Against the stunning backdrop of Sydney’s Manly beach over 500 people hooked and jabbed their way to a new world record.

When a Guinness World Records title is broken it’s often a case of one country taking down another’s record. But when the title for the largest boxing lesson was smashed by Guy Leech Fitness in Sydney’s iconic suburb of Manly, it represented a single-city rivalry.

Last broken with 452 participants by Gateway 2 Health Fitness in Sydney’s Maroubra, on the city’s southern beaches, the largest boxing class record was then attempted by well-known ex ironman Guy Leech at Manly, on Sydney’s northern beaches.

A regular record breaker in the field of group fitness, Leech had been planning an attempt on the boxing category since mid 2013.

Already the holder of records for largest circuit class (which he has broken twice) and largest resistance band class, Guy Leech and his business Guy Leech Fitness enlisted the help of Virgin Active, BUPA and the International College of Management (in whose grounds the event took place) to take the title for the largest boxing lesson.

A total of 508 people stepped into the ring to take part in the attempt. During the event 10 people were judged to have not taken part satisfactorily, so the new record came to 498 participants.

“That’s record number four and I’m thrilled,” Leech said after the event. “But watch this space - I’m already planning another fitness record for later this year. If ever there was a time to spread the message about the importance of exercise it’s right now.”