A gay boxer proposed to his boyfriend in the ring after winning a competitive match for the first time.
Anthony Ash, 32 from Cardiff in Wales, proposed to his partner Yanko after 11 years.
And, of course, he said yes!
Boxer proposes to boyfriend in the ring
Last night was the biggest night of my life 🙌
✔️ Stepped into the ring for my 3rd fight
✔️ Finally won for the first time
✔️ Proposed to my boyfriend in the ring
— Anthony Ash (@anth_ash) June 15, 2019
Anthony subscribed to a white collar boxing class with Elite Fitness after turning 30. His first big match came at a gala event on Saturday (15 June) after months of training.
Beating his opponent, he took the microphone from the referee in the middle of the boxing ring.
Asking Yanko to come up on stage, Anthony got down on one knee and proposed. The audience, his boxing mates, friends and family, all cheered as wedding music played on the sound system.
‘I’ve been planning the proposal for awhile,’ Anthony tells Gay Star News.
‘Taking up the boxing has been a massive thing in my life. He’s seen the positive things around it and has been such a support. I’ve been doing a lot of work around changing people’s perspectives of the LGBTI community and boxing and bringing them together.
‘It’s a part of his life because he’s so supportive. It was such a big deal for me and him, and doing it front of 350 people.’
Feeling like you can’t be both a boxer and gay
Growing up, Anthony was the type of boy that was pushed into doing boxing.
‘You put the gloves on quite young. I fought often with friends,’ he said.
‘But then I hit puberty, and it became evident that I’m different. I had some problems, a bit of bullying, like a lot of gay lads.’
At 18, when he came to terms with his sexuality, he tried to fit in with the gay scene.
‘It was all fashion and pop music – I wasn’t into it. I thought I needed to be like that to be gay. And I tried to fit in for a few years, but it just wasn’t me,’ he said.
Anthony also said: ‘I sort of came to my senses. As I turned 30, I thought I might as well do it now. I accepted that I’m me, I’m gay, and there’s no one way to be gay.
‘There’s nothing wrong with being gay and liking boxing.’
At first he kept it a secret, even from Yanko. And when he did, the reaction from members of the gay community were not supportive.
‘People said, “what, are you straight now?” and “what are you trying to prove?”,’ he said.
Anthony said one time, when he spoke to a guy in a club, one guy even thought he was straight for being a boxer.
‘Gay guys thought it was impossible to be gay and into boxing,’ he said.
‘No one in the boxing world gives a f*ck’
He quickly learned, in fact, that ‘no one in the boxing world gives a fuck [if you’re gay]’.
‘There are boxing fans that would care, sure. People who don’t do boxing but sit on their arse and watch it would care. But not a soul I actually know cares,’ Anthony added.
‘The reason for it is because, in the sport, it’s a competition of skill. When you get in the ring, it doesn’t matter who the other person is. What matters is what you’re able to do, what can you do, and how you can beat them.’
And so when it came to propose, no one in Anthony’s club batted an eyelid.
Anthony and Yanko are now planning a small wedding with friends and family. And, for Anthony, training for his next big match.
Anthony Ash also recently raised £1,740 for Mind, a British mental health charity. Check out his JustGiving page and other videos here.