A CHARITY event will see bricklayers battle businessmen as 40 “white collar” boxers slug it out in aid of cancer research.

The event, which is the first of its kind in Brighton, is run by Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB).

The organisation provides free training to people with little or no boxing experience and pits them against a suitable opponent in a sponsored match to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

David Smith, South Coast UWCB event organiser, said: “The idea is to get different types of people together to train hard and get fit in a safe environment.

“We’ve got people from all walks of life taking part. It’s because of the history of white collar boxing – it apparently started in New York in the 1990s when a doctor decided he wanted to fight it out with a lawyer.”

Among those taking part will be Matt Murtagh, regional manager for Pets Corner UK, Jamie Elvin, a mortgage advisor for Halifax bank, and Lee Tidey, an estate agent who works for Goldin Lemcke.

The event is open to women too. Clare Walkling, a project manager at Endemol Games, joins Sarah Knights, a web developer at Limelight Sports.

The 20–fight night will take place at The Grand Hotel, Brighton, on August 16. Between 600 and 700 people are expected to attend.

Steve Leppard, 31, a security officer, of Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, said: “The night of the fight is two weeks before I get married.

“My fiancé Claire is absolutely terrified because she thinks I’ll have black eyes for the wedding pictures.”

Training sessions take place twice a week at The Stables Gym on Brighton Racecourse. The first session was on June 23.

Mr Leppard said: “We don’t know who we’re going to be paired up with on the night so as we’re training everyone is looking around trying to work out who it might be that they are going to fight.”

As well as selling tickets to family and friends, each boxer has a justgiving.com page. On the night they have their own corner man and choice of music to enter the ring to.

See ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk for details or to help Steve out in reaching his £500 target go to justgiving.com/stephen-leppard.