LOSING IN FRONT OF YOUR HOME CROWD

Daniel Hughes with a piece about general boxing opinions crossing over to football ones and a reference or two to The Smiths..

Boxing in the UK recently has been on the rise. Social media, blogs, forums and wider press coverage. Amen, long may it continue. It seems they tie it in to football also and for me that’s fine if the fighters profit. The casual football fan should also understand also.

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HARROW ROAD WARRIOR

Daniel Hughes remembers his time in North London training alongside a boxer who made it but didn’t forget where he came from.

I used to live in London, North West London to be exact and in the mid-nineties when I moved there the local surroundings were well known estates like Mozart. Unlike the great composer it was notorious for being anything but classical. Tough areas breed tough people, boxes ticked.

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ONE SPECIAL NIGHT

Daniel Hughes casts his eye on one of British boxing’s great ¬†enigmas

Natural talent in any sport comes along not by luck or something you are born with. In boxing you have to learn it often and always is not nearly enough. You have to work at your craft and learn often by your mistakes, ideally behind the closed doors of sparring, but the reality is often under the bright lights of an arena. A bad night at the office with no substitutions and generally a hard rebuilding job is the uncompromising outcome.

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The Third Man

Daniel Hughes takes a timely look at the third man in the ring…

“Protect yourself at all times”: the final instruction given by boxing referees the world over before fighters commence battle. Most balanced outsiders will accept that being a boxing official is not always easy. It’s not; it is a tough call.

The one punch knock-out. Wave it off; no count required. The four, six, eight, ten or even twelve round one-sided schoolings’ we’ve all witnessed. The corner get negative reviews, for we all hate a brave trainer when it’s obvious the cards will only provide one outcome. We talk about “could have”, “should have” and the referee called it a day.

Referee Richard Steele’s decision to stop the first Mike Tyson vs Donovan Ruddock¬†bout in 1991 led to near-riot and immediate rematch. Continue reading “The Third Man”

WAITING ON A CALL

Daniel Hughes pays tribute to the domestic journeyman boxer with a portrait of the human story behind the name listed on the right hand side of the bill.

In from work and another day is done. Working in a factory, building site or mini-cab may be a full-time profession, but you’re a part-time boxer also. You put your feet up and the missus has dinner ready. You should go to the gym tonight to keep yourself ticking over. Failing that, how about a five mile slow jog to keep the pounds off? But you’re tired.

‘Go tomorrow.’ You tell yourself that at 37-years-old you know how to manage your body. Your body knows how to manage you: backache, sore knee and a few random headaches plus that hand you injured many years ago nags away.

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Invitation to a prize fight

The pay-per-view of the day in the early nineteenth century was by attendance only for both young and old, with the poor arriving by foot and the aristocracy by horse and carriage.

Welcome to the world of Victorian bare-knuckle boxing. For the combatants it was a chance to change their social standing, better their lives and make serious money in a time of few opportunities.

The one certainty win or lose would be extreme pain; the ability to outlast the man standing in front of you was the survival of the fittest, to withstand excruciatingly long contests until you could no longer stand or become rendered unconscious.

Jack Slack squares up to Jack Broughton (Getty)

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