A CANCER survivor has described his ‘immense pride’ as he prepares to take a ringside seat to watch his son take part in a boxing match to raise money for a charity close to his heart.

Richard Barrow was given the all-clear from a throat cancer battle that saw him lose six-and-a-half stone in a matter of months in November 2013, a fight he says he couldn’t have won without the unwavering support of his wife Julia and son Henry, now 25.

And now Henry, a perfect amateur just eight weeks ago, is preparing to take to the ring in front of over 1,000 people on Saturday to raise much-needed funds to continue the advancement of cancer treatment in the UK.

He is better known for his other sporting exploits, representing Ilkley Town AFC during the winter months and Ben Rhydding CC during the summer.

Richard, who lives in Addingham, said: “I’m unbelievably, immensely proud of him.

“It’s amazing – I really didn’t think he’d have a go at something like this as he’s always been more of a ball sport player. He’s trained hard and he’s stuck at it.

“The support I had from Henry and Julia and other friends and family was incredible and I couldn’t have got through it without them.”

Henry, also of Addingham, will take on Gipton’s Martin Sullivan, 46, in front of a sell-out Royal Armouries on Saturday evening and said that while he is determined to win, the number of punches landed comes secondary to the number of pounds raised on the night.

The event has been organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing, who have raised over £15m for Cancer Research UK across nearly 150,000 different fundraising events.

“The whole experience has been amazing,” he said.

“But the most important thing is the money we’re raising for Cancer Research UK. Since my dad got ill I’ve always wanted to do something for a cancer charity and this seemed like a good opportunity.

“Watching this disease turn my dad from the strongest man I know to a shadow of himself in just a few months was petrifying. It’s time for me to do my part, for him and for anyone else that may have to deal with cancer in the future.

“We had some very dark days but we were lucky in that Dad’s cancer was found early and they managed to treat it. Lots of families out there need cancer treatment to continue to get better and better and they need our help.”

Richard received the majority of his treatment at the state-of-the-art oncology unit at St James's Hospital in Leeds, where he received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He said: “The treatment I got was first-class.

“The commitment of everyone who helped me was unbelievable. I don’t think people know what levels these people go to, what hours they do just to get you through.

“I was very lucky. I did some research after my diagnosis and learned that the odds were in my favour with throat cancer. Twenty or thirty years ago that just wasn’t the case. You were told you had cancer and it was a death sentence.

“It’s good that we’ve come this far and we need to carry on. They do great things but they need our support.”

On Henry’s chances on Saturday Richard said: “I think he’s got every chance. He’s been very committed with it and he’s a good athlete.

“I just wish I was in the other corner so I could give him a good hiding!”