Box Cup Belts. We are keen to keep working with Lonsdale Estates to create history for the amateur boxing fraternity throughout the UK.

“We have worked tirelessly on making sure every box is ticked and having sponsors now on board to give out prizes to the champions makes this event so much more than a box cup — it makes the boxing fraternity come together.”

Spectator tickets are selling quickly, but some are still available at lordlonsdaleamateurboxcup.co.uk