Girls allowed!

IN THE week it was announced that women boxers will get the chance to compete for gold and glory at the London 2012 Olympic Games, former WBO super-featherweight champion Nicky Cook found himself under fire from Harrow teenager Salma Duale. The east Londo

IN THE week it was announced that women boxers will get the chance to compete for gold and glory at the London 2012 Olympic Games, former WBO super-featherweight champion Nicky Cook found himself under fire from Harrow teenager Salma Duale.

The east London boxer was visiting Harrow Council's Cedars Youth Centre to demonstrate the technique that has brought him international success - and to show off some of the championship belts he has collected during an outstanding career.

Cook, who is also the former British, Commonwealth and European featherweight champion, proved a real attraction with the youngsters.

He invited Salma to throw a few punches in his direction, and the 19-year-old student soon got the hang of the noble art - and even made Cook duck for cover as she tried out a few hooks and jab.


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The popular champion made a star appearance courtesy of the Grant Solder Sports Agency, which is providing sports tutors as part of Harrow's Summer Uni Course.

The former world title-holder said he hoped he could encourage teenagers to take an interest in boxing. "I think it's great that boxing forms part of the Summer Uni scheme," he said.

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"It teaches self-confidence and also self control. I hope my visit will encourage more teenagers to put on the gloves and try the sport."

The 29-year-old boxer has wowed fans with a 10-year pro career in which he has won 29 fights - 16 inside the distance - and lost only two.

He lost his super-featherweight title when he defended against Puerto Rican Roman Martinez in March at Manchester's MEN Arena, but is already in training for another title fight this October.

He was greeted by Harrow Councillor Chris Mote who said: "Boxing has its origins in London, and I hope Nicky's visit will inspire young people in the capital to take it up.

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