Matthew Hatton is the latest stellar name to join forces with Maverick Stars. The former European welterweight champion is set to deliver the 'Sting Like a Bee' initiative from his Stockport gym.
After a long and successful professional career, Matt moved into coaching and currently trains super-lightweight Luke Evans and cruiserweight Damian Chambers. Along with his professional commitments, Matt has been involved in an anti-crime project - an area of work he now wants to develop in tandem with Maverick Stars.
"I've been in the gym three years now, Matthew explained, We've been doing a Friday session for some time now with kids who've been getting involved in knife crime. The difference we see in these kids , with a bit of structure, is fantastic. It's something I really enjoy doing and really look forward to.
"It's a challenge, but I think when you get them in the boxing gym I do see a change. There's a bit of respect there and discipline is taught from day one. It's something you try and instil in the kids. Some of them are craving it [discipline] but they don't have it at home unfortunately. If we can bring a bit of that to them in the boxing gym, teach them new skills, looking out for themselves in the ring and outside too.
The 'Sting Like a Bee' initiative, funded by Maverick Stars, helps to tackle anti-social behaviour by providing young people at risk of crime with free boxing training, life skills and employment opportunities. With gyms closed during lockdown, delivery of the initiative was obviously affected. It's now back up and running throughout Greater Manchester and other parts of the country.
Matt, who trained and competed alongside his world champion brother Ricky, is adamant any further COVID restrictions would be disastrous.
"It's difficult times at the minute with restrictions, but mental health is such an important thing," he said. "People seem to thing it's only [affecting] the adults, but it's the kids as well. Keeping the gyms open - and I'm biased of course - but I think it's so, so important.
"I love a pint! It's been well documented that me and our kid love a pint! But nobody needs a pub. People need the gym, they really do."
After showing Maverick Stars around his gym situated in Pear New Mill in Bredbury, it was time to reflect on his career to date and the next chapter - with a brew of course.
"Some boxers struggle after boxing but I had a great career, every step of the way. I always had one eye on coaching and doing various things connected with the boxing. Boxing's been very good to me. I gave a hell of a lot to boxing and it's been very good to me and still is to this day."