Leicester's boxing favourite Rendall Munroe has given local troops bound for Afghanistan a major boost by training with them in the ring. The 33-year-old former European and Commonwealth super-bantamweight champion and WBC super-bantamweight title challenger sparred with boxers of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment at their Rutland base yesterday.(25) The 600 men of the battalion, based at Kendrew Barracks, in Cottesmore will soon be facing a tougher contest - fighting the Taliban - when they are deployed to the war-torn country, possibly as early as the autumn. But yesterday's action was confined to the base's gym where the battalion's boxing team - which has a proud history as former Army champions - traded ringcraft and punches with the city-based boxer. Physical Training Instructor, Corporal Carl Lawrence, 34, of Oadby, said: "It's not every day you get a chance to get in the ring with a man who's fought for a world championship. "It's massive for us having him here today. He's a big name and everyone here was looking forward to him coming today. He's as sound as a pound and he's already talking about coming back to see us again." He added: "Morale is high and visits like this give it a boost at a time when we're training to go to Afghanistan. "It's like a football team getting ready to go to the cup final. By the time it comes round for us to go we'll be ready and we know what we've got to do when we get there." Lance Corporal Daniel Brewer, 27, said after a tough, three-round sparring session with Rendall: "I'm a bit sore, at 33 he can still pack a punch. I did three rounds with him and I'm worn out, but he's ready to do 10. He works you hard." Lance Corporal Callum Wade, 22, said: "It's been brilliant, he's a good guy. He's an awkward fighter, slippery.He's a top bloke, I've followed his fights on TV. The training will have to take a break when we're deployed to Afghanistan." Lance Corporal Ben Gardner, 27, said: "It's been great having him here today. "It's not every day you get to trade punches with someone who's fought for a world title and he's a good, down-to-earth sort of a guy. "Our training for Afghanistan is going well, we're looking forward to going, it's what we're trained for." Rendall was visiting the battalion - known as The Poachers, which recruits extensively in Leicestershire - during Armed Forces Week. He said: "If these guys are going to Afghanistan, going a few rounds in the ring with me is nothing to them. "I wanted to join the army, but boxing led me down another path. It's important to support the troops who keep us safe and free to lead the lives we want. "I was a bit surprised when I came to the base, it's massive, like a village, with its own school and everything."