Josh Warrington takes part in initiative to tackle knife crime in Leeds

Ahead of his upcoming world title bid against Kiko Martínez on March 26, Josh Warrington took some time out of his relentless training schedule to visit Leeds Alliance Boxing Club as part of an initiative to tackle knife crime.

In partnership with knife crime charity StreetDoctors and 11 Degrees clothing, Warrington took part in a first aid course with young boxers from the gym.

StreetDoctors' aim to is reduce violence by teaching young people lifesaving skills and helping to increase their understanding of the consequences of violence.

According to the Office for National Statistics, knife crime has risen in the last decade. Warrington supported the initiative from StreetDoctors and gifted 11 Degrees tracksuits to youngsters in attendance.

TAKING INITIATIVE: Josh Warrington at Leeds Alliance Boxing Club. Picture: Luke Holroyd.

“It’s great to have the support of one of my partners, 11 Degrees, with this charity using their commitment and reach to raise awareness about a really important initiative and support the community and young boxers," said Warrington.

He continued: "It's something that's not spoken about. You can go on first aid courses and you can do that specifically for a job, maybe, but this is a little bit different because knife culture is growing.

"And not many young people know what to do if they see someone being stabbed or concussed, they wouldn't know how to act. Maybe there would be the odd person who's got a relative whose a doctor or a nurse.

"Knife crime is a growing problem, especially in cities. I hate to say it but it's something some of these kids might see. Only last year there was an area where I grew up and a lad I knew, a young boxer, had his hand cut off because of a samurai sword.

TAKING INITIATIVE: Josh Warrington at Leeds Alliance Boxing Club. Picture: Luke Holroyd.

"A month later there was a fight outside my dad's house where two lads were waving machetes about like no tomorrow. People talk about it in London, it's nationwide.

"The main way to eradicate it would be to stop carrying knives but there's always going to be that problem, it's going to be a long time before that gets wiped out, so what's the next best thing? Saving a life.

"These kids making their way now might not ever see anything like that but in a few years' time some of them will be old enough to go into bars and pubs and might see someone get glassed and remember this day and might end up saving a life.

"We shouldn't have knife crime but it happens so what are you going to do about it? It starts with environment, areas, discipline growing up, all different kinds of situations. But doing something like this - a 45-minute lesson and these guys can save a life."