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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Floats like a butterfly stings like Oli: defeated Bell keen on McCoy bout

Oli Bell has suffered nasal damage after entering the world of boxing
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Oli Bell has emerged from his first competitive boxing bout with a broken nose, a wedge of cash for a wonderful charity and the desire to take on Sir Anthony McCoy in the ring.

The ITV Racing presenter has already raised well over £2,000 for children's charity WellChild and survived a white collar rumpus with a pugilist surveyor who used his greater experience to defeat Bell in Thursday's three-round contest at the Clapham Grand in London.

Bell, greeted by supporters to the backing of Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones, said: "I was told my opponent, a 24-year-old surveyor called George Cosgrove, hadn't fought before, but they put me away because he had.

"Even so, I cut him in the first round, which I'm pretty sure I won, even though my contact lens popped out, so I could see out of only one eye.

"In round two I tried to go for the kill. I started chasing him around the ring but that knackered me out. He also kept hitting me on the head repeatedly and unfortunately he broke my nose.

"A mate was watching and said when the nose got hit the blood just flew out. It was pretty brutal.

"By round three I was so tired that I just wanted to get out the ring. With 20 seconds to go the guy was leathering me, so I said to him, 'You can stop now, mate, you've won the fight'."

Cosgrove did win the fight but Bell won many plaudits by doing something few would be brave enough to try.

Bell's nose was already showing signs of damage at the Grand National Festival

"People told me it would be an amazing experience and it was exactly that," he said.

"There is so much I have gained. Not only have I raised over £2,000 for WellChild, I also got to train with the Dale Youth Boxing Club, which used to be based at Grenfell. This has made me realise how much of a community there is where I live. I do think it has changed my life."

Already eyeing up his next bout, Bell, still to be signed by Barry Hearn, added: "It's something I can tell the grandkids about. I'll need to have kids first but this might have helped my cause in that regard.

"At Aintree I was trying to convince AP to get in the ring. Normally I know if he thinks I've said something ridiculous but this time he said he would think about it – so my second fight will hopefully be against AP McCoy."

To support Oli Bell's charity fundraising effort for Well Child, please visit

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It's something I can tell the grandkids about. I'll need to have kids first but this might have helped my cause in that regard
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