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Boxing fan Boris Johnson prepares for TV debate with sparring session

The Prime Minister will be hoping to knock out Jeremy Corbyn when the pair go head-to-head on ITV later on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy at Wythenshawe, while on the campaign trail ahead of the General Election (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy at Wythenshawe, while on the campaign trail ahead of the General Election (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Boris Johnson tried his hand at boxing as he visited a gym in Manchester, revealing he “loves” the sport.

The Prime Minister entered the ring with the head coach of Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy in Wythenshawe to practice his punches.

He will be hoping to politically knock out Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a head-to-head debate on ITV later on Tuesday.

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Boris Johnson in the ring during a visit to Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Johnson, who removed his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves for the occasion, donned a navy blue pair of “Get Brexit Done” gloves in the ring.

He said he should not be “aggressive” and instead said it was “more therapeutic boxing” as he joked about punching photographers on the side.

Mr Johnson left the ring as two more serious boxers entered, saying he would “quit while he’s ahead”.

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Boris Johnson was described as built for boxing by coach Steve Egan (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Steve Egan, the boxing coach who sparred with the Prime Minister in the ring, told PA news agency Mr Johnson was “strong” but a “bit rusty”.

“He felt strong, punch-wise. He’s built for it, isn’t he? He’s stocky.”

Asked how he thought Mr Johnson would perform in the ring against Mr Corbyn, he said: “I’d put me money on (Mr Johnson) because I think everyone wants to see Corbyn get knocked out.

“He’d definitely win by a KO (knockout) – first round KO.”

PA

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