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Dominic Antonucci, Assistant Director with the city’s acclaimed Birmingham Royal Ballet, will be swapping the stage for the boxing ring next month courtesy of TV’s well-known football and boxing presenter Gary Newbon MBE.

The event will take place at Cleary’s Boxing Gym in Leamington Spa on 5 May with three rounds of ‘sparring’ with Lewis Williams, a promising upcoming heavyweight boxer, who recently won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022. Lewis who is 6 foot 6 inches tall has been tipped as ‘the future of heavyweight boxing’.

Dominic, former Principal Dancer with BRB, has danced some of the most challenging roles in the company’s repertoire using speed, strength and technical ability learnt through weekly ballet training at BRB studios in Birmingham.

Dominic had incorporated boxing into his training as a dancer to great effect during his career onstage. Long-time close friend Gary Newbon, a regular supporter of BRB, introduced Dominic to respected boxing trainer Jon Pegg and Dominic began training at Birmingham’s Eastside Gym.

Working alongside world champion boxers, Dominic attended strict gym sessions which included boxing drills, circuit training, workouts on the heavy bag, instruction from Jon Pegg and intense sparring sessions with professional boxers.

Dominic said “I was not able to take part in matches whilst performing due to the obvious risk of injury but found that boxing training helped me tremendously as a dancer and a few years ago I finally decided to go for it and a had a proper match which I won.”

Gary Newbon commented  “I found out that Dominic celebrated his 50th Birthday recently so secretly arranged for him to face Lewis Williams in the ring to help celebrate this milestone.”

Dominic added “Thanks to Gary I’ve since returned to Eastside Gym to train for the bout on 5 May.I’m learning the hard way as the young world class boxers take it very seriously indeed. It’s a great experience though and I’m loving every minute of it.”

Gary who has presented on Sky Sports and Central ITV will be showing his support when Dominic faces Lewis Williams in the ring on 5 May.

BRB is currently on tour in the UK with Sir Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty and will return to the company’s home base at Birmingham Hippodrome later this year with the world premiere of Carlos Acosta’s new ballet Luna and Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée. For more information, visit brb.org.uk.