Assisting Midlands Ex Boxers And The Community

Newsletter

CEBA June 2017 NEWSLETTER SECRETARY’S NOTES…

SECRETARY’S NOTES...

Welcome to the latest edition of our Newsletter.
Once again thanks to Craig Birch and Gary Bate for their
contributions, and a special thanks to Frank O’Sullivan for
furnishing me with the information regarding the article below.
N.B. Our next meeting will be held on Sunday 2nd July at the
irs Club. Coffee served from 10.30am, meeting starts at
11.00am prompt.

Tim O’sullivan,
President of Cork
Ex Boxers
Association makes
a presentation
to Frank O’sullivan
of Birmingham City
Boxing club in the
presence of Mick
O’Brien, President
of Cork County
Boxing Board.
At a recent Grays’ Promotions Luncheon, I bumped into coaching
legend Frank O’Sullivan. During our conversation
Frank mentioned the Cork Ex Boxers Association, established in
1972 but I wasn’t aware even existed! Next time I’m over the
water I may well head towards Cork and pay these lads a visit!
Frank is now affectionately known as ‘Sir Frank’ by many
Corkonians since he was awarded the MBE, and he has
furnished me with some information regarding boxing in his
former home city.
In 2016 the boxing community of Cork celebrated the 150th
Anniversary of the birth of their only World Boxing Champion
Jack McAuliffe. Just before his 10th birthday Jacks’ family
emigrated to New York where he quickly developed a talent for
boxing. Just two years after his debut he secured the World
Lightweight Championship with a KO in the 21 st round. Jack
quickly developed a taste for the high life, loved a flutter, and
often came in heavier than planned. (sound familiar?) One of his
most famous contests was against Jem Carney. The location of
the bout remained a closely guarded secret to keep one step
ahead of the law, it took place at 1 .00am in a rural area of
Massachusetts. McAuliffe was all but finished in the 70th round,
but an unruly mob frightened of losing their wagers brought him
some time. Fearing the arrival of the constabulary the referee
stopped the fight in the 74th round and declared it a draw. His
record stands at 31 wins, 5 draws and no defeats.

After his retirement Jack became a successful businessman and
championed many worthy causes and charities in New York.
During our conversation ‘Sir Frank’ informed me that he had
taken lads from Birmingham B.C. across to Cork for a
tournament to help celebrate the famous Glen Boxing Club
centenary 1916 – 2016. In true Irish style, this tournament took
place in January 2017!
A huge crowd attended the event with many dignitaries being in
attendance, and the tournament was widely covered by the local
press.
Frank still retains a close relationship with his city of birth, and
upon scanning through some of the reading material that he
kindly loaned, I was amazed as to how many of the boxing
community’s surnames were O’Sullivan (many of whom bear an
uncanny resemblance to Frank)!
Here’s hoping that this special bond continues for many years to
come.

From The Chairman's Pen

Well I can confirm the sun is still shining in Cuba, and would like
to wish a sunny congratulations to Ray Caulfield LEBA
Secretary/Treasurer, having been granted ‘Freedom of the City of
London’ for his charity work – a well deserved honour.
This year’s golf day will take place on the 21 st July at Dudley Golf
Club. After the presentation there will be a disco, please come
along and support this event which promises to be a good day
out. I am sure that you will be impressed with ‘Mad Dog Messers’
new moves on the dance floor, if you wish to put a team together
please ring Shaun on 07900 684323.
Congratulations to Tyler Denny on the success of winning his first
belt on the Les Allen show at the Venue in Dudley, well done
trainer Lyndon and all of the team at Coop’s Gym. Maybe the
Midlands’ Area Title will be next!

SHAUN-MESSER

‘An evening with John Conteh’ will
be held at Dudley Golf Club on
Friday the 10th November 2017.
Limited seats are available, to book
ring Shaun Messer on 07900684323.
Yes, this is a photo of a very young
SHAUN MESSER – participating in
yet another sport!
Stay well, look forward to seeing you
all at the next meeting ………… .
Yours in sport
Martin.

