Burnley boxer ready for 10-hour charity box-a-thon

Henry Watkins with Lifestyle Fitness manager, Katie Pettitt, and personal trainer, Liam Gudgeon.
Henry Watkins with Lifestyle Fitness manager, Katie Pettitt, and personal trainer, Liam Gudgeon.
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A young Burnley boxer is gearing up for a mammoth 10-hour punch bag challenge to raise funds for Pendleside Hospice in memory of his late grandfather.


Henry Watkins (21) will be completing 150 consecutive three-minute rounds of boxing on a heavy punch bag on Saturday, October the 21st Lifestyle Fitness in Burnley in an effort to raise money for Pendleside Hospice, where his grandad, Michael Awty, died last year at the age of 75.

Keen to better his charitable effort from two years ago when he took six hours, 45 minutes to complete 100 rounds on the energy-sapping 35kg punch bag, Henry will be starting his marathon session at 8am and is aiming to finish some ten hours later at around 6pm.

"I always like to one-up myself," said Henry of his challenge. "The hardest bit will be getting my body used to it because you're tensed up for a long time and it has quite an effect on your body.

"I've been punching with just wraps on rather than gloves to condition my knuckles," he explained. "I've been bathing them in saltwater to toughen the skin up so that they're used to the shock. If anything goes wrong early on, it'll knacker me up, so it's not worth taking any risks."

A former jujitsu fighter, Henry claimed a bronze medalist in Mixed Adult Fighting at the 2015 British Championships and has been pushing himself in training for the event, completing long runs and doing punch bag work in a 10kg-weighted training vest.

"If I set myself a challenge, I'm doing it - there's no way around it," said a determined Henry, who is aiming to raise £1,000. "I'm motivated to get some money together for my grandad and do something good to pay him back.

"It's also nice for me to see how far I can push myself and make my grandad proud," he added.

To donate to Henry's cause, head to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/henry-watkins-punchbagchallenge.