RINGSIDE CHARITABLE TRUST spread its wings to America when a group of former champions and belt-holders went out to Orlando in a joint venture with Kids Beating Cancer to raise awareness and funds, via dinners and events, for both charities.

Ex-boxers on the trip included Duke McKenzie, Michael Watson, Steve Collins, Robbie Regan, James Cook, Colin McMillan, Derek Williams, Tony Sibson, Jimmy Batten, Paschal Collins, Pat Thompson and Ross Minter.

“The whole trip emphasised the whole point of what Ringside Charitable Trust is about,” Minter told Boxing News. “Some of the lads are suffering a bit more from the sport than the others but we were all together, all enjoying each other’s company, every day.

“This is hopefully just the first trip of many, this was about raising awareness and making contacts. We spoke to several key figures in America who were really interested in what we’re doing and have pledged their support.”

Which is more than can be said for Britain. As yet, a major promoter or élite-level fighter is yet to throw their arms around the registered charity designed purely to help ex-boxers. Plans to open a residential home continue to gather pace, regardless. It’s understood that figures in the USA are keen to work with the charity to open a home there, too.

“The big names, the promoters [in the UK], need to first acknowledge what Ringside Charitable Trust is all about,” Minter said. “Efforts have been made in the past to get something like this off the ground but it has never got this far. Nothing has been done like this before, nothing has been put in place to acknowledge the problems that lots of ex-boxers face, and it’s not just the odd top-level boxer, it’s boxers of all abilities that can struggle.

“Just doing something is better than doing nothing. The promoters need to really understand, what this charity is about. Even backing it by showing support, without spending a penny, would be a start. Let’s try to make a difference to these people who gave so much but are now facing hard times.”

For Minter, a former English and Southern Area welterweight champion and son of the legendary Alan Minter, the trip will live long in the memory. Not least the time he shared with Tony Sibson, the man who brought an end to his father’s career via three-round stoppage in 1981.

“It was surreal,” Ross chuckled. “I’m sitting there with my dad’s nemesis, Tony Sibson, who ended his career and we’re having such a laugh. He’s put on a few pounds and we were all laughing about him losing some weight. He ended up having a bet with Duke McKenzie that he could lose two stone in six months. So everyone is then watching what he’s eating and he’s just saying, ‘leave me alone!’

“I said to him, ‘Thirty years ago would you ever have believed that one day you’d be sitting here with Alan Minter’s son?’”

Minter, alongside over 40 other boxers, ex-boxers, trainers and media members will be in Portsmouth on July 9 to walk over hot coals at Guildhall Square. It’s the latest in a long line of fundraising events that are a credit to those who have chosen to get involved. More so, the charity’s ongoing success is testament to the vision and determination of Dave Harris, who got the charity off the ground.

As Minter himself stressed, Ringside Charitable Trust – which also offers a daily helpline service for boxers in need to call if they feel they’re in trouble in any way – should be embraced by all. It should be a venture that the whole industry is proud of.

“It’s very special,” Minter said. “This should put us all together. The boxers, promoters, we should all be working together on this. It solidifies the boxing family.”

The trip was funded purely by Dave Moth of the Moth Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation run by volunteers. No funds were taken from Ringside Charitable Trust.

To donate to the fire walk, please visit: gofundme.com/f/boxers-firewalk