Stuart Hall has spoken to ITV News Tyne Tees after winning the IBF world bantamweight title.
The Darlington boxer is the first person from the North East to win a world title since Glenn McCrory's triumph in 1989.
"It's starting to sink in today", he said. "You've got to be willing to die in there to win a world title", he added.
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They say local churches have already responded and will continue to pray, offer pastoral care and assist those affected.