The annual Household Division boxing competition has returned after a hiatus during the pandemic. A delightful evening filled with anticipation, sweat, blood and tears alongside the characteristic pomp and ceremony of the Household Division was had in front of an enthusiastic crowd of Guardsmen and VIPs.
COVID curtailed many of the dual roled Queen's Guards’ sporting ambitions but they are back in the Divisional boxing ring at last! Their finest fighters have competed for the coveted title of Household Division Boxing Champion in front of a VIP audience and huge celebration. The Grenadier Guards Corps of Drums, the Coldstream Guards Corps of Drums, and Pipers from the Scots Guards, provided the capacity audience in Aldershot with stirring musical entertainment while the boxers prepared for their bouts.
Nerves might have been high for this inaugural post COVID championships, there was a lot at stake for regiments eager to uphold centuries old reputations, but each of the soldiers was proud and honoured to have reached the finals. The Household Division was united in team spirit, performing at its best, with every fighter applauded for their courage and discipline.
In the ring side seats was TV star and Forces Champion Antony Cotton, who presented the first trophy of the evening to Guardsman Chalambous from the Coldstream Guards, for an impressive win in the Lightweight category.
Chief of Staff for the Household Division, Colonel Jeremy Bagshaw CBE, presented the trophies to the overall champion, most gallant boxer, and best team.
"These military boxers are all soldiers first, they're not only supreme sportsmen but seasoned soldiers that have served across the world on demanding exercises and operations, and represented the nation in its most solemn and historic ceremonial events." Major Nathan Allan, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, Quartermaster and Regimental Boxing Officer
The last holders of the overall Household Division Boxing trophy were the Welsh Guards and all eyes were on them as the target to beat. After such an extended break, it was all to play for, and the preliminary rounds had revealed some rising new stars in the ranks. As each bout was fought in the Championship finals, the excitement grew over who would be named overall champions, with each stand cheering for the heroes of their own particular regimental tribe.
It takes great courage to step into the ring in front of a crowd and put your body on the line, but when your regiment is cheering you on, it gives you a motivational strength and confidence like no other.
There were glittering belts for the winners of every fight. If prizes had been awarded for the most enthusiastic and sustained cheers, singing and stomping, then that trophy would have had to have gone to the Irish Guards. But when it was finally announced that the Welsh Guards Boxing Team had retained their trophy, were the reigning champions 2022, the roar could be heard in the Valleys.
Guardsman Boswell from the Coldstream Guards was named the most gallant contender of the competition and Lance Corporal Geraghty from the Irish Guards was named the Household Division 2022 Best Boxer.
Boxing is arguably one of the most challenging of sports. A boxer requires a unique blend of speed, strength, discipline, endurance and calmness under pressure. In addition to these qualities, he must stand up to the punishment inflicted by an equally matched opponent. To withstand the inevitable pain and fatigue, the boxer must possess a mind that is as tough as his body.
Within the Military, boxing remains an important training and development medium because it defines the Army’s Core Values of courage, discipline, respect for others, integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment. Boxing is selected as the most powerful and effective sporting reflection of those values. Although the British Military has many uses, it is primarily a war fighting force, and soldiers’ ability to fight and win remains at the core. Boxing embodies the warrior ethos and fighting spirit that are so important to the British Military’s success, making our soldiers the very best in the world
The officials commented on the abundance of skill, courage and fighting spirit demonstrated from all boxers across the Division.
"The preliminary bouts were at a much higher standard than anyone expected, especially after such a long break from competition. Now we're all back in the ring , competing at Divisional level, we can use this as a platform to launch the careers of future Army boxers and to bring on our novices to a high level of sporting excellence." Major Adrian Havelock, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
The Household Division is a collection of elite regiments each with a distinguished service record that extends across many generations. It comprises of the two Mounted Regiments of the Household Cavalry and the five Foot Guards regiments: Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards. The Guards trace their roots back to the 17th Century when the new Model Army was founded by Parliament after the English Civil War. Regiments have served continuously as the Sovereign’s official bodyguards ever since the Restoration of King Charles II. The Household Division performs both frontline operational and ceremonial roles with uncompromisingly high standards.
The winners were:
- Lightweight: Guardsman Chalambous, Coldstream Guards
- Light Welterweight: Guardsman Murphy, Welsh Guards
- Welterweight: (overall champion) Lance Corporal Geraghty, Irish Guards
- Light Middleweight: Guardsmen Holding, Grenadier Guards
- (Most Gallant Boxer) Guardsman Boswell, Coldstream Guards
- Middleweight: Guardsman Hubbard, Grenadier Guards
- Light Heavyweight: Lance Corporal Hillier, Coldstream Guards
- Cruiserweight: Guardsman Purnell, Welsh Guards
- Heavyweight: Lance Sergeant Thomas, Welsh Guards
- Super Heavyweight: Guardsman Young-Hastings, Grenadier Guards
2022 Household Division Boxing Competition Trophy went to the Welsh Guards Boxing Team