THEY were battered and bruised and had suffered many a bloody nose – and that was before the bell sounded for the first of the evening’s fights.

But months of gruelling training paid off for a team of Hampshire policemen and firefighters when they took to the ring in the name of charity.

From mankini-clad policemen to firefighters being carried in on ladders and in caskets, the friendly contest saw 16 men from each organisation squaring up to each other to raise more than £10,000.

There was cheering and jeering from more than 1,000 people who had packed in to Southampton’s Oceana night-club to cheer on their friends and colleagues competing to raise money for two good causes.

A total of £3,200 of that money was raised for the Daily Echo-backed CLIC Sargent Every Step Appeal, a cancer charity aiming to raise £40,000 over the coming year to provide families facing the disease with vital support and advice.

The charity was chosen because of the help it has given to 17-month-old Joseph Bowen, the son of two Hampshire police officers, who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia when he was aged six months.

Soldiers charity Help for Heroes will also benefit to the tune of £7,000 from the event.