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Drag racing teenager Frankie Fordham wants to become Stamford and Bourne’s boxing legend

At thirteen, Frankie Fordham was a top drag racer and one of the fastest teenagers in Europe.

Now aged 18 and working as a barber, he’s still keen on cars – but has a new sport that could see him become an uppercut above the rest.

Frankie took up boxing just three months ago and is already planning his first competition in the ring.

Frankie Fordham and Andy Willox
Frankie Fordham and Andy Willox

He is training to take part in an Ultra White Collar Boxing event in Peterborough towards the end of the year.

Ultra White Collar Boxing was set up to allow people with no boxing experience to receive eight weeks’ free, fast-track training, and take part in a fight against someone who has learned the sport by the same route.

Each fighter is expected to sell tickets to watch their fight, with the money through sales going to charity. So far, Ultra White Collar Boxing events have raised more than £26 million.

To prepare him for the eight weeks of intensive training, Frankie is working with boxing coach Andy Willox at Rhino’s Gym in Ryhall Road, Stamford.

Andy said: “Frankie used to work at a barbershop in Stamford and that’s how we got talking about boxing. After a very good hair cut and beard trim I told him I did some coaching at Rhino’s and he started to come along.”

Andy, who is ex-Royal Navy, recognised Frankie’s enthusiasm and potential to become a top boxer and the pair are now training together every Monday.

“I always like to have a goal and getting into boxing has been in the back of my mind for a long time,” said Frankie, who will be raising money through his fight for Cancer Research UK.

“As soon as I started, I loved the training, and I’ve even been going out for runs to get fit in between boxing sessions with Andy.”

Now working in his home town, at Frontside Barbershop in West Street, Bourne, Frankie admits he struggled to stay focused at school and often got into trouble.

“I used to be a bit of a bruiser and got kicked out of school, but through drag racing I learned you can always dedicate yourself to something,” he said.

Andy Willox, Frankie Fordham and owner of Rhino's, Sam Swann
Andy Willox, Frankie Fordham and owner of Rhino's, Sam Swann

“I didn’t do well in school and had a bee in my bonnet all the time, but my attitude to life has changed and I’m now calm.

“I started working when I was 16 and that helped level me out, and now I’d like to run my own barbershop business – or be a professional boxer.

“If I want to do something, I want to do it properly,” he said.

Frankie has committed himself to his boxing training, giving up cigarettes and other indulgences to ensure he’s in top condition.

Weighing in at 76kg, he’ll fight someone of similar weight, but his 6ft 2in height and long arms should give him an advantage in the ring.

The fight is yet to be arranged, but will take place at Planet Ice, the skating rink in Peterborough. Andy is sure Frankie will ‘go the whole three rounds’ and win.

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