'Boxing Matters' - by Craig Birch

British boxing’s two top promoters are starting to go head-tohead
on television as the battle for supremacy between Eddie
Hearn and Frank Warren goes on.
Hearn’s Matchroom have held a formidable monopoly since
they became the sole provider for the sport on Sky in 2011 .
Warren’s BoxNation was given a shot in the arm when they
signed a deal with BT Sport, a multi-year agreement, last
November.
The year 2017 has so far seen that pact take effect, along with
Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000
people at Wembley Stadium.
That was a week after when, on April 22, Matchroom and
BoxNation went head-to-head for the first time, in Liverpool and
Leicester respectively.
Matchroom viewers watched Martin Murray outpoint Gabriel
Rosado for the WBA Inter-Continental middleweight title at the
Echo Arena.
The BoxNation audience at the Leicester Arena saw Avtandil
Khurtsidze stop Tommy Langford in five rounds for the interim
WBO world middleweight crown.
It happened again on May 13, with Matchroom at the Barclaycard
Arena in Birmingham and BoxNation at the First Direct Arena in
Leeds.
The Matchroom bill saw Kai Yafai successfully defend his WBA
world super flyweight belt against Suguru Muranaka, while Josh
Warrington beat Kiko Martinez elsewhere.
Warrington defected to BoxNation from Matchroom, a path that
had so often become the other way around in recent years.
Kell Brook, James DeGale, Tony Bellew, George Groves, Dereck
Chisora, Frankie Gavin, Frank Buglioni and Nathan Cleverly to
name but a few have made the switch.
Hearn has built up a position of power but knows he cannot rest
on his laurels now, particularly with Warren creeping up on him.
He doesn’t believe that the head-to-head nights are premeditated
and warned that ‘Saturday night wars’ will not turn out
well for either party.
He said: “Moving forward, I think it’s better for everyone if we are
not on the same night. No one wins in that scenario.
“There’s only one boxing audience, so it doesn’t really make
sense for two channels to go up against each other.
“I don’t think it’s deliberate from either side and, in the future, I
hope that we’ll talk more to make sure the fans can watch both
shows.
“It makes sense, competition is good but we should be on
different nights. Sometimes you can’t help it, but it shouldn’t be a
regular occurrence.
“We have dialogue between the channels, we know all of the
executives at BT Sport and they know their counterparts at Sky
Sports. It’s common sense.
“They are new to the schedule, but the strategy should be to go
on different nights. We are both trying to put on good shows,
which is great for boxing.
“Other broadcasters have come in, ITV and Channel Five have
dipped their toes in it, but I don’t think you’ll see the same
commitment from them as you will from BT Sport.
“They are in this for the long haul, rather than coming in and out,
which has been the situation for a number of years.
“Our stable and content is unrivalled, so I don’t see it as a threat
really but it’s easy to get complacent if there’s no competition.
We’ll carry on pushing ourselves to deliver great fights and
maybe it’s a little kick up the backside to make sure we keep
smashing it.”
Before BT Sport came calling, Hearn raised Warren’s ire by
threatening to put on Joshua on at Wembley on the same night of
the Tyson Fury-Klitschko rematch last July.
Neither ended up happening, with Warren’s shows now on a
major channel again for the first time since he left Sky nearly six
years ago.
He’s building for the future, too, with the likes of Daniel Dubois,
Anthony Yarde, Jack Catterall and Lyon Woodstock looking like
nailed on stars of the future.
They haven’t sold out Wembley, Hearn will be all too eager to
point out, but Warren believes they will get the upper hand, in the
end.
They have Fury, who claims to despise Hearn, ready to fight
under their banner if he gets his boxing ban lifted and a
promising heavyweight in Dubois, who is just 19, coming
through.
Warren agrees the fans will end up the big winners, with him and
his rival constantly looking to outdo each other with big fights.
He said: “We’ve grown BoxNation, not only for ourselves but also
for the good of boxing. I fully anticipate everything going from
strength to strength.
“We are now at a point where I firmly believe we have the future
big stars of British boxing on our books, the best young talent
out there.
“I think boxing people have been well catered for by the
coverage on BT and BoxNation of our promotions over the last
couple of months.
“The fans at the venues certainly seem to be enjoying what they
are seeing and there’s been a pleasing amount of plaudits
commenting on the quality and entertainment of our shows.
“That is particularly pleasing, because we are in the business of
delivering for the fans, This is just the beginning, though.
“With the big appeal Sky held for boxers, with a bigger platform
and pay-per-view potential, it was hard for us to compete but we
did.
“The deal with BT Sport puts us in a much stronger position,
while also boosting the exposure for our boxers.
“The fans come first, in my book, because they are the ones that
make it all happen – for the boxers, us and the broadcasters.
“We want to satisfy genuine followers of the sport, but we are
also looking to attract people to the game or, in a lot of cases,
back to it. It’s important, because you can’t stand still.
“If new people come along and like what they see, they could
become converted and be regular boxing fans. That can only be
good for everyone concerned.
“I don’t particularly care about Matchroom, all I care about is
what we deliver. I walked away from Sky Sports, that’s all people
need to remember.
“If I hadn’t walked away, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
If you are watching BoxNation, you are in boxing heaven.”

