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Saturday, 12 July 2014

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Ringside brawl as boxing night ends in violence

A boxing event at a north Cumbrian hotel saw violence spill over into the crowd as a group of fans brawled at the ringside.

Adrian Kirkbride photo
Adrian Kirkbride

Cumbria police say they were called out to a report of a fight involving up to 20 people on Saturday evening.

A dozen officers were sent to the Greenhill Hotel at Red Dial, near Wigton.

But when they arrived, security staff already there had calmed the situation and the people involved had left. There were no reports of injuries.

It was suggested the fight started after a competitor was criticised for his performance in the ring.

The event was the latest in a series of boxing match evenings which have been run at the hotel in the last three years.

Organisers say it was the first time there has ever been trouble and both the organisers and hotel say the fixtures will continue.

Former professional boxer Adrian Kirkbride, 42, who runs the Nemesis Boxing Club in Maryport, was a main organiser.

He had nothing but praise for the professional way the violence was swiftly quelled by hotel security staff.

He said: “There were 11 boxing matches at the event and this happened after the final fight of the evening.

“There was a scuffle when a boxer from a club in the North East got out of the ring. It involved that individual and his supporters, and it escalated. It was more a wrestling match, and only lasted five to 10 minutes.

“The security staff did a brilliant job. They dealt with it professionally and got [the people involved] out of the building.”

Mr Kirkbride said the usual North East contingent who attend the event – Johnson’s Gym in Newcastle – were not involved.

He said from what he saw, the fight involved several people, not 20.

Mr Kirkbride added: “It’s the first time we’ve had any bother. It’s a good crowd.”

The Greenhill Hotel’s manager Malcolm Scott said: “It was dealt with by our usual door-staff and they could not have handled it better.

“We sent our young waitresses into the kitchen while the older ones, including myself, went out to get the glasses and started taking tables down to make space to get people out of harm’s way.

“We also put the shutters down on the bar. I don’t think we could have done anything else. It was a shame because we’d had nothing but compliments over what a good event it was.”

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