World champion boxer Glenn McCrory proves knockout draw on Sunderland visit

Former IBF World Cruiserweight title holder Glenn McCrory visited Wearside to inspire a new generation of boxers and hopefully a world champion of the future.

By Neil Fatkin
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 5:15 pm

Glenn was visiting Sunderland Community Hub Boxing Club to speak with youngsters about his epic journey to defeating Patrick Lumumba in 1989 to become world champion.

As well as getting to watch footage of Glenn’s world title fight and question him about his achievements, the young boxers also performed a series of sparring sessions.

The club was set up by local firefighters at Sunderland Central Community Fire Station to help build links with the local community and reduce the amount of antisocial behaviour fire officers were experiencing when on call-outs.

Former IBF Cruiserweight world champion Glen McCrory with Carrying David play actor Micky Cochrane visit Sunderland Central Community Fire Station boxing gym hub.

The club now trains up to 70 youngsters each week as well as running a senior fitness session for local pensioners.

Glenn, from Stanley, said: “I was over the moon to be invited here to what is such an important community facility.

“Boxing changes lives. I’m still just the same kid from County Durham but it certainly changed mine.

“I went on to be world champion and I want the kids here today to realise if I can do it then so can they. Whatever your dream, you can do it.”

Former IBF Cruiserweight world champion Glen McCrory visits Sunderland Central Community Fire Station boxing gym hub.

Glenn was keen to stress the benefits boxing can bring to young people.

He added: ‘‘A lot of these kids could potentially go the wrong way and boxing gives them something to aim for as well as promoting discipline, respect, fitness and friendship.

“If parents can push their children towards community projects like this then it will change them for the rest of their lives.”

Firefighter and head coach Preston Brown, 55, said: “The initiative is all about creating champions in the ring and creating champions in life.

“We’ve seen a real reduction in antisocial behaviour since the venture started. When we used to go out on call we would often get abuse and stones thrown at us.

“The club has helped build a strong relationship with the local community and these incidents have really reduced.

“We also use the club as a vehicle to engage youngsters and educate them on the dangers of fire.”

Glenn was also promoting the relaunch of the biographical play, Carrying David, which chronicles his journey from the backstreets of Stanley to the top of the world.

He was accompanied at the event by playwright Ed Waugh and actor Micky Cochrane who plays Glenn in the one man show.

The play is named after Glenn's adopted brother, David McCrory, who was terminally ill with a degenerative muscle wasting disease and used to be carried to school on the boxer’s back.

Glenn said: “David passed away in 1996 at the age of 29 but he was the real fighter in the family and a massive inspiration to me.

“There was one point when I lost five out of six fights, but seeing David’s courage kept me going and gave me the strength to battle back to become world champion.”

The production will be touring the North East next month with the opening show at the Blyth Phoenix Theatre on September 8 followed by performances at Gala Theatre in Durham on the 16th, Tyne Theatre and Opera House on the 17th and Alnwick Playhouse on the 18th.