The North East welcomed boxing royalty this weekend as former WBO and WBC world champion Nigel Benn conducted a boxing masterclass in Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
The ‘Dark Destroyer’ mentored a three-hour combat tutorial at Newcastle’s Advanced Fighting Centre, offering fans a chance to be trained by one of Britain’s most successful champions.
Speaking after the seminar, the WBC hall of famer was quick to express his gratitude for the Geordie hospitality.
“I love Geordies; I find people are always warm up this way,” said Benn.
“I was in a Geordie battalion, the Fusiliers, so I’m half Geordie anyway. It’s always very hospitable, what more can I ask for.”
The former British super-middleweight champion is most notably remembered for his dominance in the early 90s, as well as his bitter rivalry with boxing great Chris Eubank.
However, it was another battle, the 1995 bout with Gerald McClellan, that hit the headlines that year when his American opponent collapsed at the conclusion of round 10 after developing a blood clot on the brain.
Benn offered his insight into the topic of head trauma within the sport, and the issues surrounding any possible resolution.
“You have more injuries in other sports; car racing, horse riding. But you get an incident in boxing and its blown out of proportion.
“If you try and ban boxing, it’s going to go underground.
“You ban it and you take people like me off the street – it’s a contact sport, its unfortunately expected.”
Benn was speaking ahead of son Harley’s professional debut at Chelmsford’s Brentwood Centre in November.