Harold Wood sports shop comes to rescue of African Olympic boxer without kit!
A Harold Wood sports shop is proud as punch after it came to the rescue of an African Olympic boxer - who arrived in London without any kit!
Heavyweight hopeful Tumba Silva, who is mentored by Britain’s former boxing champ Chris Eubank, was the only Games fighter for the cash-strapped African state of Angola.
However, when Silva turned up at the Olympic Village in Stratford last Thursday, Olympic officals realised he did not have the obligatory blue or red shorts needed for his first fight.
A hasty call was made to a Boxfit, in Church Road, to arrange a last-minute supply.
Angola’s national boxing coach accompanied by two 2012 officials then popped on a train for the 30-minute train ride from Stratford to Harold Wood to pick up the outfits.
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Boxfit owner Ken Mills said: “I was surprised to say the least to receive the phone call from the Olympic organisers asking me to provide an Olympic boxing team with their kit at such short notice.
“Supplies for big events are normally ordered months in advance, like the order we received from the Puerto Rican boxing team.
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“We were only too happy to help out though at short notice and printed the Angola name on the back. I suppose it was fortunate they have only got one boxer in their team!”
However, sadly, the kit was destined never be worn after Silva - who was due to fight yesterday (Thursday) - missed his Wednesday weigh-in and was disqualified.
Since then Ken has now also supplied six pairs of boxing boots to the Cameroon boxing team who didn’t have enough to go round.
Ken added: “Some of these African countries are very relaxed about rules and regulations - I don’t think they realised how strict the Olympic officals are!”