Former world boxing champ lends weight to Leamington distillery - The Stratford Observer

Former world boxing champ lends weight to Leamington distillery

Stratford Editorial 16th Jun, 2024   0

A FORMER professional boxer is putting his weight behind a Leamington distillery brand inspired by his sport.

Ivanson Ranny ‘Johnny’ Nelson announced his collaboration with Warwickshire Gin Company during a recent visit to the town in which he met local amateur boxers at Cleary’s Boxing Gym.

Nelson, now a Sky Sports analyst, remains the longest reigning cruiserweight world champion of all time. Since his retirement, he has spent time working with charities, including the prison service where he helps inmates with life management skills.

Last year he was appointed an MBE in the New Year’s Honours for services to boxing and young people in his local area of South Yorkshire.

He has now become an ambassador for Warwickshire Gin Company’s award-winning Pugilist rum range, which has been named in honour of Leamington’s own boxing great, Randolph Turpin.

Turpin, who is recognised with a statue in Warwick’s Market Square, went down in British boxing history for his world middleweight title win against the legendary Sugar Ray Robinson and earning himself the nickname ‘The Leamington Licker.’

Ivanson said: “I love boxing, and I love rum, so Pugilist Blended Rum and its history with Randolph Turpin and boxing is the perfect collaboration for me. Rum has been my tipple of choice since I retired from boxing – I didn’t drink as a professional, and if I’m honest didn’t really like the taste of alcohol – and you’ll often find me drinking it neat, or enjoyed at home in the garden with ginger ale.

“The quality of Pugilist Blended Rum speaks for itself and hopefully through this new partnership, more people will get to know about it and the story behind the brand. The connection to Randolph Turpin couldn’t be more of an honour.

“Hopefully I can help The Pugilist to bring to life its boxing story and love of our sport, from appearances at gyms in the community, through to promotional campaigns. I’m really proud to be an ambassador for the brand.”

Dave Blick established Warwickshire Gin Company at Victoria Business Centre, in 2018.

He said: “It’s great to have such a prestigious member of the boxing community as an ambassador for Warwickshire Gin Company, endorsing our rum products. It will also help us in our plans to grow the brand in getting it into sporting and boxing venues and to carry on sharing the wider story of Warwickshire’s Randolph Turpin, extending his legacy beyond the county borders.”

The partnership followed the distillery’s sponsorship of Cleary’s Boxing Gym, which opened the doors to its new £100k premises in Whitnash last year.

Edwin Cleary now welcomes up to 400 members into his gym, from as young as six, some of whom were excited to meet Nelson during his recent drop-in.

Edwin said: “Johnny Nelson opened Cleary’s amateur club with Jack Turpin and I’ve since introduced him to a lot of my boxers. He’s an inspiration to any striving young boxer who comes through the gym. He teaches them the philosophy he himself lived by of if you don’t succeed try and try again.”


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