BOXERS have urged young people to drop the knives and pick up the gloves after yet another stabbing in Worcester.

Worcester boxer Jon 'DP' Shaw attacked the 'cowardly' knife culture in the wake of an outbreak of violence last month.

Other, experienced city boxing coaches joined the chorus of condemnation as they seek to land a knockout blow against knife violence and reach out to young people, turning them away from a life of crime.

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The 31-year-old, who trains and coaches at a gym in Sheriff Street, has urged young people to train for the ring rather than going out armed on the streets.

We reported last month how violent incidents in the city provoked an armed response from West Mercia Police.

Some young boxers from Worcester Amateur Boxing Club visited the Knife Angel at Cathedral Square to increase awareness of the perils of carrying blades.

Worcester News: STANCE: Young boxers make a stand against knife violence in WorcesterSTANCE: Young boxers make a stand against knife violence in Worcester

Coach Shaun Finn, said: "Put the knives down and start boxing."

Both Mr Shaw and Mr Finn believe that boxing can change the direction of young lives and potentially save those lives.

Mr Shaw, a father-of-one from Malvern, said: "It isn’t brave to carry knives. It is stupid and selfish. It is cowardly. There will only ever be two outcomes - a serious injury or death or a lengthy prison sentence.

Worcester News: SKILL: Kelsey Martin Davies who is being trained by Jon DP ShawSKILL: Kelsey Martin Davies who is being trained by Jon DP Shaw

"What’s brave, what’s big and what shows real pride is an individual that works hard and dedicates themselves to a combat sport such as boxing where they are willing to test their own physical and mental boundaries in a challenging yet sincerely rewarding environment.

"Don’t be a silly little coward. Drop the knives and raise the gloves. That’s what real individuals do."

Worcester News: OUTSPOKEN: Jon DP Shaw wants people to put up the gloves and drop the knivesOUTSPOKEN: Jon DP Shaw wants people to put up the gloves and drop the knives

 

Four men were arrested following reports of men carrying weapons in Wyld's Lane in May.

A man was also stabbed in the stomach on Park Street, just off of Wyld's Lane, on Wednesday, May 25.

A machete attack took place in the same road on November 24, 2019, leaving the victim with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

Last November we reported on a 16-year-old who hacked two men in the face with a 'zombie' knife in Worcester, leaving one victim with a gaping wound and a broken skull.

Mr Shaw, a heavyweight boxer and coach, says he wants to reach out to young people including a 14-year-old handed a criminal behaviour order last month.

Mr Shaw said he was prepared to offer 'free training' if the youth's legal guardian was able to bring him to his gym, DP Boxing in Sherriff Street. Mr Shaw said he would personally sponsor his fees.

The 31-year-old coach, busy training for back-to-back fights, said that classes like his were structured, including for youths aged between 10-15 years old.

Worcester News: CHAMPS: Reece Butler and Jayden Bryce Midlands championsCHAMPS: Reece Butler and Jayden Bryce Midlands champions

Shaun Finn, a level two boxing coach at Worcester City Amateur Boxing Club, said the sport taught young people ‘discipline and respect’.

“You can transform their lives, turn their lives around and they go on to try and give something back, ” he said.

Worcester News: PROSPECTS: Ryan Jones of Worcester Amateur Boxing ClubPROSPECTS: Ryan Jones of Worcester Amateur Boxing Club

Affiliated to England Boxing, the club is based in Vincent Road, Worcester. It takes young people, boys and girls, from the age of 10 and has around 20 to 30 members learning the sport under the eye of level three coach, Michael Underwood.

Mr Finn, 61, said the club was there 'to help people fulfil their dreams in boxing'.

Caitlyn Wise, 15, has been boxing at the club since the age of 11. She has only recently returned from the Golden Girl Boxing Championship in Sweden after narrowly missing out in the semi-final.

Worcester News: EXAMPLE: Caitlyn Wise, 15, of Worcester Amateur Boxing ClubEXAMPLE: Caitlyn Wise, 15, of Worcester Amateur Boxing Club

Other success has been achieved with Ryan Jones at the youth elite open class. He has been at Sheffield GB headquarters sparring with the European youth team and the other boxers.

The club has seen five Midlands champions this year from elite boxers down to schoolboy level.