World champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard hopes to inspire a generation of east Norfolk athletes when he visits Gorleston next month.

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The American has won world titles in five weight divisions, was named boxer of the decade in the 1980s and was the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses.

And Yarmouth boxing coach Leon Docwra - who has organised the night - was delighted that Sugar Ray agreed to come to the Ocean Room, offering locals a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet one of the greatest sportsmen in history.

Guests of honour at the star-studded evening will include Lowestoft Olympian Anthony Ogogo - who secured bronze at the London games - Norwich boxer Jon Thaxton, former British welterweight champion Dave “Boy” Green and Mr Docwra’s childhood coach Cecil Page.

Father-of-three Mr Docwra said: “There’s been a massive buzz around town as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for people in Great Yarmouth to meet Sugar Ray.

“People can ask where he trained and how he felt before his first fight.

“It will encourage the lads who are in town to follow in these boxers’ footsteps, especially as they’ve seen Anthony Ogogo in Lowestoft.

“I think after this it will step up from the Olympic spirit and my kids are really looking forward to the night.”

Mr Docwra, 36, is a coach with John Hutchins Boxing Academy at K9 Gym, and is keen to encourage more people to take up the sport.

He has been planning the night for the last six months, and hopes to bring other stars such as Mike Tyson to the borough if it is a success.

James Ward, a Blackpool-based promoter who has been working with Mr Docwra, added: “As soon as people find out about it they want to go.

“Not only will it be inspiring, but we will put something back into the community.

“We’re looking to do some more big shows with names like Frank Bruno and Chris Eubank.”

The evening is set for Thursday, September 6 at the Ocean Room in Gorleston.

Guests will arrive at 6.30pm for a meet and greet with Sugar Ray.

There will be photo opportunities, a three course meal, a top comedian, a question and answer session and an auction of boxing memorabilia.

Gold tickets are still on sale priced at £70, which are closer to main table and include a photo with Sugar Ray and a three course meal.

Silver tickets cost £50 including a three course meal.

For tickets and details, call Leon Docwra on 07776 352450.

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