A RETIRED boxer turned dedicated coach is returning to the ring for one last fight in a bid to help his students make it to the top.

Darrel Church, who is the owner and head coach of Church Boxing in Maldon, retired from the sport more than four years ago.

He now dedicates his time, seven days a week, to up-and-coming junior boxers in the area.

Darrel will be stepping back into the boxing ring to raise funds, which would enable the junior boxers to travel abroad and compete in major competitions.

He said: “I understand it's hard for parents to pay for their children so I thought what a great way to fundraise; me getting back in the ring.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Fight - Darrel Church competingFight - Darrel Church competing (Image: Submitted)

“I’m hoping to have all of Maldon and surrounding areas out in force at this event raising funds to get these young talented kids the chance to achieve their dreams this year.”

The fight will be taking place at Circus Tavern in Purfleet, on March 16.

After Covid hit, Darrel, who boxed as a professional, started to train boxers of all ages.

He soon fell in love with coaching and things went from there, with Darrel later opening his gym, Church Boxing.

He added: “We’re looking to go to Sweden and Portugal, to take the junior boxers to the biggest competitions. 

“If we can fundraise to get there and achieve their dreams.

“There’s children from schools who weren’t doing well, they’ve come to the gym and are doing so much better in school. It’s just all-round great for them."

Before Christmas, Darrel set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds.

He said: “The target is £5,000 and we’re hoping to raise that amount. 

“We’ve got a lot of people supporting me and getting behind me. Especially after the Christmas period - people saying they’re coming to support me. I think they’ll come out in force.

“When I opened my gym, we had a massive influx of juniors - it went to boxing around the country, boxing abroad. They’re doing brilliant.

"We have a lot of adults as well, but we do a lot with juniors.”

Darrel’s GoFundMe page can be viewed here: gofundme.com/f/raising-funds-for-our-juniors-to-box-the-world