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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

'Hitman' Haslam out to land knockout blow on 'Gentleman' George

Ben Haslam: eye of the tiger
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Forget Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton. On Saturday night Ben 'The Hitman' Haslam will step into the ring as part of a racing staff charity boxing night.

Staged at Goffs' Doncaster Sales complex and sponsored by William Hill in aid of Racing Welfare, the night, organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing, will pit 24 pugilistic protagonists from the racing industry against each other, including Haslam and jockeys David Nolan, Ben Robinson and Clifford Lee.

Trainer Haslam is facing off against 'Gentleman' George Primarolo, who was the longtime head of PR for the Tote, and the pair have undergone eight weeks of intensive training to be ready for the opening bell. 

Haslam said: "It's been an experience. I've pulled more muscles and twisted things than I ever thought possible. We've been in a boxing club twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday night.

"It's a very demanding routine and definitely the hardest thing I've had to train for."

The training has yielded visible results, as Haslam added: "My wife Alice says there's a difference! I've lost two stone, but there was two stone to come off. I definitely feel healthier for it in lots of ways."

But whose arm will be raised in victory? Haslam is hoping he has left something up his sleeve to surprise Primarolo, and said: "It was fairly obvious we were going to be fighting each other as we were the only two who weighed above 11 stone.

"I've got to give George about two and a half stone. We get on well and have done a bit of sparring. I might have been trying to handicap myself a bit in the sparring! If I last three rounds I'll be delighted, whether I win or not.

"Although we've done eight weeks' training I'm sure it'll go straight out of the window as soon as we get in the ring, so I imagine the result will be on who can keep their head the longest."

The action starts at 6.15pm and, although all the VIP packages have sold out, general tickets can still be purchased for £20, with a black tie dress code. Participants have already raised more than £7,000 in donations.

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I might have been trying to handicap myself a bit in the sparring

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Ben Haslam
E.W. Terms
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