PUNCHES were flying at a boxing contest between some of England’s best young boxers took on their Welsh counterparts.

But the bigger winner of the evening, held on Friday, 9 March, was local charities as the night raised more than £20,000.

Now in its 18th year, the popular Basingstoke Deane Charity International Boxing tournament ended in a 3-3 draw between the two countries, but it was one of the most successful evenings in terms of attendance, and the generous support of the guests resulted in a great sum raised for good causes supported by the Rotarians.

The Hampshire Court Hotel, in Chineham welcomed 350 guests who enjoyed five of the bouts featuring male competitors, but it was two female boxers who kicked off the evening’s sporting proceedings after those in attendance at the black-tie event had enjoyed a three-course dinner.

All the money raised from the rotary club of Basingstoke Deane event will go to various lo local charities, with the Ark Cancer Centre Charity being the main recipient.

Lindy Richardson, president of the rotary club of Basingstoke Deane, said: “This was undoubtedly one of the most successful charity boxing events that the club has held. We were delighted to see many regular supporters and also a lot of new faces, many of whom have already said they will be back next year.

“I would particularly like to thank Southern Communications, Centerprise International, and Champion Group, who are the three main sponsors of the event, the bout sponsors and programme advertisers, and all of the organisations who sponsored and hosted the tables.

“I would also like to thank England Boxing for providing the talented boxers who put on such a great evening of sporting entertainment.”

The rotary Ccub of Basingstoke Deane is a long-standing and key supporter of Ark, which is raising £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre that will help and support people in the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area.

The boxing audience was told the support of the Basingstoke Deane Rotarians will continue into 2018-19.