Croydon boxing promoter bringing stars to UK

Nina Cranstoun and Glenn Boden, a leading boxer from her stable

The Fighter, inspired by Micky and Dicky

First published in Sport Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Assistant Editor

The UK’s first female boxing promoter is bringing the inspiration behind a Hollywood blockbuster to the UK as part of their first international tour.

Micky Ward and his half-brother Dicky Eklund, whose tale of struggle against drug abuse in the world of boxing inspired the film The Fighter, will take a whirlwind tour of London , Croydon’s Nina Cranstoun announced last week.

Miss Cranstoun, 33, is the younger sister of Tyber Cranstoun, from Croydon band The Dualers and says she grew up immersed in the world of performance and boxing.

In 2009 she took the step of setting up Touch Glove promotions and a semi-professional competition which now boasts more than 80 fighters.

She said: "I was the youngest with three brothers and was always watching boxing. I came to realise there was a niche market of amateur boxers who were having to wait months per fight, and also of professionals who maybe needed to take a step away.

"It hasn’t been easy, most of the other promoters I deal with are in their 50s and guys, but I hold my own."

Miss Cranstoun, who still spends much of her time visiting family in the borough, was inspired by the double Oscar winning 2010 film, and decided to try and contact them.

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She said: "I don’t really like boxing films usually – you know how it is when it is your job, but their story really is amazing. What’s great is how honest they are. They let the audience in over the drug use, everything."

Contacting the brothers last year, she is bringing them to London for a five day tour in May, including visiting three boxing gyms in London Essex and Kent, and raising money for charity One Life.

Mr Ward, has delayed the American release of his new book "A Warrior's Heart" in order to undertake the mini-tour.

He said, "I'm really excited to be coming back to London, have always had a lot of love for the UK as that is where I won my WBU Championship Light Welterweight Belt."

Older brother Mr Eklund said: "I made some good boxing friends in the UK and can't wait to catch up on what's going on there. The Brits are good people - really looking forward to it."

For details of how to get tickets to see the brothers call 01277 410167.

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