By Carl Jackson 11/05 Updated: 18/05 00:15
A BROMSGROVE boy, who has battled a life-threatening illness, had his dream come true, thanks to former World champion boxer Joe Calzaghe.
Seven-year-old Owen Allen, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December 2010, was whisked off to the All Stars Boxing Gym in London last Thursday (May 3) for a day to remember, which included him getting to spar with his hero for ten rounds, and getting some boxing tips.
Owen and his family, who live in Charford, also had lunch with Calzaghe and the youngster was presented with signed boxing gloves and cards during the day which was organised by Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.
Owen took up skipping at a gym to build up strength in his legs after chemotherapy forced him to quit rugby. And Owen, who is a massive boxing fan and trains four times a week at Droitwich Spa Boxing Club, is hoping one day to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
The Millfields First School pupil described meeting his idol as ‘better than brilliant’.
His dad Peter added: “Throughout his treatment, Owen was an inspiration to the whole family - even in the darkest hour we could rely on Owen to have a smile on his face.
“This is more than I could have expected for him - what a great guy Joe is, and thank you to Make-A-Wish.”
And the youngster received plenty of praise from Calzaghe, who has held World Super Middleweight and World Light Heavyweight belts and remained undefeated until he retired in 2009, notching up 46 wins and 32 knock-outs.
He said: “It was a real pleasure to meet Owen and spend time with him in the boxing ring – he’s a great boxer already and he’s only seven.”
Owen completed his treatment in June last year and is now having check-ups every six weeks.
Make-A-Wish is trying to raise £6.8million this year to grant wishes of 1,400 children with life threatening illnesses.
To make a donation, visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk or call 01276 40 50 60.
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