Brilliant Start for Conner

Brilliant Start For Conner

Conner Tudsbury made an impressive start to his first AIBA Men's World Boxing Championships with a commanding victory over Israel's Yan Zak.

The Maverick Stars ambassador won his cruiserweight contest via unanimous decision on day three of the tournament. The victory was all the more impressive considering the fact Conner stepped up from light-heavyweight to compete in Belgrade and was facing a much bigger opponent.

The 21year old GB Boxer, a product of Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club, is back out in action in the next round on Sunday afternoon.

Follow all the action here:

2021 AIBA Men's World Boxing Championships - YouTube

 

Life Changing Chance

Life Changing Chance

Another Maverick Star will be flying the flag at the forthcoming AIBA World Boxing Championships in Serbia. Conner Tudsbury has been added to the select group of GB Boxers and joins super-heavyweight and fellow ambassador Delicious Orie at the tournament. 

Conner is set to step up a weight division to compete in the new cruiserweight (81-86kg) category. The trip to Belgrade completes a fantastic year for the 21year old Mancunian who has already competed internationally at the EUBC U22 European championships and the Socikas tournament in Lithuania where he won a gold medal.

“The opportunity [to compete at the new weight] was there so I've taken it," Conner said. "I reckon I'll be good at cruiserweight! I've got the strength, the speed, the fitness.  I'm looking forward to the World Championships. It's going to be great. It's a life changing opportunity. I want to win and bring home the gold."

Although confident he can make a huge impression at the tournament, Conner intends to compete back down in the light heavyweight division in the future.

2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, (26 October – 6 November 2021)

A Maverick Hunter

A Maverick Hunter

Geordie boxing prospect April Hunter has joined forces with Maverick Stars to spearhead a campaign to raise CPR awareness and provide vital defibrillators.

The unbeaten fighter joins the charity as ambassador and, along with continuing her success in the ring, is determined to succeed in highlighting a cause very close to her heart.  Her cousin Paul Gardner died on his 24th birthday whilst on holiday in 2018. The PGCPR app was set up in his name to raise funds to buy defibrillators for the North Shields area where Paul and April were born and raised.

"He [Paul] was in Ibiza with his friends and he got into difficulty in the water," April explained. "He was the only one who knew CPR. He was still breathing, his heart was still beating when he was out of the water but........even if someone knew CPR, you never know, but it would have been nice if someone there had given him the best chance.  I want to highlight the importance of CPR and defibs. It's something I want to do."

April will work with Maverick Stars while she continues in her quest for a world title. A talented footballer who was once on Newcastle's books, the 26year old fights in her home city on Saturday (16th October) on a bill which includes her friend Savanah Marshall, Chris Eubank Jr, and fellow Maverick Stars ambassador Brad Rea. All the action is live on Sky Sports.

Jazza in the CommUNITY launches in Liverpool

Jazza in the CommUNITY Launches in Liverpool

Jazza Dickens has launched a new initiative in Liverpool to help families of addiction.

In partnership with Maverick Stars Trust, 'Jazza in the ComUNITY' is offering a free eight week course to help parents in recovery rebuild relationships with their children.

Having been through issues caused by addiction with his father Colin, the issue is close to Jazza's heart and this initiative is something he has always wanted to do.

“I’ve suffered the effects of years of substance abuse,” Jazza explains. “I want to show people how me and my Dad built our relationship. It’s one thing being inside addiction, it’s another completely different thing being outside of it. It’s worlds apart. It’s hard to function together when all you know is one way.”

The programme will be based at the Derry Mathews Boxing Academy on the edge of Liverpool city centre. Families will be encouraged to attend the free sessions, aimed at providing exactly the kind of support Jazza longed for when he was a child.

“The parent can feel forgiven. The child will always forgive the parent,” Jazza says, “It’s just having the tools to do it and the support. That’s the main thing. Not only does the child need to feel they’re cared for and loved and they can go forward with their life, but the parent can also do that too.”

Happily, Colin is now eleven years in recovery and the bond between father and son is evident as they laugh and chat whilst standing inside one of the boxing rings at the gym located upstairs at Marybone Community Centre

“We used to play snooker one day a week to help build our relationship,” Colin says. “When you come into the real world after you stop using, you’re faced with ‘who am I?’ You’re faced with shame and guilt and lots of sadness at how you behaved.  You’re hit with the reality that your son witnessed all this stuff.”

Colin’s story is one of pain and regret, but also love. After several stays in detox units, it was a dramatic turn of events that eventually led to his moment of clarity and the long road to getting clean.

“I’d walked out of six detoxes,” he says with a shrug. “That last time I had a house fire. I was in hospital for three days and I came back home to my house and the windows were burnt out upstairs and I sat there thinking, ‘what’s become of my life?’

“Jazza, he’d moved out by now as I’d moved to another level of addiction. All the boxing England stuff and trophies went up in that fire, didn’t they lad!’” Colin says, turning and smiling at Jazza. “All the boxing stuff you won; it all went in that fire. I can remember crying, thinking, ‘what next? What else am I going to lose?’

For more information, contact Colin Dobie on 07450 268161 or colindobie2099@live.co.uk

DJ Hungry For More After Olympic Experience

DJ Hungry For More After Olympic Experience

Delicious Orie (DJ) is even more motivated to reach the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after spending time in Tokyo as bronze-medallist Frazer Clarke's sparring partner.

