Prince Harry stepped into the boxing ring on Monday, June 6. The royal paid a visit to the Double Jab Boxing Club in South East London as part of his initiative to use sport for social development.
While at the venue, which targets at-risk youth in the community, Harry chatted with the club's founder Patrick Harris and other mentors about boxing. He asked, "Boxing has in the last two or three years gone through the roof. Why?” Patrick told him, "It's a way to keep fit and people like to have confrontation in the ring. It becomes a discipline, like a way of life."
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Harry’s trip to the club came just a few days after the death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. During the visit, the 31-year-old met with a number of amateur boxers including Ola Alausa, 25, whom he asked, "Are you going to be the next Muhammad Ali?”
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Prince George’s uncle also used his visit to offer boxing advice of his own. He told four-year-old Raymond Harris, "You've got to go for the chin.” While he didn't put his moves on display in the ring, the British royal admitted hat boxing is one of his favorite sports.
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The club's founder told reporters that Harry might return to the club for a private visit to fight him. Patrick revealed, "[Harry] said he would like to come back and have a go with me on the pads.”
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Last month a royal source said that the Invictus Games founder would be focusing on sport for social development, in addition to his work with veterans and raising awareness for HIV/Aids. “He’s seen the power of sport, he knows what it can do in people’s lives,” a royal source told HELLO!. “He wants to use it to help vulnerable young people and change communities.”
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Monday’s outing marked Harry's first visit in a series of engagements that the royal will conduct to highlight the power that sports can have to help vulnerable young people. A Kensington Palace spokesman said, "Prince Harry hopes to develop his understanding of the sector and use his position to support the great work that is already taking place across the country to ensure that community sports groups continue to play a key role in improving the life chances of disadvantaged young people."
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"He will visit some of the thousands of local sports clubs around the UK – who are often the unsung heroes in their towns and cities – to further his understanding of how sport can be used as a platform for education, training, employment and personal development,” they added. “Through his previous work with young people, many of whom have struggled with mainstream education, Prince Harry has seen the impact sport can have in tackling the root causes of some of the most pressing problems among young people in local communities, including crime, anti-social behavior and community cohesion."