Hard rounds "for a good cause" - Cumbrian rugby star Tom Walker boxed for charity in ring return.

Tom has trained in boxing previously but made a switch to focus on his promising rugby career. He returned to the boxing ring in a charity event to aid the Barrow branch of Mind.

The charity boxing card took place at Cloud 9 nightclub. Glenn Riley was his first opponent back and it was not an easy task. He faced a game opponent in a "proper heavyweight slugfest", the words of Just Grind's boxing coach, Dave Straughton.

In the aftermath, Tom Walker said: "Went to war with one of my best marras last night for a good cause, love him to bits, can't wait for this year of training with Just Grind, really got the taste for it."

Before returning to Cumbria to play for Barrow Raiders, Walker was signed to Warrington Wolves. His rugby background was clear to see in his physicality, he threw big looping shots over the top, hurting his opponent multiple times.

However, Riley had a granite chin and dished-out barrages of effective combinations on the inside. Walker displayed the ability to take a shot in order to give a more significant shot of his own. Ultimately he took a split points decision.

Coach Straughton was pleased with his boxer's performance, saying "Well done to my big pal Tom Walker tonight, showed nice skills and plenty power," he said, "He's gonna keep training with us and the plan is for him to fight with us around the rugby season."

In the build-up to the bout, Dave mentioned that it was good to have Walker back: "Always had bags of potential and a great attitude as a young lad so really looking forward to coaching him again and seeing him in action."

Barrow Raider's Boxing Evening, sponsored by Furness Park, sold-out the Cloud 9 venue. Such was the demand for the event that a screen streamed the fight in the bar downstairs.

The main event also saw Teepol Ritson finish Kevin Robinson. Christmas is often a busy time for boxing, fans buy tickets to fight cards for the night-out as much as the boxing.

The festivities go hand-in-hand with the Christmas period. On the world level, Josh Warrington recently retained his IBF world featherweight title against Carl Frampton in a thrilling twelve rounder. On the same night, Dillian Whyte knocked out Derek Chisora in the eleventh round of their anticipated rematch.

Highlights of the Barrow Raiders Boxing Evening can be found on their Facebook page.