Former Devon keeper slips on new gloves for charity boxing bout

Duncan Boase (left) in Devon
Duncan Boase (left) in Devon's double-winning team of 1994

FORMER Devon wicketkeeper Duncan Boase will be pulling on a different type of gloves when he steps into the ring to take part in a charity boxing tournament.

Boase, who has just turned 50, has played cricket for Tavistock, Plymouth Bovey Tracey and latterly Cornwood for more than 30 years.

He was Devon’s man behind the stumps when they defeated Lincolnshire at Lord’s in the 1994 Holt Cup final.Boxer Boase

Boase, who played rugby for Devonport High School Old Boys and Plymouth Civil Service in his younger days, was invited by Corporate Boxing Heroes to take part in their charity show at Plymouth Pavilions.

There was just one problem: Boase had never boxed before in his life.

Boase has been learning the finer points of boxing at the Hybrid gym in central Plymouth and is counting down the days to his debut in the ring.

“You sign up for 15 weeks of intensive training – and believe me it is brutal,” said Boase.

“Rhys, my son, has been boxing for about a year now but I had never tried it before.

“Down at the gym we are really put through it. Fitness and stamina work, skipping and now we are on to sparring – and we do that at every session.

“When you start sparring it is with a little trepidation and you have to learn how to take a hit.

“Doing seven or eight two-minute rounds with a break of a minute in between is hard graft.

Devon's youthful keeper in 1995“All the work I have done is starting to pay off as I have learned how to duck and dive at the right times and get my hands in the right places.

“So far I have lost around five kilos and feel fitter now than I did when I was 30.”

Two teams are being assembled by rival gyms for the charity show, which is booked for June 24.

Boase and the guys from Hybrid will take on a team from Plympton ABC gym, where Mikey Dann and Daryl Grigg are trainers.

“Rhys is in their team, but as he is my son I have been told I can’t box him,” said Boase.

“The matchmakers will look at all of us and fix us up with someone of roughly the same age and build.”

The charity show is on behalf of the Children’s Hospice South West group, which has a hospice in St Austell.

Boxers have to raise at least £500 to take part and Boase has already exceeded that target. His own target is sizeably more.

“So far I am up to £650 but would like to get up round the £2,000 some of last year’s boxers raised,” said Boase, who works in the transport industry.

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