Wolvercote ABC has been renamed the Oxford Boxing Academy.

Chief coach Faz Keyani explained that the new name had been chosen to provide immediate identification of the club's location, increase the gym's profile and propel it to further success in the future.

The Oxford Boxing Academy was formally unveiled after a fresh lick of paint was applied to their training premises in St Peter's Road.

Keyani said: "When we were boxing all over the country, other clubs often failed to identify us with the area we come from, and one ring announcer introduced one of our lads as coming from Wolverhampton.

"We are Oxford-based with Oxford boxers and it was logical to become immediately identifiable with our home city.

"That is important when you consider we have five open class boxers - fighters that have become Home Counties champions.

"Three of them currently rate in the top 20 in the British Isles in their respective weight division - Vince Sessegnon (light heavy), Chris Wood (middle) and Lawrence Lewis (feather)."

The change from a club to an academy also emphasises a step in another direction.

Keyani added: "We have been active in taking the positive approach that boxing provides into the community.

"We are involved at one local school and this is something we are keen to develop further - either at the school or by taking youngsters to the gym and tailoring sessions to meet their needs. It is also something that could be embraced by other groups."

Support has already come from community leaders, who were swift to recognise the positive role that amateur boxing can play.

Superintendent Jim Trotman, of Thames Valley Police, said: "The positive attitude that the young people here get from their boxing training with energy focussed and directed is impressive."

His thoughts were echoed by Oxford's Lord Mayor, Cllr Jim Campbell, who added: "The dedication of the boxers and coaches is wonderful - there might even be a future Amir Khan to emerge from this gym.

"I spotted Vince Sessegnon, whom I used to teach, and he reached the latter stages of the ABA championships this season with some excellent results."

The first winners under the Oxford Boxing Academy's banner should emerge when they host a dinner tournament at the Rover Club, Roman Way, tomorrow.