Schoolteacher starts punching people when the bell rings

Jonah Burdett, a schoolteacher from Oundle, fights in the England Elite Boxing Championships next week.

Jonah Burdett, a schoolteacher from Oundle, fights in the England Elite Boxing Championships next week.

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By day, he’s Mr Burdett the French teacher, but when the bell rings, he becomes someone else.

Jonah Burdett is a teacher at Lutterworth High School - and a fighter.

Next Friday (March 20), Burdett has his first bout in the England Boxing Elite championships in Derby - when most of his fans will be in bed !

The 27 year-old middleweight from Oundle is currently in his second year teaching at Lutterworth after earning a Bachelor’s degree in French and German from Leicester University and said: “All the pupils love that I’m a boxer.

“It gives me a lot of respect.

“I think people sometimes misunderstand boxers. People think we’re thugs, but I would like to think I’m a role model for the students.

“Being a boxer definitely helps at school.

“I think they probably do behave better because I box, but I’m not a hard, strict teacher. I like talking to my pupils.”

In the ring, Burdett is rather more confrontational.

He’s had “around 29” amateur bouts with Geddington Amateur Boxing Club since taking up the sport when he was 19 years-old and many have been bruising, blood-and-guts battles.

Burdett said: “I’m not the most technical boxer and my coaches definitely wish I would box more, but I’m tough and have a lot of heart.

“I fight with all my heart and always come for a war.”

Burdett admits that, because of work commitments, he’s been “in and out of boxing” for several years.

But he was injured when playing rugby for Oundle earlier this season and that’s given him more opportunity to get to the boxing gym.

He’s been training for his third crack at the England Boxing Elite championships at both Geddington ABC and Vic’s Gym in Peterborough and said: “I really enjoy boxing.

“My dad suggested it because I needed a bit of focus when I was younger and it’s become my passion.

“I put a lot of effort into boxing.

“The sport has given me so much and we will see how far I go in the championships this year before I decide what to do next.”