This term, Oxford University Boxing is set to host two massive events. Firstly, an annual staple on the Oxford sporting calendar: the historic Town vs Gown. On the 25th of January, the Oxford Union Debating Chamber will be transformed for the evening, as a line-up of boxers from Oxford University Amateur Boxing Club will step into the ring to face their opponents. The night promises to be an exhilarating one, with the most experienced and skilled squad the Blues have had in living memory. The first ticket release sold out within minutes, with one final additional release coming early in 1st week.
This year there are high expectations for the squad, as those in the know put good odds on this being the first year that Oxford will not only defeat Cambridge in the Varsity match, but will also win all nine bouts. Town vs Gown will be their first test, where they can prove to their home crowd what they are bringing to the ring in 2020. This will set them up nicely for BUCS the following week, where some will go to Wolverhampton to compete against universities across the country.
The Women’s team, captained by Katya Marks, have had an exceptional record in this competition, and are ranked among the best university women’s boxing teams in the country. Their exceptional Women’s show, hosted at Iffley, was a resounding success and will undoubtedly contribute to the rapid ticket sell-outs for the upcoming Town vs Gown.
The Men’s squad, captained by Alexander Brindle, are looking to come back strong from a narrow defeat at last year’s Varsity. This determination for victory has fostered a strong team spirit, which is apparent in their training and group preparation. A number of innovations have been made in the squads training, including extensive use of plans from the squad’s nutritionist, psychologist and strength and conditioning coaches. A large number of boxers have been retained from last year’s squad, and a wealth of new talent has been brought in across the weight classes, making the odds of a 55th Dark Blue victory look promising.
The Varsity match will be on the 7th of March, in the iconic Town Hall. It will be the 113th, with the score currently neck to neck, with 54 wins each, and 4 draws, since 1897. The Dark Blues will be doing everything they can to prevent the tabs from overtaking them, training with laser-like focus all the way through their camp in Tenerife, Town vs Gown, BUCS, and on to the Varsity, to reclaim the ‘Truelove Bowl’ for Oxford.