Leigh Park Amateur Boxing Club is a long established, well respected Club within the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Region. The Club was formed in the Leigh Park Community Centre and operated out of a hall with very little equipment. Punch bags had to be hung up on each training evening and sparring took place inside a ring formed of chairs. Despite the limited facilities the Club continued and thrived.
Having been established in the early 1970s it has produced a number of highly regarded Boxers and Coaches. Roy Tungatt, Dean Frost and Tony Oakey all gained National Titles under the guidance of Geoff Weston.
Tony Oakey reached the Senior ABA Championship Finals on three occasions winning the National title twice. He also represented England on a number of occasions. He also went onto achieve great success as a professional boxer, becoming the British, Commonwealth and WBU Light Heavyweight Champion. In 2009 he won the PRIZEFIGHTER Light Heavyweight Title.
Nigel Philpott also reached the Senior ABA Championship Finals and represented England.
Dean Frost, Chris Bessey and Billy Bessey all started their boxing careers with Leigh Park A.B.C. and went on to achieve success in the Army. Dean Frost reaching the Senior ABA Finals, Billy Bessey winning a Senior ABA Title and Chris Bessey MBE winning six Senior ABA titles as well as a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal. He also represented and captained the National Boxing Team on a number of occasions.
In 2011 the Boxing Club moved away from the Community Centre into a small industrial unit in West Leigh. This enabled the Club to have a permanent base where all equipment could be installed and left in place, even a proper boxing ring. Within a year we had outgrown this space and was fortunate enough to secure funding from National Lottery Fund (Places People Play). With the support of the Trustees of Leigh Park Community Association we secured a 10 year lease on part of the Community Centre and spent 8 months and £30,000 on our modern, fit for purpose Boxing Gym. Special thanks to Sandy Taylor, for her patience and perserverance in obtaining the funding and also Councillor Mark Johnson for his help in enabling us to return to the Community Centre, the rightful home of LEIGH PARK AMATEUR BOXING CLUB.
The Club is run by a group of Volunteer Coaches and Committee Members, who all give up their time to provide a much needed recreational facility within the heart of Leigh Park.