A Maverick Stars Ambassador, DJ has high ambitions over the next Olympic cycle.

"It was amazing, I miss it already," said DJ. "The atmosphere was immense, the environment was very positive, everyone was so supportive and it really felt like a family within the whole of Team GB.

"That feeling got me thinking, I want to be a part of this at Paris 2024. It's only three years away so I want to get as much experience as possible, but my aim is to get to those Olympic games."

Despite lofty ambitions in the ring, DJ is staying grounded outside of it, going along to his local boxing club to help out whenever he can.

"South Wye Boxing Club is like family to me," he said. "I'm not calling myself a coach at all, I just wanted to give some words of encouragement and try a give a few tips from my experience."

Train Like a GB Boxer

Train Like a GB Boxer

Maverick Stars ambassador Conner Tudsbury and James Perry have launched a new initiative at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club this week, giving kids the chance to train like a member of Team GB.

Running over two weeks, sessions include nutrition tips, Olympic style training and meal preps.

We would like to thank Naturally Nourish Meal Prep for supporting us and providing free meals for the project.

Jazza’s Ready for Action

Jazza Ready for Action

Liverpool’s Jazza Dickens is ready for his world title tilt and is already planning his next project – helping families struggling with addiction. The 30year old takes on old rival Kid Galahad for the IBF Featherweight on Saturday, 7 August.

The pair met as young unbeaten pros in a British title fight in 2013, with the Sheffield man claiming a tenth-round stoppage. But this time, at Matchroom's Fight Camp show live on DAZN, Jazza is expecting a different outcome.

"I think I set my feet a bit better now. When I turned pro people used to say that I needed to plant my feet and I didn't know what they were on about!" Jazza said. "I've grown, I've matured, I'm 30 now. I think maturity is the main factor."

After the fight, Jazza intends to turn his attention to a project he's developed in partnership with Maverick Stars - supporting people who've suffered as a result of addiction. Throughout his childhood, Jazza watched his father Colin struggle with drug dependency. Thankfully, Colin is now twelve years in recovery and the pair will work together to help other families going through similar experiences.

“You lose everything [with addiction] and I think families are usually the last to hold on until they say that they can have no more. You should never lose family. Me and my Dad rebuilt our relationship after a lifetime of addiction, so if we can, we can show a way and work a programme.”

Boxing Education

Boxing Education

Young Salfordians keen on pursuing a career in boxing, or other sports related jobs, can now follow their dreams at Walkden ABC.

From September (2021) 'The Boxing College' will open its doors to students aged 16 and over. Based at the recently launched Walkden ABC, the 'Educational Boxing Programme' will offer Level 1, 2 & 3 Diploma in Sport along with Level 4, 5 & 6 University Programmes. A classroom has been set up at the gym, allowing boxing training and study to take place all under one roof.

Walkden ABC founder and Maverick Stars ambassador Jamie Moore said: "I was grafting, delivering beer [at the start of his boxing career] and it was a pipe dream  to do boxing day in day out. This would have been my ideal scenario. That's why we've done it."

The Boxing College is holding an Open Day at Walkden ABC (Walkden Town Centre) between 12-2pm on Saturday, 31 July. All are welcome to pop in to find out more.

Sheffield Steel Stars

Sheffield Steel Stars

Maverick Stars Trust has launched a new partnership using football and boxing to help change young lives. The charity is working with Sheffield Wednesday FC and the Steel City Gym to deliver a series of workshops for local schoolchildren.

Sheffield's most successful amateur boxer Dalton Smith, now a leading light in the pro ranks, will be heading up the project along with boxing coach Pearce Gudgeon. The ‘Sting Like a Bee’ programme tackles issues such as conflict and anger management whilst encouraging team building and exercise.

"I go back to my childhood days, and it's something I didn't have when I was young," Dalton said. "You don't have to be a boxer, but if I can give something back, then it's nice for me to do that."

Head of Community at Sheffield Wednesday, Marcus Brameld added: "We're working with hard-to-reach kids, to give them the opportunity to come into a gym like this will be fantastic. I can only see it growing from here. It'll be great to see kids aspire to Dalton's level.”

To celebrate the launch of the initiative, members of the Sheffield Wednesday Academy took part in a training session at the gym. Click below to see how they got on.

Olympic Life for Conner

Olympic Life for Conner

Maverick Stars Trust ambassador Conner Tudsbury has settled into the Olympic lifestyle as he helps prepare his fellow GB Boxing team mates for the Tokyo Games.

Conner flew out with the rest of the squad ahead of the tournament, which begins next week. While qualification for this Games has come a little soon for the man from Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club, the experience of being on the GB squad, sparring and training with the team, is vital ahead of the next Olympic cycle. "It's brilliant to be involved and to get to sample the atmosphere and a country I'm really interested in," Conner said. "Obviously I'll be working with Ben Whittaker (GB light-heavyweight) to help sharpen him ahead of the competition. I can't wait for it to be my turn, which it will be, at Paris in 2024!"

It's been a great year for Conner who capped his first international tournament by claiming gold in May at the Socikas tournament in Lithuania.