Paras Outbox Marines for Charity

Paras were pitted against Commandos as the British Army’s airborne infantry and the Royal Navy’s soldiers at sea stepped into the boxing ring.

The Parachute Regiment boxed The Royal Marines in a charity match in the City of London with the Paras winning a hard-fought contest by five bouts to three.

More than £40,000 was raised at the event, held at the Brewery in Chiswell Street, which will be split between The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust and The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

In front of a passionate and vocal crowd of military and civilian supporters the match was tied at the halfway stage, but won by the Paras with successive victories in the last three bouts.

Capt Steve Marr, boxing officer for the Royal Marines, said: “It was a fantastic occasion, with the boxers well-matched and every bout closely contested. The crowd had their loyalties but were very fair, giving each boxer a standing ovation. I congratulate the Paras on their victory, but the event wasn’t really about winning or losing, it was about raising money for two very worthy causes.”

Colin Smith, chief executive of The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust, said the atmosphere at the event matched “the fierce rivalry but mutual respect” between the two units. He said: “Paras and Marines each think they’re the best soldiers and try and prove it through sport or on exercise, but each would pick the other to be beside them on the battlefield. The boxing was very competitive and made for an excellent event to support the charities, with talk of a rematch already in the air.”

Both the Paras and Marines provide the infantry spearhead to the rapid reaction forces maintained by the Army and Navy respectively. Colchester-based 2nd and 3rd Battalions The Parachute Regiment form part of the Air Assault Task Force (AATF), while the Royal Marines provide troops for the Response Force Task Group.

The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust was set up in 2007 to assist paratroopers and their families who have been wounded or killed while serving in Afghanistan. For more information visit: www.afghanistantrust.org

The RMCTF is the overarching Royal Marine charity and money raised is used to support Serving and retired Royal Marines and their dependants. For more information visit: www.rmctf.org.uk

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