Warwick and Leamington’s boxing history will be in the spotlight next week when a portrait of former British and Commonwealth Middleweight Champion Dick Turpin is unveiled and placed.
The painting, created by artist Paul Oz, is the result of some determined fundraising by Adrian Bush who is the chairman of Clearys Boxing Gym and it will be he and gym owner Edwin Cleary who do the honours at Warwick Courthouse at an invite only event in Jury Street on Tuesday.
Speaking at the time the painting was commissioned last year Mr Bush, who also campaigned to have a statue of Dick’s younger brother and former World Champion Randolph Turpin installed in Warwick’s Market Place, said: “It’s about keeping the legacy of boxing alive in Leamington and Warwick - after the last Olympics millions of pounds are being put into the sport and you can see how popular it is through the shows we put on.”
Dick, who at the age of 27 became Commonwealth and British Champion in 1948, was the first black fighter to win a British boxing title and Mr Bush said that his success paved the way for other non-white fighters including his brother to be successful in the sport.
Money for the painting has been raised through auctions and raffles held at Cleary’s boxing shows and the gym will also launch a fundraising calendar which will be on sale on the night.
Guests will include boxing analyst and commentator Bob Mee , award-winning national boxing journalist Colin Hart, multi-medal winning former World Judo Champion Neil Adams, former Commonwealth Cruiserweight Champion Franco Wanyama, and former Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion Neil Simpson.
Warwick Mayor Cllr Moira -Ann Grainger will also be in attendance.
She said: “ Boxing and the Turpins are synonymous with Warwick and Leamington and their legacy has ensured that the noble sport is still flourishing in our towns today.
“It is fitting that this picture should hang where all our visitors can see one of this towns, modern inspiring residents.”
For more on artist Paul Oz visit pauloz.co.uk