Down syndrome doesn’t stop Luke from realizing his boxing dreams

An ‘inspirational’ man with Down syndrome has achieved his dream after being crowned the winner of a charity boxing bout he fought in memory of a family friend who died of cancer.

Luke Gibson underwent a grueling eight-week training program and dieting before winning his competition in front of 25 family members and friends in a showcase event.

The 28-year-old from Mansfield, Notts, wanted to prove that ‘anyone can do it’ and his efforts in the ring raised more than £830 for Cancer Research UK.

Luke is so proud of himself for winning the fight that he gets a tattoo with the word ‘superhero’ to remember it.

Luke’s mother Denise, known as Dee, said that her son has loved boxing for eight years and after seeing her brother-in-law participating in an Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) event, he was asked to compete. Was inspired to step into the ring.

Park Road’s Luke then signed up for UWCB, which gives participants the opportunity to participate in eight weeks of free gym-based training before taking part in a showcase event in front of hundreds of spectators.

Participants are asked to sell tickets to the show and raise at least £50 for Cancer Research UK.

So far, Ultra Events, the company that runs UWCB, has raised £23 million for the charity.

The 49-year-old mother-of-dee, who is a full-time caregiver to Luke and autistic son Jason, said: “About eight years ago my brother boxed at a UWCB event and it sparked Luke’s interest.

“Then, when my son-in-law Jamie participated in two events over the years, his interest piqued. Seeing Jamie go out and participate in the ring really made him want to do the same thing.

“After the last one in March last year, we chatted with the people concerned and Luke was good to go.”

luke had never boxed before

Luke, who works as a greeter and cheesecake maker at Heywood’s Home of Alret Cheesecakes in Mansfield Woodhouse, has never boxed before.

He put in all his preparation – shedding half a stone in eight weeks. Luke cut down on beer for about two months and kept a close eye on what he was eating.

Mum Day said: “He trained at the Body & Soul gym in Mansfield town centre. In the evening, Luke and I would get a ten-minute bus.

“I watched him during most of my training and, although he was a little slower than the others in the beginning, I knew his determination would see him through.

“I had to cover my eyes when he started a fight with others in the ring—to the safety of boxers other than Luke. He said he was a tank and actually packed a punch.

“The people in the gym were just amazing — especially Luke’s trainers Jim and Michelle.

“They understood her pace and were always very practical in going over things with her, but didn’t treat her very differently to everyone else, which was great.

“Luke had also given up beer for seven weeks before the fight and was very conscious about what he was eating.”

The Tattoo Design That Luke Gibson Is Getting To Remember Fight Night
The Tattoo Design That Luke Gibson Is Getting To Remember Fight Night

They walked the ring at the John Fretwell Complex in Mansfield on Sokholme Road, wrapped in a red cape to voice the superhero by Simon Curtis.

Luke had about 25 family members and friends, including siblings Matt, 30, Sonja, 27, and Jason, 17.

Luke dedicated his fundraising to Cancer Research UK to Tony Bates, a local care operator who died of cancer just before Luke’s training in October, as well as local boy Joel Smedley, who had previously been taken from cancer. Was. The year.

Fromm said: “Tony was just 45 and she was a really good family friend who was in our lives for many years. She would have been very proud of him, as we all are.”

Luke won his match by knockout in the third round, having already defeated his opponent once in the previous round.

Luke won his match
Luke won his match

Froome said: “Once the referee counted to ten the place erupted, and there was a complete commotion after Luke was declared the winner.

“Luke was smiling in the ring, feeling very proud of himself. It was really like a dream come true for him.

“He showed that anyone can achieve anything with the right discipline and determination.

“I was so emotional… He made us all so proud.

“After the fight a lot of people told us that Luke is an inspiration to other young people – both disabled and handicapped.

“He really enjoyed that first pint after his win. For one night, he felt like a superhero.”

Luke plans to get a tattoo on his right arm, which he designed himself, featuring the date of the fight and a pair of boxing gloves with the words ‘Luke’ and ‘Superhero’.

Luke said: “I was so happy and excited to have achieved this dream.

“I did it because I wanted to lose weight and help with cancer research in memory of Tony and Joel … I did it for them.

“I’ll get a tattoo done so I’ll never forget my big night.”

The next Ultra White Collar Boxing event will take place in Mansfield on 26 March and training will begin in the week beginning 31 January.

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