 

 

 

Snapper Snippets

Enjoyable days working with Sir Henry Cooper
What an honour it was to be so close to Sir Henry Cooper back
then, opening nursing homes, shops and window companies –
even a roundabout at Kelvin Way, West Bromwich! It made me
realise why Sir Henry was so popular with the public through his
very generous nature.

Henry-Cooper

We were driven around by
Phil Morrison, also in the
car were Ron & Steve Gray
who put on a great show
at Bar Sports in Cannock,
with Sir Henry as the
Guest of Honour. We
walked around the
gymnasium that was once
at Bar Sports, and Sir
Henry decided to ‘have a
go’ on the speedball which
he still hit at a ferocious
pace. He felt strongly that
youngsters should train in
gyms, “it gives them
discipline, Gary” he said.
I asked him if he could sign a picture for the William Perry
Amateur Boxing Club of Tipton, to which he replied ‘no problem
Gary’. As the driver took us back to the hotel that evening we
spoke freely and privately about ourselves ………. .
The next day we were back on the road again, opening a nursing
home in Aldridge, when we arrived the place was buzzing with
excitement. As Sir Henry walked around, meeting residents, an
old boxing fan was introduced to him, as they chatted the elderly
gentlemans’ eyes were sparkling. When we left the nursing home
thirty minutes later than scheduled, they waved us off. This
happened at every venue we attended. We then headed back to
the hotel as Sir Henry was leaving for a show in Macclesfield. We
shook hands and said we would work together again.
As we prepared to drive out of the car park, a few people had
surrounded Sir Henry. We wound the car window down and
asked if everything was ok, he replied ‘yes no problem’ as he

ruffled the hair of a boy who was standing at his side. ‘he’s four –
and he wants my autograph!’ he laughed.
That summed up Sir Henry Cooper, he was always a ‘peoples
man’.

CEBA April 2017 NEWSLETTER SECRETARY’S NOTES…

SECRETARY’S NOTES...

Welcome to the latest edition of our Newsletter, once again thanks to Craig Birch and Gary Bate for their contributions.

At the time of writing, we still have a limited number of tickets available for ‘An Evening With John Conteh’ to be held at the Firs Club, Codsall on Saturday  May 6th •

Tickets are priced at £35.00ea to include a light buffet.

N.B. Our next meeting will be held at the usual venue, Firs Club, Station Road, Codsall on Sunday April 30th • Coffee served from 10.30am, meeting  starts at 11.00am prompt.

*******

After reading and thoroughly enjoying ‘Snapper’s Snippets’ this month, and being stuck for something worthwhile to write, I thought I would add a couple of my favourite boxing stories from yesteryear……

 

In December of 1959 useful New York based heavyweight Bartolo Soni fought  Henry  Wallitsch  in the city’s Island Garden Arena.

Soni made full use of his superior footwork to avoid Wallitsch’s wild onslaughts, until in the 3r d   round Wallitsch thought he’d got Soni trapped on the ropes. Wallitsch threw a mighty punch which Soni again  avoided, this time the momentum  of  his frustrated swing sent him clean through  the ropes, knocking  himself  clean out  on the concrete floor thus losing the bout  by  KO!

 

And my all time favourite…………..

 

In April 2006 New York based Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis travelled back to his native Guyana to  challenge  ‘Deadly’  Denny  Dalton  for the Guyanese Super Welterweight title. Despite being ahead on points, during the 7t h  round ‘Six Heads’ suddenly dived out of the ring  and  made  a  mad dash  for  the  changing  rooms! Upon  further

investigation, he claimed that he had consumed a milk shake before the fight, resulting in an explosive case of diarrhoea! He was unable to return to the ring, and Dalton was awarded the decision by TKO!

From The Chairman's Pen

Well it’s nice to see the sun out at last, I hope that this Newsletter

Jason Welborn

Jason Welborn

finds you all well. Firstly, congratulations to Jason Welborn on winning the W.B.C. Middleweight International Silver title in Manchester.
On the recent Les Allen promotion at the Venue in Dudley, Tyler Denny stepped up to the mark to win his first 6×3’s convincingly 60-54. He’s one to watch, and hopefully will be fighting for the Midlands Area title soon. On the same bill Shaun Cooper made his first fight one to remember by sustaining a broken nose.
Midlands boxing is definitely on the way

up with some eight to ten shows per month on average – long may it continue.
This years’ Annual Golf Day will take place on Friday 21s t July at Dudley Golf Club. Now we have a change of course we’ll see the best of the Dudley crew and it promises to be a great day, as usual Mad Dog Messer is working hard behind the scenes to make it happen. This year after the presentation a D.J. who will be playing favourites old & new, Shaun assures me that he will be tripping the light fantastic with his Northern Soul moves so if you can’t make the golf come along and support the disco!
I hope to see you all at the next meeting. Yours in sport
Martin

'Boxing Matters' - by Craig Birch

It’s  perhaps the longest chase for a fight going – but Steve Collins is still refusing to give up hope that he can get Roy Jones Jr into the ring.

