By James Bovington
THE Ministry of Boxing, in Moorfield Road, Armley, only opened last September – but has quickly established itself as a centre of excellence for improving personal fitness and developing boxing skills for the hundred or so attending weekly.
Manager Joshua Wisher, 24, explained: “It’s gone well with specific groups for women, children, teenagers and ‘tiny tots’.
“We teach boxing skills which could eventually be used competitively. We’re keen to help everyone develop general fitness and boxing definitely improves mental and physical health.”
Former Farnley Academy student Wisher gave up a secure engineering job joining dad Phil in opening ‘The Ministry’.
He explained: “Having our own gym to promote the sport we love and provide opportunities for people in our West Leeds community had been an ambition for some time.
“I’m glad we took the plunge and now I’m developing skills in business as well as boxing. I’m ambitious for ‘The Ministry’ to be at the heart of the community.
“Last year our Children in Need ‘Boxathon’ raised £310. I’d welcome suggestions for ‘The Ministry’ to do more locally to fulfil its potential as our hub of wholesomeness.”
In May Wisher plans a charity fundraising evening giving local people the chance to know him better.
“We’ll divide funds raised between the Armley Action Team, the Ringside Trust assisting retired boxers and CRY, which provides heart screening for young sportspeople.”
The busy boxer’s ambition for 2023 is to qualify to challenge for a national title belt at super middleweight with matches at venues like Leeds Arena.
“My fourth professional bout is at Elland Road on 4 March. I promise a decisive, exciting, exhilarating, explosive electrifying victory. The event’s called The Heat.
“It will get extremely hot for my opponent Fernando Valencia. He’ll be on the receiving end of powerful punishing punches precisely positioned.
“This is what winning requires and I’m tough enough to deliver. I’m totally dedicated to training hard to show just what I can achieve’.
Wisher puts his status as a rising contender down to the excellent training received from his dad and coach Phil Wisher.
‘‘I am so proud of Josh,” he said. “He was twice a regional amateur champion and has matured into a seriously hard and capable boxer with the makings of a champion.
“Josh needs longer harder fights to challenge him mentally and physically. But he won’t forget his roots and his priority remains as much opportunities for people in West Leeds as making a name for himself.”
Wisher is inviting local business to invest in his potential through sponsorship.
“I’ve got a few sponsors but would be grateful for more to develop my career,” said Josh, who is best contacted via his Facebook blog Joshwisherboxing.