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Backing Brent's golden boy

PUBLISHED: 15:51 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 August 2010

BRENT trainer Steve Newland has urged the borough to get behind James DeGale as the boxer returns home to fight at Wembley Arena. Newland coached the Harlesden fighter during his amateur days at Dale Youth ABC and believes locals should turn out in forc

BRENT trainer Steve Newland has urged the borough to get behind James DeGale as the boxer returns 'home' to fight at Wembley Arena.

Newland coached the Harlesden fighter during his amateur days at Dale Youth ABC and believes locals should turn out in force to support the man who brought back an Olympic gold medal in 2008.

Despite turning professional after the Beijing Games, 23-year-old DeGale has remained close to his roots and helped out with his former trainer's programme to teach boxing in Brent schools.

"James gave the whole area a big boost by winning in Beijing and he's done everything he can to encourage kids to get involved in the sport as well," said Newland, who now coaches at Hooks ABC in Park Royal.

"There was no homecoming or reception then - so let's make this it and that includes Brent Council, they should be down there to show their appreciation for what he's done for this borough.

"We've not had many people from Brent boxing as one of the headliners at Wembley Arena. Everyone should get behind him and hopefully go back to Wembley when there's another boxing show there."

Newland plans to bring a contingent of DeGale fans from his new club to see him in action on Saturday - even though some of them will be competing in the National Association of Boys' Clubs Championships a few hours before the Wembley show.

He added: "A lot of us will be heading over from York Hall to see James - he's sorted out tickets for some of the kids. As soon as they've boxed, they'll be out of the door."

A number of boxers from Dale Youth Club will also be heading to Wembley to see DeGale in action.


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