Armley gym becomes major force for teaching boxing

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By James Bovington

Since opening in September 2022, The Ministry of Boxing in Armley’s Moorfield Road has established itself as a major force both for teaching the basics of the sport and now since its affiliation as an England Boxing club providing opportunities for novice amateur boxers to fight competitively.

“We’ve got thirty boxers ‘carded’ with England Boxing which is the governing body of the amateur sport,” said owner and gym manager professional boxer Josh Wisher, 25. “This means they can box on shows organised by clubs throughout Yorkshire but also at title competitions organised at venues such as the regional boxing development centre in Bridlington. Ten have competed so far.

“I’ve been doing boxing training at The Ministry since it opened,” said Marcus Broadhead, of Lower Wortley, who, at 25, works in engineering. “I can’t recommend it highly enough. Within a few months I had my first amateur bout, winning by unanimous decision. Both Phil and Josh are enthusiastic and passionate and show a deep interest in helping boxers make progress.

“Owing to my job I train three times weekly on alternate weeks. I’ve had seven bouts already and I’m keen to win a Yorkshire amateur title belt, as we show the rest of the boxing scene what The Ministrysboxers can achieve!’

Armley’s Tyler Williams is strength and conditioning coach The Ministry. Curiosity as to how amateur boxing works led him to train. He’s now had two amateur bouts this year, losing in February but winning in April. The 26-year-old explained: “The more I trained the more my knowledge and confidence grew so within six months I had a bout. I felt relieved, justified and proud on winning having achieved my ambition.”

Gina Day’s four teenage children all train at The Ministry. Son Zac said: “I got a second-round stoppage in my first amateur fight. I felt confident as the training I’d had is the best from top level coaches. I also enjoy coaching the younger children in boxing and my ambition with enough amateur experience is to become a professional boxer.”

Thirteen-year-old Louie was the first youngster to represent The Ministry. Gina said: “Louie must cope with severe asthma and has just had a two-week hospital stay so we’re particularly proud of him.”

“I was delighted at my performance,’ stated Louie. ‘I love training at the gym with Josh and Phil because they’re experts and enthusiastic, but they make us all work hard as they should.”

Coach Phil Wisher said: “Louie’s was a skills bout, meaning novice boxers showcase skills learnt without worrying about getting the win. Louie showed he’d taken on what he’s learnt in the gym. We saw the makings of a talented boxer.” 

Louie is expecting a second skills bout shortly and Max and Tilly are waiting for dates to compete.

Meanwhile there’s no shortage of future boxers. Lucas Montgomery aged eleven is looking forward to competing.

Lucas said: “I attend three sessions a week. I enjoy them because Josh always pushes me to do better. They’re varied and I’m learning something new all the time.”

Josh Wisher is keen to welcome new trainees who are welcome initially to attend sessions on Tuesday or Thursday evenings. Josh Wisher can be contacted via Facebook at Joshwisherboxing or Instagram or on 07717 202784. Phil Wisher is on 07917 715016.

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