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Inverness fundraiser is all a-bout honouring gran’s memory

By Gregor White

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Mike Mackenzie (left) with his opponent Daniel Tucker at the UWCB event.
Mike Mackenzie (left) with his opponent Daniel Tucker at the UWCB event.

An Inverness sales manager who lost his grandmother to cancer just a month after she was diagnosed is getting set to jump into a boxing ring for a second time to raise money for charity.

Father-of-two Mike Mackenzie stepped up for the Ultra White Collar Boxing event for the first time in December last year to raise more than £1500 for Cancer Research UK in memory of his grandmother.

Mary Mackenzie, from Culloden, was 70 when she went into hospital in December 2010 because of a pain in her leg and was diagnosed with severe bowel cancer.

She died just weeks later despite beginning radiotherapy immediately.

Late last year Mr Mackenzie decided he had found a way to do something tangible in her memory when he happened across Ultra White Collar Boxing, run by Ultra Events.

Participants are given the opportunity to take part in eight weeks of free professional training in return for selling tickets for their showcase bout and raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Mackenzie (34) from Dalcroy Road, Inverness, said: “I have always wanted to do something to raise money for Cancer Research UK as I lost my grandmother to cancer and I wanted to do something in her name.

“I saw a couple of boys do the Ultra White Collar Boxing and thought it looked like great fun, although I had never stepped into a ring before.

“The training was extremely gruelling and intense – it wasn’t like you just did a few press-ups and hit bags, it was heavy work.

“The fitness level at which they work you is unbelievable, but it’s good because that’s what you need for the bout.”

He admitted he was “slightly nervous” before his first fight but said the atmosphere at the Inverness Ice Centre was “incredible”.

“I was the last fight of the night and by then the crowd had so much energy,” he said.

“I was put up against a guy who was slightly bigger than me, called Daniel Tucker. It was a great bout but I got him in the third round.

“I gave him a couple of body shots and the ref gave me the win.

“It was such a great relief. It was honestly the best experience of my life.

“I still keep in touch with Daniel and we have both signed up again in the hope of getting a rematch with each other.”

Mr Mackenzie climbs back into the ring on Saturday, May 18.

For more details of the event including how to get hold of tickets click here.

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