Collins is now 52-years-old and hasn’t boxed in 20 years, but has been trying to land his last stand against Jones for even longer. ‘The Celtic Warrior’ first set his sights on him after breaking into the super middleweight ranks as the WBO world champion, while still holding the organisation’s title at middleweight.

The Irishman, from Dublin in the Republic, clearly still has that never-say-die attitude, which established him in two divisions after becoming a world champion at the third attempt.

While never stopped, he had twice come second best on the cards for the WBA middleweight title, to two of the best in the business in Mike McCallum and Reggie Johnson.

His prospects looked even bleaker after he was downed for the European crown on points, too, by Sumbu Kalambay directly after the Johnson setback.

The determined Collins finally realised his ambition in 1994,

 

seizing the WBO middleweight strap in five from Chris Pyatt, who had vanquished Kalambay for the vacant belt.

He would never defend the title, though, instead stepping up to super middle to sensationally thwart Chris Eubank unanimously for another WBO crown.

It ended Eubank’s final reign as a world champion and Collins proved it was no fluke by defeating him again on a split decision. He would also end the career of Eubank’s hated rival Nigel Benn, who would twice try to dethrone the Irishman without success.

First ‘the Dark Destroyer’ was halted in the fourth after picking up an ankle injury, but he retired for good in 1996 after quitting on his stool at the end of the sixth the second time around.

Collins retired after seven defences while still champion in 1997, having backed out of taking on a young Joe Calzaghe. He’d registered 36 wins from 39, with 21 TKOs.

Calzaghe openly holds that against him, along with Collins’ quip that the Welshman, who would later conquer the world, “wouldn’t fill a parish church.”

A similarly nagging feeling lies within Collins, who first announced plans to return against long-time rival Jones at the start of 2013. Still, it hasn’t happened.

Jones never quit boxing either, last winning the WBF world title at cruiser in February at the age of 48. The question is only what weight he could get down to.

Collins insists his long pursuit of the multi-weight great is just business, but he freely admits it’s his dream about and he will never give up on his dreams.

Then there’s Calzaghe, now 45 and happily retired, having last seen Jones on points in 2008 to hang up his gloves undefeated, with 46 wins from 46 paid bouts.

Calzaghe could have Collins now if he really wanted to, in the same way as Collins wants Jones, but he would still be a second choice.

 

Collins said: “I spend a lot of my time working on my farm in Ireland now, I watch what I eat and I still wear the same size suits now as I did         then.

“I haven’t retired, I’m still waiting for the Jones fight to come off but there’s a big gap since my last fight, that’s for sure!

“I’ve signed the contract, he hasn’t so it’s down to him which I can’t understand because he’s still going. He’s a friend, actually, and a lovely guy but I still want to fight him!

“We’ve been in talks for 20 years and he keeps pulling out at the last minute. I’ve told him l1m not interested in fighting anybody else.

“I want to fight Jones, even if it’s just a 10-rounder. It doesn1t matter – it1s just something l1d wanted to do for a long time. Everybody wants to see this, whether it 1s for the right or the wrong reasons.

“There are a lot of the younger generation who have never seen us in the ring that would love to see us do it, so we1 ve got three generations backing us.

“The reason my drive to carry on boxing went was because there was no more big names out there for me, there was only Jones and a couple of kids that no one knew about that didn’t appeal. “There was Calzaghe, he went on to become one of the best champions Britain ever had but he was an up-and-coming guy, at that time.

“If he’d had come along five years earlier, he’d have been in the mix, but he’s the one apart from Jones now who’d I consider fighting. 11 11 beat the man who beat the man –  why not?

“Jones is the one I want still. It should happen. I’ll give it until l1m 60 and then 11 II retire.”

Don’t think that the Collins versus Eubank rivalry is dead either, rather than taken into the next generation through their children. Steve Collins Jr is now a professional boxer, having turned his back on the game of rugby to keep up the family name.

 

The 27-year-old is still unbeaten after 11 contests in the cruiserweight division, with his uncle Paschal working his corner. Chris Eubank Jnr, while also 27, is further down the line and has won British, WBA interim and 180 world honours going up from middleweight to super middle.

