COVENTRY’s own Rocky Balboa will define his fighting career in front of thousands of people at the Ricoh Arena in late November at a charity boxing night.
Former mascot of Coventry City Football Club – Geoff Bedford – last stepped into the ring 24 years ago at the bouncing age of 20.
Now, aged 44, the Radford Rampager will put his 50 per cent winning record on the line when taking on a to be confirmed challenger on November 28.
Contesting three, three minute, rounds at the Ricoh Arena’s Jaguar Exhibition Hall, Geoff will be raising money for Cancer Research UK after his mother passed away from the condition in 2007.
One of six brothers, Geoff first started boxing at the age of ten at Willenhall Social Club and fought in four fights – losing two and winning two, the last fight of which was won on points.
A former landlord at the White Lion in Brinklow, Geoff only signed up to the fight in late August and has been training under the guidance of the city’s Toe2Toe gym in Canley.
The gym is owned by Leighton Brady – the grandson of former Coventry based legendary Irish fighter Mick Leahy, who famously defeated Sugar Ray Robinson in 1965.
Though Mick passed away in 2010, the boxing legacy continues as Leyton is providing Geoff with some expert tips in preparation for the fight.
An excited Geoff said he’s raring to get back in the ring and cannot wait for his attempt to put his current deadlock fighting record straight.
The Radford based fighter said: “I received an email at the end of August with details of the event and wanted to put my 50 per cent record right with one last fight.
“I’m doing my best to get fit for the fight and have been training since the start of September – my first training session back was quite an experience.
“We’re getting there, we’ve now advanced to sparring sessions and are well on the way to being in great shape before the fight takes place.”
The event will be made even more significant given Geoff’s son, Lewis Bedford aged 20, will also be donning the gloves in his first ever amateur fight.
Lewis will also be raising funds for Cancer Research after his uncle passed away several years ago.
Making the last minute decision to fight, Lewis admits he’s always had an interest in boxing – though has never considered stepping in the ring.
The 20-year-old added: “Training has been okay – though I haven’t been able to get to the gym as much as others due to college commitments.
“All my mates are buzzing for the night, they can’t believe that I’m actually going to be stepping into a ring.
“I’ve received some fantastic support from a couple of big sponsors including Pure Customs Garage in Coventry and some close friends and family.”
Geoff can be sponsored by visiting his official just giving page, www.justgiving.com/Geoff-Bedford/