HAVE you ever wanted to take up boxing? How about while also raising cash to give cancer the uppercut?

Now, you can get your chance.

Ultra White Collar Boxing, the organisation behind the fundraising effort,has set a target of raising £1 million for Cancer Research UK in a single month - and is inviting people in Southampton to join in.

The good news for participants is that they won’t have to pay a penny to train for the event being staged at the Grand Harbour Hotel on July 16.

Those taking part are given eight weeks of gym-based training under the guidance of experienced coaches before taking part in a bout in front of hundreds of their friends, family, and colleagues.

So far, Ultra White Collar Boxing has raised almost £20 million for the charity, with more than 160,000 people from all walks of life taking part – most stepping into a boxing ring for the very first time.

Those taking part are asked to raise a suggested minimum of £50 and sell tickets for their event. Gym-based training for the event begins in Southampton in the week commencing May 24.

It is open to anyone aged 18 and over, and so far, the eldest competitor to take part was 70.

For their bout of three two-minute rounds, competitors are evenly matched in their training group with boxers of similar ability.

Jon Leonard, who heads up Ultra White Collar Boxing, said: “Of course, our efforts to raise money for this important charity to carry out its vital work have been hit very hard.

“All our fundraising efforts are down to the incredible people who take part and put in eight weeks of hard work to achieve their goal.

“I would say to anyone in Southampton thinking of taking part to give it a go - it is an excellent opportunity to take up a new challenge after the end of lockdown.Everyone is welcome. The bonds which are formed amongst our competitors are incredible with many people who would never have met in everyday life forming lifelong friendships.”

Simon Ledsham, Director of Fundraising at Cancer Research UK, said: “The success of Ultra Events and the £22m raised so far is phenomenal.

“We are so grateful to the organisers behind each event, every person that signs up to take part and the generosity of their friends and family who sponsor them.

“Together they are helping to fund our pioneering research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

“The truth is, COVID-19 has slowed us down.  But we will never stop and we are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.

“We remain reliant on the generosity of the public to fund our life-saving work and we’re eagerly anticipating the return of fundraising events with all necessary COVID-19 guidelines in place.

“Thanks to research funded by supporters, who take part in activities like an Ultra Event, today 2 in 4 people survive cancer – and our ambition is to accelerate progress so that within the next 20 years, this figure will reach 3 in 4 and enable more families to stay together for longer.”

Anyone interested in taking up the UWCB challenge in Southampton can visit: https://www.ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/locations/southampton/