Eubank Jnr challenged David Haye’s conqueror Tony Bellew, who last boxed at heavyweight but is the WBC emeritus world champion at cruiser, to a catchweight clash after a row on Twitter. With that in mind, Collins doesn’t think Eubank Jnr would have any problem jumping up the weights to reignite the rivalry between the two families.

Dad Collins said: “My son started his career at heavyweight and he was 16 and a half stone then, because he used to be a professional rugby player.

“He now campaigns at light heavyweight, he’s got himself a good team around him and the weight has just dropped off him.

“Mr brother has got him, he’s an excellent coach, and I talk boxing whenever I see him. He never boxed amateur, he’s only ever been a pro, but he’s grown up with the sport.

“Everyone one in our family has boxed, so I encouraged him to learn the sport. To stay with it was his option. It’s a great discipline, it teaches kids respect and gets them off the street. “He’s coming along well, now we need to get him some sponsors in the UK to help him fight in America, like I did at the start of my career.

“There’s no reason why he can’t fight Eubank Jr, there’s only really one weight between them and I moved up a division to fight Eubank Snr.

“I    wouldn’t have thought Eubank Jnr would have a problem stepping up to light heavy, he’s a tall kid and, if they want it, my son would have it tomorrow.

Watch this space!”

Snapper Snippets

Did you know……..

Boxer Harry Greb was blinded in one eye during a fight in 1921 but managed to keep it a secret from his trainer and all of his opponents. Up against Johnny Wilson for the world middleweight title in 1923, he tried to even things up in the sixth round by thumbing his opponent in the eye. The referee pulled the boxers apart and asked Greb what the hell he thought he was doing.

Lost for an excuse, Greb snapped back “Sticking my thumb in his eye, what does it look like?” The rest of the fight passed without incident with Greb winning the world championship on points, probably the only one eyed boxer to do so.

Some boxers can be highly superstitious. Ken Norton was terrified of black cats, Henry Cooper never polished his boots, Joe Louis always insisted on putting his left glove on before his right, whilst Willy Pastrano always tied his wedding ring to his left bootlace.

When  a  bus  conductor  refused  to  allow  John  L.  Sullivan’s beloved dog on board with his master the boxer floored him with one well aimed  punch. Sullivan  was taken to  court  where the judge said “Mr Sullivan, I fine you 100 dollars for hitting that man, do you have anything that you want to say?” Sullivan reached for his wallet and replied “Yes your honour, I’ll give you another 200 if you let me hit  him again!”

Norman Wisdom was army boxing champion in 1932. Other people that you may not have realised were keen boxers include

U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt, Lord Byron, Berry Gordy (the founder of Motown records), inventor of the steam locomotive George Stephenson, Pope John Paul II, Eamon Andrews, Kris Kristofferson, singer Terence Trent D’Arby, ldi Amin, Bob Hope, Arthur Mullard, Billy Joel, John Fashanu, Jack Palance and Ernest Hemingway.

NORTH STAFFS NEWS...

At our April meeting we welcomed a new member in the shape of Mick Penning a friend of Larry Parkes for many years and who   with the assistance  of the Secretary  will be writing an article  on the inauguration of Larry Parkes into the British Ex Boxers Hall of Fame, which will take place on the 17th September 2017 with the article hopefully appearing  in the Sentinel  newspaper  at some stage in the next couple  of  months.

Sadly our Chairman Gary Marston was unable to be in attendance at the meeting due to an extremely sensitive family matter and the Association would like to send Gary our very best wishes for a prompt conclusion to the matter.

Should there be anybody with a passion for our great sport who wishes to  join our friendly, welcoming Association  please feel free to contact Secretary Richard Vaughan on 07985 468004 or  by e-mail at rich0906@yahoo.co.uk or simply pop in at The Leopard, 21 Market Place, Burslem on the first Tuesday of the month  at 8pm.

CEBA February 2017 NEWSLETTER SECRETARY’S NOTES…

SECRETARY’S NOTES...

Welcome to the first Newsletter of 2017, once again thanks to Craig Birch for his ever popular contributions.
Our next meeting will take place at the Firs Club, Codsall on Sunday March 5t h • Coffee served from 10.30am, meeting starts at 11.00am prompt. This meeting will be our AGM, nominations are invited for the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
Nominations should be received in writing by myself no later than 14 days prior to the meeting date.

