A North East man is looking to settle a childhood rivalry in a boxing match with his best man to raise money for a cancer charity, and to honour his beloved nan.

Gary 'The Situation' South, 40, health and safety adviser at a nuclear plant, from Middlesbrough will take part in his first ever boxing match against his best man, Matthew Cook, to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support nurses on Saturday, October 29.

Gary is raising money in memory of his beloved 'Nana' who passed away due to throat cancer last year, and will also be raising money for Teesside Hospice.

He said his Nana was the toughest woman he has ever known, and wanted to take part to honour her and raise money for a good cause.

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The Northern Echo:

Speaking on his grandmother and the fight, he said: "My Nana was the toughest lady in the world. She was my favourite person ever.

"If my jab is half as sharp as my Nana's tongue was, I'll do alright because she was the funniest lady in the world.

"I'm completely out of my comfort zone and I think that's what the attraction is

"I want to say I'm looking forward to it, but I'd be telling lies you know.

"I'm quite calm at the moment, but I know for a certain fact that in the couple of days leading up to it I will definitely be nervous. One million per cent."

Mr South said his Nana was able to beat her throat cancer the first time just before the pandemic, but it returned a few years later and she sadly passed.

Gary will be competing against childhood best friend, Matthew, who will be raising money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of his father.

The Northern Echo:

He said he's "over the moon" with the support he's received and never expected to reach his £1000 goal, let alone doing it in five days.

He said training has been difficult due to his work schedule, but he has found the motivation he needed in recent weeks after seeing his friends' gym posts.

He said he and his opponent, Matthew, have no experience boxing, and expects the winner to tease the other with their newly-found bragging rights.

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He said this is the first charity work he has done, and began as a bit of "bravado" between him and his friends.

In a challenge to his best friend, he said: "Come prepared, the friendship's on pause when we walk through the ropes."

The Northern Echo:

He said his nickname, 'The Situation', resulted from his friend cracking a joke about how he always had a problem going on in his life.

The fight is part of the 'Punching4Pounds' charity event held by G2 Events and will take place at Middlesbrough Sports Village.

Meanwhile, Andy Preston, Mayor of Middlesbrough, will also be competing on the card.

Mr South said he had received donations from family, friends and colleagues, and had been left in disbelief by people he did not know contributing.

At the time of writing, his fundraiser has raised £1,180.

You can support Gary here.

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