“Put the knives down” – Denzel Bentley teams up with anti-knife crime charity Steel Warriors

FORMER world middleweight title challenger Denzel Bentley is encouraging individuals who carry knives to abandon their weapons and consider working out with Steel Warriors, an anti-knife crime charity.

Steel Warriors repurposes the steel from confiscated knives to construct outdoor gyms, such as the one in Langdon Park, Poplar which Bentley recently visited. Ahead of his upcoming fight against Danny Dignum at York Hall on Saturday night (May 11), the 29-year-old spent time with Steel Warriors’ Head of Marketing and Community, Christian d’Ippolito, at the gym where he engaged in calisthenics and demonstrated shadowboxing techniques to attendees.

In a recent interview with Boxing News, Bentley discussed his visit and the reasons behind his collaboration with Steel Warriors.

“It’s a valuable cause that I am keen to support. Growing up in my area, knife crime was a prevalent issue and continues to be so,” Bentley shared.

“I saw an opportunity to make a difference both within that community and beyond. Many were unaware of Steel Warriors, including myself. However, since my involvement, more people in my circle have become aware, sparking interest and potential support for the charity’s initiatives.”

“In today’s society, fitness is a significant focus, but gym memberships can be costly. Steel Warriors, on the other hand, provides a free space for individuals to engage in physical activity, learn new skills, and nurture their bodies,” he emphasized.

“It offers a space for people of all ages to exercise, stay occupied, have fun, and explore innovative workout techniques using the available amenities. Unlike traditional gyms that have age restrictions and membership fees, Steel Warriors welcomes everyone, providing a safe environment for individuals to take care of their well-being.”

Hailing from Battersea’s Patmore Estate, Bentley is no stranger to the impact of knife crime on a community. Reflecting on his teenage years, he acknowledged the looming threat of becoming a victim himself.

“I have witnessed the tragic consequences of knife crime firsthand, losing friends and seeing others survive life-threatening incidents. Growing up, I was constantly aware of the dangers surrounding me and the need to be cautious of my surroundings,” Bentley shared.

“Engaging in boxing provided me with an outlet and a sense of purpose. However, back then, accessible gyms were hard to come by. Steel Warriors’ outdoor gyms offer a unique opportunity for individuals to stumble upon a much-needed physical outlet, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie.”

Recent statistics reveal a concerning increase in knife-related offenses in England and Wales, underscoring the urgency for initiatives like Steel Warriors to provide safe spaces for individuals to engage in positive activities.

Bentley stressed the importance of offering constructive outlets for young people, highlighting the need to redirect their energy towards productive and fulfilling activities.

“It is crucial to provide young individuals with opportunities to channel their energy positively, engage in recreational activities, and avoid getting involved in harmful behaviors,” Bentley expressed.

Addressing those who feel compelled to carry knives for self-defense or aggression, Bentley urged them to reconsider their choices and the potential consequences.

“The repercussions of carrying knives are severe and often irreversible. Instead of resorting to violence, seek alternative solutions to ensure your safety and that of others. Join a supportive community like a boxing gym or Steel Warriors and distance yourself from harmful environments,” Bentley advised.

*Source: commonslibrary.parliament.uk*

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