**********

During my recent travels I spent some time in New Zealand. As usual whilst indulging in local Irish bars the conversations turned to boxing, and I was asked my opinion on recently crowned WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker. It almost seems that locals cannot quite believe that they have a World Champion on their hands, (he is New Zealand’s first) and are seeking confirmation that this is really true. I spoke to a number of people who thought that his victory over Andy Ruiz last year was questionable, with a fair amount of late night bar­ room experts giving the decision to Ruiz.
Joseph Parker is of Samoan descent, whose native name – as I’m sure you are all aware is Lupesoliai La’auliolemalietoa. I’m nearly sure that during several conversations in local bars in the wee small hours, certain locals seemed to be referring to the lad by that name (or something similar).
Parker represented New Zealand in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, after which he was hyped as being the country’s most promising boxer since David Tua. He switched to the paid ranks in 2012, flattening a string of opponents in double quick time. I will be following his career with interest in future, there is talk of a match with Hughie Fury amongst others.
I can’t wait to visit the Fiddler Irish bar again next year for many more expert late night opinions on Joseph Parker, Brexit, Donald Trump, the meaning of life, all of which has to be discussed between music, song and great craic in the early hours! Xmas holidays in Auckland can be tough!.

From The Chairman's Pen

Happy New Year to you all!

Wolverhampton ABC will be staging a show at Bar Sport in Cannock in February, I’m sure you would all like to wish Gary ‘Snapper’ Bate a successful evening.

This year will see Midlands boxing shows increase yet again – who

said boxing is on the decline? There are seven shows taking place within the Midlands region in February, with seven already booked in for March.  If you would like to know where and when these shows are to be held give me a call on 07970792228.

Sam Eggington will be defending his WBC International Welterweight title at the 02 Arena on the undercard of David Haye v’s Tony Bellew on Saturday 4th March live on Sky Sports Box Office.

I would like to extend a big welcome back to Shaun ‘Crusher’ Messer after his recent Malta experience.  Please ask Gary ‘Snapper’ Bate why Shaun’s nickname has changed from ‘Mad Dog’ to ‘Crusher’?????

Yours in Sport

Martin

Through The President's Eye

Ken Buchanan, MBE, and Dick McTaggart, MBE, As a sportsman who has met various athletes who have competed at different disciplines, it was a sheer pleasure complimented by awe to have met two of my favourite British fighters at the British Boxing Hall of Fame inductions that were held at
the Azur, in St. Leonards on- Sea, Hastings, in September, 2016. I met Ken Buchanan, MBE, and Dick McTaggart, MBE, two fighters whom

I have always admired for the skills that they demonstrated inside the ring, made even more magnificent by their modesty outside of the ring.

Dave Harris, Jane Davidson and others worked very hard to present a splendid occasion for everyone at this superb location in Hastings. There have been several British boxing Champions who have
graced the world stage with style and dignity, whose presence as fighters remained etched in the memories of boxing fans throughout the world.
I came to this country as a teenager in the 1960s with the dedicated aim to become a professional boxer, and there were two fighters that to my mind, stood out from the rest of the brilliant fighters around at that time.
They were Ken Buchanan MBE, and Dick McTaggart MBE. McTaggart had competed at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne Australia, and at the 1960 Olympics that were held in Rome, Italy. He won a gold medal in Melbourne and a bronze medal in Rome, losing out in the third round to eventual winner, Jerzy Kule of Poland. However, our hero, McTaggart won the Val Baker trophy for best boxing {Val Barker, was the first General Secretary, of the International Amateur Boxing Federation). This award is usually awarded to the fighter of the games who displays the most evident style and technique. A prolific winner, was Dick McTaggart, he won ABA titles in 1956, 1958, 1960, 1963 and 1965. He was inducted in the Scottish Boxing Hall of Fame in 2002.
Ken Buchanan was also a trophy laden fighter who any aspirant fighter would love to emulate. He was a lightweight fighter who had all the moves and techniques of a fighter who would make it to the highest rung of his professional career. Another quality that I found most accommodating but unusual for a top fighter was his undying modesty that he displayed at all times. Now that I’ve met him decades later, he’s all that he seemed to me as a young man back then, looking for heroes. He speaks quietly and assuredly and does not make one entertain the belief that he is too busy to talk with you. Still a Champion now as he was then, and purportedly will be always!
Ken Buchanan, MBE, was born on the 28th. June, 1945, and was an undisputed World Lightweight Champion when he beat Ismael Laguna in his back yard, in Puerto Rico. This win must have been so satisfying for the champ, as it was against the expectations of most of the boxing scribes who predicted that he would lose because of the heightened temperature of the weather in Puerto Rico. However, champions don’t mind predictions they fight and win fights they are not expected to win. In another test of Buchanan determination the politics of boxing prevented Buchanan from boxing in Britain, and as a result had to fight overseas until the boxing politics had been resolved between the parties. It is sometimes said that great Champions do overcome great difficulties when they must!

