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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2008, 16:57 GMT
Rise to the challenge for Sport Relief



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Sport Relief celebrity boxing

Ben 'The Hammer' Shephard beat Lemar 'The Soul-Breaker' in a pulsating celebrity boxing battle for Sport Relief.

The GMTV man weathered an early onslaught from Lemar before picking off the soul star with measured shots to take a unanimous victory.

Both boxers entertained and excited a raucous crowd at BBC Television Centre and created a rip-roaring atmosphere.

Former celebrity boxer Ricky Gervais joined undisputed world-cruiserweight king David Haye at ringside for the most eagerly-anticipated celebrity bout ever.

TV stars Ant and Dec, Fiona Phillips, Holly Willoughby and ex UB40 frontman Ali Campbell were all part of a glitzy showbiz crowd.

Lemar edged the opening exchanges and connected with several powerful shots as he set a brutal early pace.

TALE OF THE TAPE
Ben Shephard will take on Lemar in Sport Relief Celebrity Boxing

Shepherd....v................Lemar

32..................Age..................29

5'10................Height...............6'1

83'...............Weight.................83'

1....................Wins....................0

0..................Knockouts.............0

0.................Losses....................1

But Shephard proved his durability and came back strongly with some stringing combinations to earn an unexpected share of the spoils in the first round.

The breakfast TV presenter showed his appetite for victory in the following two rounds, connecting with some handy jabs and dancing his way out of Lemar's lumbering reaches.

Lemar remained in contention throughout but it was clear that the Tottenham-born soul star was going to have to stop Shephard to win the fight.

That didn't happen and the GMTV man finished the fight far stronger as his superior fitness levels began to pay dividends.

The crowd were on their feet for much of the fight as Lemar refused to accept defeat and groped around for a late leveller.

Previous Sport Relief Celebrity Boxing Bouts
2002: Bob Mortimer beat Les Dennis
2004: Ben Fogle beat Sid Owen
2006: Jack Osbourne beat Bradley McIntosh

But it didn't arrive and Shephard, to his credit, continued to come forward and land good shots right up until the final bell.

Lemar, 29 and Shephard, 32, were mentored by Amir Khan and Ricky Hatton respectively and given expert training by Jim McDonnell and Frank Maloney.

In fact it was Maloney who marched triumphantly into the ring at the final bell and raised his man's hand.

But with both men putting on such a brave show for such a good cause it was clear that Sport Relief was the real winner.

SPORT RELIEF CELEBRITY BOXING SCORECARD SHEPHARD/LEMAR R1 9-9 R2 10-8 R3 10-8



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