A HIGHLY anticipated national junior boxing tournament has been cancelled by Essex Police due to a “threat to life.”

The event, for children between 14-15 was due to be held at Basildon’s Sporting Village on Saturday (March 25).

 But Essex Police shut down the event before it began, prompting disappointment among the boxing community.

Caspar Hobbs, chairman of England Boxing (EB), said in a statement: “The Junior Championships have been cancelled, by the police, not by England Boxing who spent the whole afternoon trying to convince them to let the championships go ahead.

“They disagreed.  There was a specific threat to life made which caused the Police to enforce cancellation, despite us offering to double the security detail.    

“It is disgraceful and disgusting that a few selfish and pathetic individuals can ruin the dreams of young boxers, and those who support them, for their own low and pathetic reasons - it is nothing short outrageous.  

“The same happened last year, that may be co-incidental or it may not be.”

He went on that the EB are looking for a new venue, and condemned “whoever did this as no supporter of boxing” or of the dreams of the young boxers.

He added:"We regret this as much as every member affected by the decision of the Police."

Essex Police took to social media networking site Facebook to inform people the tournament wouldn’t be going ahead.

It also apologised to all of the boxers concerned.

A spokesman said: “Essex Police has advised the organisers of a boxing tournament due to held at Basildon Sporting Village this weekend to cancel the event.

“Essex Police apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment caused to those who were due to take part.

“We are unable to disclose the nature of the concerns prompting this cancellation, but they are NOT connected the tragic events in London earlier this week or to any other wider public safety concern.”