Through The Presidents Other Eye

This contribution is a little different from what I’ve done before and I hope you’ll read and have a little chuckle whilst reading it.
The two people that I’ve written about in my first contribution this month, Ken Buchanan MBE, and Dick McTaggart MBE, are fighters of a bygone era, so I thought I would continue writing about what I saw and how I interpreted this new life and ways of doing things, when I first landed in this country as a 16-year-old many years ago,
Here goes:
When I came to Britain in 1963 this country enjoyed the second highest standard of living in Europe, just behind Sweden.
In the world of music, the Mersey sound was the sound of the moment, as played by four likely lads for Liverpool calling themselves the Beatles. The world of fashion was dominated by the launch of the mini skirt by Mary Quant, a style that was embraced by all with unanimous approval! The most popular slogan at the time was: “Let’s make love – not war, because love’s lovely and war is ugly.
In the boxing, World, this side of the Atlantic, Sir Henry Cooper was British & Empire Heavyweight Champion. (Empire soon to be changed to The Commonwealth).
The new star on the boxing horizon was a young fast talking braggadocio from Louisville, Kentucky, by the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay. He had astonished the World and his opponents with the blazing speed of his hands and feet which was only surpassed by his speed of wit, and he was certainly not a humble fighter. “I’m the greatest!” He proclaimed.
The World looked on in amazement at his accomplishments both inside and outside the ring, and finally agreed “Yes, he’s the greatest”.
I will conclude this overview of the 1960’s in the next edition. Yours in Sport
Bunny Johnson (President)

'Boxing Matters' - by Craig Birch

Joshua-WladimirHeavyweight boxing great Larry Holmes would hate to say ‘I told you so’ when it comes to predicting Anthony Joshua’s rise to fame.
Holmes touted the Englishman as a future ruler of the division on a visit to the West Midlands over three years ago, writes Craig Birch.
Former WBC and inaugural IBF titlist Holmes was back in the area for a public speaking engagement in West Bromwich.
‘The Easton Assassin’ first proclaimed “I think you have got a champion here” in 2013, after providing punditry for one of Joshua’s early pro fights on Sky Sports the month before.
‘AJ’ was three fights into his tear at that point, and went on to become a world titlist with the least amount of ring time in history. Of the 156 rounds
he’s has been scheduled to complete since making his debut, he’s took out anyone who has dared stand with him in a total of 44 sessions.
The 27-year-old has a punch perfect 18 wins from 18 bouts, with 18 stoppages. Now comes the acid test – he’ll next go toe-to-toe with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on April 29.
Joshua, who has never been past seven rounds, pits his wits against arguably the most dominant heavyweight of the modern era.
Before an absolute no-show to lose his multitude of world titles on points to Tyson Fury, you had to go back 11 years to find a defeat on the Ukrainian’s record, which includes a win over David Haye.
Klitschko has since turned 40, and while both are Olympic medallists, the difference in time between Atlanta 1996 and London 2012 suggests Joshua might be too young and fresh for him.
Joshua’s IBF title, along with the now vacant WBA ‘super’ and 180 belts, will be on the line in what is make-or-break territory for the European veteran.
No one can take away Klitschko’s haul of honours and the 22 title defences he made of his crowns, which eclipses Holmes’ 20. Only Joe Louis, with 25, has defended more times.

‘Dr Steelhammer’ – a nickname coined by virtue of his and brother Vitali’s PhDs – must now hope his trademark jab knocks Joshua out of his stride.
It worked at will for Holmes, who was in possession of what is rated as one of the best left jabs ever, as he closed in on history during his own career.
The American came within a fight of matching Rocky Marciano’s unbeaten record of 49-0, but was beaten for the IBF title Joshua now holds by Michael Spinks in 1985.
Larry-HolmesHolmes said: “I could see the potential Anthony has and I’ve been in boxing for a long time. The way he’s going, he might even break my record!
“I told him that when I was there that night (in 2013). The fights shouldn’t get easier but, if you train right, the result should stay the same right across the board.
“You have got a big boy here who is capable of boxing properly, not like Lennox Lewis! He was great, but had no jab.
“We have been friends since Lennox came to my gym and I was trying to teach him how to jab, he started using it but he was always trying to kill somebody.
“This kid reminds me of Lennox and he sounds like him, too, they must
be from the same place! He’s got a great future.”
Holmes’ slice of folklore ended up with him becoming the only man to have stopped Muhammad Ali in a pro contest.
Despite not taking up boxing until he was 19, Holmes competed 97 times amateur and pro, with 22 unpaid. The last was a disqualification loss against Duane Babick in the 1972 Olympic trials. He then spent nearly 20 years as a pro, debuting in 1973 before finally calling time in 2002. He featured 75 times, with 69 wins and 44 inside thedistance.

