CUABC’s boxers will be hoping to come out on top against Cambridge’s local talentBen Phillips/@capturedcambridge_sport

After a brief absence from the University sporting calendar due to the pandemic, the hugely popular Town vs. Gown event returns on Sunday (30/01) at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.

The annual boxing show, which has been running for thirty years in Cambridge, is one of the fiercest sporting spectacles of 2022 and will see Cambridge University Amateur Boxing Club (CUABC) matched against boxers from in and around Cambridge, in what will be a memorable and entertaining night of boxing.

For CUABC, Town vs. Gown is typically a good opportunity for the University boxers to rough themselves up ahead of their Varsity Match preparations later on in Lent term. This time around, Town vs. Gown offers a great opportunity to many novice boxers to experience their first bout in front of a fantastic crowd and familiar setting, all in preparation for the upcoming 114th Varsity clash.

The last Town vs. Gown event took place in February 2019, when CUABC emerged victoriousCambridge University Amateur Boxing Club

CUABC prides itself on having a strong team culture and mixed training between male and female boxers, boasting an exceptionally talented cohort of boxers from both categories. With no boxing show taking place in any form since 2019 due to the pandemic, the last eighteen months have proven to be a real challenge for CUABC and the sport of boxing alike, but thankfully things look to be on the up and some form of normality in boxing is finally returning.

CUABC’s Vice-President Shizhang Alex Liu, a medical student at Clare College who has been involved in the club for four years now, commented on the groundwork laid by his side ahead of the event: “Preparations have been excellent - we’ve just finished our annual training camp and our boxers are all looking sharp and fit.” He continued: “We’re looking forward to handing out some debuts, as well as welcoming back some familiar faces at Town vs. Gown.”

Looking forward to this year’s Varsity Match, Cambridge stand tied with Oxford overall at 54-54Ben Phillips/@capturedcambridge_sport

Having not tried boxing as a sport until he came to study at Cambridge, Shizhang touched on the history of professional boxer Tyson Fury as an inspiration to get involved in the sport: “Tyson Fury has an incredible comeback story and his candid discussion of mental health is something that I appreciate and value greatly.”

Although not yet up to the standard of Fury, Shizhang explained his own style of performance: “On a good day, I’d like to think I’m just as smooth, but our coach Lee [Mitchell] would probably just tell me to stop messing about and keep my hands up instead. Stylistically, I like to pick and choose from a range of boxers I’ve seen fight - I never watched boxing before I started myself, and that’s probably quite evident when you watch me fight.”


Mountain View

Gown beat Town in enthralling night of boxing

During term time, the Blues squad representing CUABC can find themselves training up to a gruelling six days a week, but it also serves as a useful outlet for the stress of academic life. The club also houses student members from all years and courses at the University, creating a real feeling of team spirit and togetherness.

Town vs. Gown 2022 promises to be an exciting night with its new venue and a potential figure of sixteen fights arranged for the event. With tickets officially selling out yesterday (27/01), the crowd in West Road Concert Hall will undoubtedly be rocking and rolling with the punches.

Stay tuned for Varsity’s live Instagram updates from 16:30 onwards at the event and a full report after the action.