Portsmouth News

Boxing star McKinson is a Heart of Hayling hit


Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy received a visit from one of the stars of the Portsmouth sporting scene this week.

Unbeaten profession­al boxer Mikey McKinson was present at the club’s training evening on Wednesday.

The Pompey Problem

- 20-0 in the profession­al ranks - took time for pictures with HoH members, signed autographs and offered advice to the more than 100 youngsters who were present over the course of the night at Hayling Island Community Centre.

McKinson. below ,is currently in camp preparing for his upcoming fight with Pole Pryzemysla­w Runowski at promoter Eddie

Hearn’s Fight Camp 2 on August 14.

But the tricky southpaw was still happy to take time out of his busy schedule for the Heart of Hayling fighters.

Club co-founder Mark Coates, who started HoH three years ago alongside fellow coach Knox White, says it was a ‘privilege’ to have McKinson along to one of their sessions.

And he was blown away by the WBC world youth, internatio­nal silver and

WBO European and Global welterweig­ht belt holder’s ‘great character’.

Coates said: ‘It was an absolute privilege to have the guy down there.

‘After he knocked Kongo (Chris) on his back in the first round and schooled him in Gibraltar - he was so impressive - after something like that there’s a lot of people who might become arrogant or full of themselves, but he’s totally the opposite.

‘He’s a tough guy but so humble, so kind and so nice with those kids, he’s a really worthy role model - not just for the kids at our boxing club - but all the kids in the surroundin­g area. What a lovely character.

‘He did loads of photos, endless photos for parents and kids, signing t-shirts, gloves and chatting to them one-to-one and in small groups.

‘He also managed to get around and see all of the sessions that were going on.

‘Not everyone can be world class like Mikey is but, certainly, it felt more within touching distance from speaking to Mikey who lives just up the road.’

McKinson also handed out Boxing Programme awards at the end of the night, while he accepted co-founder White’s invitation to become a patron of Heart of Hayling.

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