THE world’s king and queen of boxing donned their gloves for charity at Warrnambool’s Whalers Hotel yesterday.
Women’s bantamweight champion Susie “Q” Ramadan and men’s middleweight champion Sam “King” Soliman led the fund-raiser for young cancer fighter Regan Squires.
Up to 300 people showed their support for the Warrnambool five-year-old, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia earlier this year and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Several of the state’s best amateur boxers from Warrnambool, Geelong, Mount Gambier and Melbourne stepped into the ring for the cause.
Shane Carlin, Rhys Raymond and Rohan Eccles were among Warrnambool’s male contenders, while Bianca Fary and Philippa Hannagan faced off against Ramadan in a series of exhibition bouts.
Warrnambool boxing trainer Rodney Ryan organised the event after co-ordinating a similar fund-raiser in February for the Leila Rose Foundation.
Regan’s mother Geradine Squires said her family knew Mr Ryan because their daughters attended the same primary school and her husband Jamie had played football against him years earlier.
“He contacted us through the school and asked would we mind doing a benefit for Regan,” Mrs Squires said.
“He’s just done this out of the kindness of his heart.”
The proceeds from the admission fee, a collection tin and a signed, framed pair of Ramadan’s gloves sold at auction, went to the Squires family.
Mrs Squires said people’s generosity had been “absolutely overwhelming”.
“The community support — it’s just outstanding,” she said.
Regan’s appreciation of the day showed in her bubbly persona as she ran and played with her older brother Tye, 7.
“We explained it to her, you know, that Susie and Sam are taking their time out to do this for her and she understands,” Mrs Squires said.
“Never once complained, even when we’re up to Melbourne every week (for treatment).” The Squires thanked Mr Ryan, Soliman, Ramadan and all the boxers who had contributed to the success of the day.