An Ipswich man with Down's syndrome has had his life changed by competing in his very first boxing match. 

38-year-old Gavin 'the destroyer' Harvey has been coached for months by Gary Staff, the ex-fighter who owns Ipswich Kickboxing Academy in Westgate Street.

On Saturday (November 11), the pair attended Wherstead Park Hotel for the Ultra White Collar Boxing (WCB) match in aid of Cancer Research.

The event, attended by around 500, raised thousands for the charity.

His very first boxing match, Mr Harvey went three rounds and came out on top with the third round with a technical knockout.

Gary Staff said: "He came to my gym with his carers about 11 or 12 years ago, and has been training with us for a long time and is part of the family.

Ipswich Star:

"I coached him in boxing and he was asking for months to fight. I talked to him and said he might get hit about, and he said he didn't mind, and this year I trained him for this fight every single day.

"I spoke to the promoters and we got him on the show. I don't see why anyone with a disability, under good safety guidelines, should be stopped doing what they want to do.

"We should be helping them as much as anyone else and shouldn't discriminate.

"He did well and the experience has changed his life. He's a lovely lad, a bit of a character, and he loves us to death."

Gary Staff is head instructor at the gym, and was formerly a British and European champion.

He has since retired from the ring and for the last 16 years has turned to coaching others in the sport, including coaching children to compete in English, European and World championships.