Boxing club fights boxercise classes in rent battle
PUBLISHED: 17:12 06 October 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 14 October 2010
THE future of a long-running amateur boxing club is in jeopardy after it was threatened with legal action. Islington Boys Club, in Hazellville Road, Archway, has been getting troubled boys off the streets and into the ring since 1974 – even winning a May
THE future of a long-running amateur boxing club is in jeopardy after it was threatened with legal action.
Islington Boys' Club, in Hazellville Road, Archway, has been getting troubled boys off the streets and into the ring since 1974 - even winning a Mayor's Civic Award earlier this year.
But now the people running it are being taken to court by a private boxing class that also uses its premises.
Co-founder Ron Hagland, 79, claims the row is putting Islington Boys' Club in jeopardy.
Mr Hagland, the club's honorary secretary and treasurer, said: "If we lose, I don't suppose it would shut the club down. But for years, we have been saving money for a new building that the club badly needs. If we lose the case, it would jeopardise the new building.
"There are rough kids out there and they come from poor families. We turn them into gentlemen."
The dispute broke out after Islington Boys' Club tried to put up the rent paid by Left Hook Ltd, trading as Boxing London - claiming that the classes were taking away potential club members.
Mr Hagland said: "It was a big rent hike but they were getting a lot of custom. They could certainly have afforded it."
But when Left Hook Ltd - which is run by ex boys' club members Enzo Giordano and Oner Avara - protested, they were told they had to leave by October 10. They are now taking legal action so they can have time to find alternative premises.
Mr Avara said the company had no intention of destroying Islington Boys' Club - pointing out that he had in fact also run the club from 2000 until the dispute broke out.
He said: "When I was at the club, I helped them raise £110,000 for the new building. Ten years of my dedication - and this is how it's being recognised.
"We are being forced into this legal action. We have no intention of destroying the club - we just want three or four months' extension to move away. This is Enzo's livelihood."
Mr Avara added that there was a lot more to the dispute than the proposed rent hike, saying: "There are a lot of undercurrents going on.
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