All photos by Tabitha Stapely © Social Streets C.I.C

Ringside: Blood and solidarity at York Hall boxing [PHOTOS]

The main event is ringside at York Hall boxing. You’d do well to find a more varied cross section of London life. All races, all ages, all classes – all gather to share in a night of boxing, in its brutality and its beauty.

For all the spectacle, these nights are deeply social occasions. The crowd ebbs and flows like a tide, flooding into the bar between bouts to exchange stories, meet old friends, or drink with the fighters after their bouts.

There is an East End core in attendance, but each night ultimately reflects its fighters. Fans and entourages assemble from across the country. Fur coats and track suits and flat caps adorn an unlikely cast of characters.

There are no age requirements. Prams are commonplace. Children scuttle past blood flecked canvas in quiet awe. They are the calmest ones there. It is not a place for coddling. The dignity of the fighters holds authority over everyone.

Community does not feel like the right word to describe what goes on at York Hall. Solidarity is closer to the mark. From fighters to punters to ring girls, all present bleed into the unrepeatable electricity of the night.

We attended a British Warriors Boxing event at York Hall on Saturday 16 February. These photos by Tabitha Stapely are from that night. There will never be another like it. Or the one after. Or the one after that.

A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
Veteran boxer Ewan (a.ka. Jock) with his grandson Henry Decourcey, York Hall Boxing.
Veteran boxer Ewan (a.ka. Jock) with his grandson Henry Decourcey

A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.
A night at the boxing, York Hall, Bethnal Green, East London.

If you liked this, you may enjoy our article on the history of Repton Boxing Club.

 


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Frederick O'Brien

Fred is a writer and researcher with a background in sustainable development. His research has featured in The Independent, the Evening Standard, and the New York Post, among others.

Frederick O'Brien has 1 posts and counting. See all posts by Frederick O'Brien

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