HALSTEAD and Essex University Boxing Club coach Gordon Charlesworth with his views on boxing

WHEN I reflect of my journey into boxing in 1974, the first impressions I gathered when entering the gym, was of the sweat, the noise and the general goodwill from people in the Colchester amateur boxing club.

The club was run by former Police Superintendent Derek Rulten, who with the help of Bob Lodge (who has sadly passed away), coached the seniors, and former Police Inspector Mervyn Fairweather who coached the Junior section.

The Colchester boxing club had a big membership, being the only boxing club in town with training taking place in an old army Nissan hut on the former Le Cateau barracks, now being redeveloped as a housing estate at Calvary Barracks.

The Nissan hut was timber framed with an asbestos roof, such was the ignorance of harmful building materials at the time with single paned window frames that ran heavy with the condensation that occurs when the sweat from the effort and hard work met with the coldness of the night.

Recently, a lot of publicity and protest movements have been prevalent in the current climate, where the question of racial divide has risen its head when faced with considered brutality from those who are there to serve and protect to those who perhaps destabilise society's norms.

This shocking behaviour was enacted out in America and captured on video for the world to see.

I know when I entered that Colchester gym and was confronted with a heaving mass of hard-working individuals, the colour of a man’s skin was never even a thought.

When you described another boxer, you described their prowess, how fast their hands were, how hard they punched, whether they could take a punch. You talked about their courage and whether they could beat another.

Much comment and opinion has been offered by an endless stream of commentators the world over. And yet within the boxing world, civilised debate is the currency used.

That is not to say that the same traits of brutality and injustice cannot been seen in boxing.

A recent example is the brutality shown in the Gerald McClelland-Nigel Benn fight with McClelland now needing 24 hour care.

A sense of injustice is the verdict shown in the first Fury-Wilder bout, considered by many knowledgeable people, that Fury well won even though he was put down in the 11th round.

Other forms of discrimination were displayed, when women entered the boxing world but with the likes of Nicola Adams and Katie Taylor making their mark, women’s boxing is now an accepted and welcome addition.

All forms of discrimination exist in every part of life whether transgender, race, tall or small, in football and other sports, it will raise its head too.

But it is how you manage it, how you draw the positives, the focus, the goodwill and move on with it.

You will never eradicate forms of discrimination, but you must look at how equality is challenged and the success stories that go with it.

In some people’s opinions, the sport of boxing is considered barbaric, two fit trained boxers standing in the middle of a ring ready to inflict and hurt each.

However it also signifies the respect, humbleness, courage and equality shown by those competitors and endorsed by those who view the spectacle with admiration.