Coach Liam Conroy was honoured at the Dunstable and Houghton Regis Business and Community Awards for his services to boxing.
It has been less than 18 months since the former journeyman opened his Ringcraft Gym in Dunstable and he is already drawing plaudits.
Conroy was awarded the highly-commended Role Model Of The Year honour at the ceremony, held at Dunstable Conference Centre, for his commitment to the sport within the local community and beyond.
He works tirelessly to help fighters both young and old enter the sport, and coaches all abilities, from beginners and amateurs through to professionals.
His passion for working with young fighters, and particularly his involvement in the Gloves Up Knives Down campaign, drew special praise from the judges who consisted of local business consultant Richard Cooper, Paula Devine, of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, and South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous.
“I didn’t think I had a chance,” Conroy said.
“But I’m really honoured to get the award and very grateful to everyone who nominated me.”