Newport's Welsh boxing champion Lee Churcher admits conspiracy to supply cocaine
NEWPORT’S Welsh boxing champion Lee Churcher has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
Churcher, 31, from Ringland, pleaded guilty at Swansea Crown Court to the charge of conspiracy between October 20 2011 and June 13 2012 alongside Mark Davies, 32, of The Green, Pembroke.
The Welsh middleweight champion was released on bail pending a basis of plea hearing on November 19.
Lee Churcher told the Argus yesterday (Tuesday) that the basis of his plea was that he was not involved at all in the supply of drugs and that the plea was based on him being employed as a debt collector and money courier.
His nephew Ben Churcher, 19, also from Newport, previously admitted a charge of being involved in the conspiracy and was remanded in custody.
Two other defendants also admitted their parts in the conspiracy, Michael Ryder, 27, of Leach Way, Tenby, Christian Hughes, 34, of Hamilton Terrace, Pembroke. Hughes was remanded in custody and Ryder was bailed.
Lee Churcher has had a topsy turvy career in the ring, but despite now being in his 30’s he appeared to be coming in to his prime as a fighter.
In May he produced a ninth-round knockout win against Barrie Jones to claim the vacant Welsh Middleweight title.
The win was Churcher’s fourth in a row, taking his overall 14 fight record to 10 wins (three by knockout), three defeats and a draw.
The boxer developed a raucous following for his fights across the city, including bouts at the Pill Millennium Centre and the Newport Centre.
There had been hopes Churcher could convert that popularity into British and Commonwealth title success, similar to that achieved by his St Joseph’s gym colleagues Lee Selby and Gary Buckland.