A NEW boxing gym has opened in a Southampton neighbourhood.

The new Pound for Pound boxing and fitness gym in Northam Road was previously situated on Melbourne Street, Southampton, but decided to move its home for extra space and more modern facilities.

Steve Barnes, director for Pound for Pound, has worked with Hampshire Probation Service, Sportivate, Catch 22 and Mencap to help prevent re-offending and offer skills necessary to less privileged young people and those with learning difficulties.

He said: “It is great to have someone with Joel’s experience and ability here to encourage the young boxers of the area.

“I have always had the ambition to make Southampton the hub of boxing for the south of England.

“This move is another step in the right direction to achieving this, but it also means that I can continue to offer disadvantaged youngsters and the homeless in my community the opportunity of boxing coaching which will benefit them both physically and mentally.”

The gymnasium is working with local schools, colleges and universities by encouraging students to take part in boxing tutor and personal development programmes.

Mr Barnes added: “It will increase your self-esteem as well as your physical and mental capabilities. Every day I see youngsters who have been struggling, they find coming here and boxing gives them a reason to carry on.”