The town is throwing its weight behind boxer Charlie Martin-Stuart – alias the ‘Huddersfield Hitman’ – who won his debut professional fight last month.
Martin-Stuart, 25, beat seasoned pro MJ Hall on points at the FightZone Arena in Sheffield.
The contest was televised on boxing channel FightZone TV and the Huddersfield fighter impressed, drawing comparisons to former world champion Ricky Hatton from commentator and former heavyweight Dave Allen.
Martin-Stuart, who lives with his girlfriend and two-year-old daughter in Birchencliffe, has been boxing since he was 17.
He trained at the Gladiators Boxing Academy, an amateur boxing club based in the centre of Huddersfield. The club is run by professional boxing trainers Dennis Doyle and Brandon Doyle and offers sessions for different age groups and abilities.
Martin-Stuart first joined the club in 2015, going on to compete in his first amateur contest in 2016.
After early struggles as an amateur, he stepped up and impressively won 16 of his last 20 amateur bouts picking up a Yorkshire belt in the process.
He has also competed in the prestigious MTK Global Box Cup, which includes some of the best amateur boxers from around the UK and internationally.
After competing in the Senior Elites Championship, he turned professional and is now working with one of Britain’s most active fight managers, Kevin Maree.
Despite being a professional boxer, he continues to work in a full-time manual job, but his commitment to boxing means that he runs every morning at 5am, trains every night and frequently travels across the country at weekends.
Although he has only had one bout as a pro boxer, the talented fighter is thinking big and is dreaming of winning a major boxing title. He also plans to settle down in Birchencliffe, buying the house he currently lives in and securing a future for his young family.
Gladiators Boxing coach Brandon Doyle said: “Charlie is a local lad, who works hard to support his family whilst pursuing his boxing goals.
“To see him develop from the young man who first entered our boxing club to someone who has just made his professional debut on a huge platform is what we are all about. Those early amateur days were tough for him, but the sheer determination and work ethic that remains at the core of his exciting boxing style helped him to really push on and continue to improve.
“It goes to show, with the right mindset and willingness, you really can achieve anything you put your mind to. Charlie sets a fantastic example to young people in our area.”
Commenting on Martin-Stuart’s professional debut, Brandon Doyle said: “It was fantastic to see so many people travel over from Huddersfield to support Charlie.
“They provided an excellent atmosphere and the support was brilliant. The show itself was a fantastic setup, to make your debut on such a platform is huge, and a fantastic experience.
“A huge thank you has to go out to his manager Kevin Maree for securing the opportunity. Kevin is one of the best managers in the business and will help to guide Charlie to the very top of the sport.
“We hope to be getting Charlie back out again very soon to showcase his talent, so keep an eye out for announcements in the very near future. It would be great to see the town really get behind one of their own. You won’t regret it. Charlie is an exceptional athlete and really is brilliant to watch.”
The boxing club want to thank Lindley Liberal Democrat councillors Cahal Burke and Anthony Smith for their support. Both went to the fight to support Martin-Stuart.
Clr Burke, a boxing enthusiast himself, said: “Charlie is a very humble young man and we have followed his journey closely. His progress has been incredible and, although still young himself, he is a role model for other youngsters, demonstrating impressive drive, commitment, resilience and tenacity.
“The path to becoming a pro boxer is hugely difficult. It requires absolute dedication from boxers, meaning that they need to train hard every day and keep their body in top physical condition.
“It requires boxers to spend hours on end in the gym and to travel extensively, away from family and friends.
“Charlie is a local resident and we are proud of his achievements. We will be supporting him on his professional journey.”
Clr Smith added: “Charlie is a member of Gladiators Boxing Academy and we have long supported the work that the club do. It’s an open, inclusive and friendly club open to those who want to take up boxing competitively as well as those who simply want to get fit and meet new people.
“The club have delivered a range of community initiatives in the past, including the Junior BoxFit scheme, aimed at young people aged eight to 16, encouraging them to feel less isolated and more confident, developing their personal skills and promoting healthier lifestyles.
“Gladiators is really doing a lot of good work, helping young people get fit, improving their focus, concentration and discipline, as well as allowing them to meet others and build friendships.”
To sign up to or for further information about Gladiators Boxing Academy, go to www.gladiatorsboxingacademy.clubright.co.uk.