It’s a knock-out! Boxer raises £5,000 for Beckton hospice

Helen Keating in the ring

Helen Keating in the ring - Credit: Tom Morton

Would you risk bruises and black eyes to raise money for charity?

Helen Keating raised £5,000 for Richard House

Helen Keating raised £5,000 for Richard House - Credit: Tom Morton

That’s exactly what Helen Keating did when she stepped into the ring for a boxing match - and collecting nearly £5,000 for Richard House Children’s Hospice in the process.

Helen, from Whitechapel, spent just 10 weeks training for her big fight with White Collar Boxing, although she had taken part in boxing classes in the past.

She was inspired to take part after going along with a friend who had already signed up and “loved it from the start”.

Helen, who has donated to the charity’s Romford shop for many years, decided to use the experience to raise funds for the Beckton-based hospice.

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The 41-year-old said: “Walking into the arena for the pre-fight parade was absolutely terrifying!

“We were all together supporting each other on the night, but surprisingly when it was my turn to get into the ring, I had managed to get myself together and fully focus.”

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Adopting the boxing name Hells Seven Bells as a tribute to her Cockney roots, Helen fought in front of a 900-strong crowd at the London Irish Centre in Camden Square, which included 70 of her own friends and family.

She added: “The whole three rounds of the fight are a total blur.

“I really don’t remember the fight itself and certainly didn’t feel any of the punches. It was pretty bloody in both corners!”

After three rounds, the bout ended in a draw meaning Helen - who promised her brother she would never fight again - will retire from her boxing career undefeated.

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