A POLICEMAN, a plumber and a computer salesman swapped their day jobs for boxing gloves and braved the ring for charity.

Hundreds of supporters packed into The Regal at Wallingford to cheer on amateur fighters at South Moreton Boxing Club’s Christmas Cracker Rumble.

South Moreton Boxing Club is the only one in the county to offer white collar boxing, which features fighters with little or no experience who hail from ‘white collar’ jobs.

The charity event last Saturday, in its sixth year, featured ten fights.

Organiser and South Moreton head coach John Houston said it was the biggest crowd so far.

He hopes to have raised between £3,000 and £4,000 for Warborough charity Footsteps Foundation, which provides intensive physiotherapy for children with neurological disorders.

Mr Houston said: “It was a bit of Vegas in Wallingford for one night. We had it all, lights, lasers and video.

“We had a real cross-section of people. There was a psychotherapist versus a computer salesman, a policeman versus a recruitment consultant, and a builder against a plumber.

“Boxing is a fantastic leveller. It doesn’t matter if you are a company director or a plumber, it’s all even-steven when you step into the ring and people respect you for that.”

Mr Houston said the prospect of taking on an opponent in front of 400 spectators was a great motivator to get fit.

He said: “The Rumble sets you a target. People have that curiosity about going into the ring under the lights with everyone watching.

“The crowds very much get behind them. Everyone fighting tends to bring 15 to 20 of their own supporters. It’s extremely daunting and it’s a huge character test. It’s just you against one other person. There is nowhere to hide.”

Former British heavyweight champion Julius Francis and boxing promoter Frank Maloney were special guests. Prizes and sporting memorabilia were also auctioned.

Referee Ian Honeywood named computer salesman Don Marsh as Fighter of the Night after he took on a psychotherapist.

Mr Marsh, 45, said: “I think he was trying to get into my head. It was a very close fight. It was my fifth Rumble and it was definitely the biggest crowd and best show put on, and the standard of fighting has also been elevated.”