A ‘family of fighters’ has taken over Bulwell’s Old Town Hall and set up a gym which is now producing a new generation of champions.
Veteran boxer Kegg Capeness founded the Bulwell Fight Factory five years ago, after running a similar boxing and kick-boxing club in Hucknall.
Not only has Kegg trained 59 championship belt winners, but four of his own sons are championship boxers, and even his 32-year-old daughter and his two-year-old grandson enjoy lacing up the gloves.
He said: “All of my sons are champions. Nathan is 21, and a nine-time kickbox and boxing champion. Danny is 23, and a three-times K1 and boxing champion. Gavin, 19, is currently the British K1 champion, and Lee-Lee, 14, is a British K1 champion. They train in the gym every week and my daughter Laura also trains there.”
In April, Bulwell Fight Factory members Athos Konstandi defeated Dion Groombridge with a first round knock-out to win a K1 world heavyweight International Fight League IFL title, and Luke Hodgkinson, from Eastwood, scored a British title at the same contest.
Kegg describes the gym as “a massive family with 300 people” which includes 42 full-time fighters, as well as 150 youngsters.
In July they are holding a fundraising event at the Duke of St Albans in Top Valley, Nottingham, for the Help for Heroes charity.
Kegg, 54, lives, eats and breathes the sport. He lives in a flat behind the gym and has been boxing since he was a schoolboy in one form or another.
He said: “I started boxing at school at Sneinton boxing club. I used to box for Micky McPhilbin when I left school.
“He was a fairground boxer. He used to try and get me to fight him in the fairground. I used to get battered!”
After his first taste of the sport, Kegg joined the army where he continued to box for ten years.
“After that I started a kick boxing club in Jacksdale,” he said.
“I moved to Hucknall about 25 years ago and opened my first professional gym. We were based at Spring Street School in Hucknall from 1992 to 2000. I moved to Bulwell about five years ago and opened the fight factory. It has gone absolutely through the roof. Now it is massive.”
“I have always done boxing - even my two-year-old grandson Ronnie boxes. He is awesome!
“I love the sport and I love the companionship. Boxing is all about disciple and fitness.
“We train kids and their parents so you get to know all the family. There is an arrogance in some clubs. You can feel it in the air. But we will get a mum and a dad training with three of their kids.”
The club also accepts children who have been referred by local schools or the social services.
“We take kids off the street,” said Kegg. “They will come with a tutor or a social worker to begin with but before long they are doing well on their own. Some of the kids have learning difficulties, so when we go into a school to talk about boxing we will also do anger management sessions.”
And in the school holidays, the Fight Factory also runs a boot camp, where youngsters receive healthy meals with fruit and vegetables donated by Tesco. The fight factory is open seven days a week and accepts children from age three up.
Kegg said: “It is going really well. I’ll be running it for the next ten years, I will!”