Now aged 67, the man considered to have possessed one of the best left jabs ever is a double legend, having been inducted into the International and World Boxing Hall of Fame.
He defeated the likes of Earnie Shavers and Ken Norton, the latter winning him the WBC title, before taking on friend and perennial sparring partner Ali in 1980.
Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee retired him at the end of the 10th round after a performance, at age 38, not befitting of ‘the Greatest.’
Rocky actor Sylvester Stallone, who was watching on at ringside, famously called the fight “like watching an autopsy on a man who is still alive.”
Holmes recalled: “The hardest puncher I ever fought was Earnie. He knocked me down but I got up, took him around the ring and showed him how to box. He was in trouble then.
“Everybody told me I couldn’t beat these guys. When someone says you can’t do something, it only makes me more determined.
“My opponents knew to how to box, but they really didn’t know how to box like I do. It was Ali who taught me. I first met him in 1973. “When I first got into boxing, he had a camp that I went to and, at first, he’d give me a real beating when we sparred. We used to put exhibitions and, once, he gave me a black eye but I didn’t quit. “From then on, he was my friend and he gave me a job for four years and I travelled around the country with him.
“I learned so much from watching him and learning. When it became my time, I knew all of the tricks. He was a mentor to me.
“I didn’t think that we would fight, I couldn’t see how it would benefit me.
If I won, I beat an old man and, if I lost, people would think I didn’t have it.
“It was about the money, for him, and I understood that and he still believed he could do it in the ring. I was banging him around and he was like ‘you ain’t got nothing boy, show me something.’
“I hurt him in the ropes and whispered to him ‘Ali, don’t take any more of this.’ He turned round and told me ‘shut up, boy, I’m going to knock you out!’
“I asked the referee to stop the fight, because I was hurting this man. He told meto shut up. Once it was over, I was happy.

“I went to his dressing room after and they were rubbing him down, wherever the bruises were on his body. I told him he was still on the greatest fighters of all time and how much I loved him.
“He joked with me ‘if you love me so much, why did you beat me up like that?’ We had a good laugh about it.”
Holmes held onto the WBC crown until 1983, the same year he outpointed Tim Witherspoon in a title defence that was hotly­ disputed.
He was later awarded the newly-formed IBF’s belt, a reign which ended when he lost to Spinks, one of six contests where he was defeated.
He came out of retirement for a mega-money offer to fight an on-fire Mike Tyson, the only man to remove him before the Ali-and-Holmesfinal bell. He halted a 38-year-old Holmes in the sixth on 22 January 1988. Holmes said: “Witherspoon was a good and determined fighter, but I still believe that he didn’t win. I did things to him that got me the result. “How you believe in yourself is a big part of whether you win or lose. No one ever told meI could achieve what I did.
“I wasn’t perfect in my fight game, at first I was but time went against
me and I let myself down a little bit. In theend, I quit.
“I was retired, I was sitting in the house and watching television. I like watching basketball games. Then the door goes one day and it was Don King (promoter). “He asked me to hear him out and the next thing he’s talking about Mike Tyson. I hadn’t trained for two years,
I’d only left the house to hang out at the bar.
“I didn’t want to fight Tyson, no one did, but he offered me so much money ($2.8 million) that I was never going to turn it down.
“It was a hard fight that I shouldn’t have taken, I wasn’t in shape and, if I had have been, I’d have whooped him, like with a lot of the other young guys. I’d have knocked them out early.”

CEBA August 2016 NEWSLETTER SECRETARY’S NOTES…

SECRETARY’S NOTES...

Welcome to the latest edition of our Newsletter, with many thanks to Craig Birch and Melanie Lloyd for their contributions.

*************

This year’s Golf Day was another resounding success, after much hard work by Shaun Messer. Numbers were slightly down this year, with eight teams taking part, but considering the present economic climate we all agree that Shaun did a fantastic job in putting it all together. Thanks also to Brian and Stephen for their help on the day, as well as Martin for his behind the scenes efforts.

*************

I recently attensaid Johnny Nelson.ded a Ron & Steve Gray Sporting Luncheon where Johnny Nelson was the guest speaker, and a very enjoyable afternoon was had by all. The pictures show our latest newsletter contributor Gary ‘Snapper’ Bate and Don Bartlett with the 

Gary ‘Snapper’ Bate and Don Bartlett with the said Johnny Nelson.

Gary ‘Snapper’ Bate and Don Bartlett with the said
Johnny Nelson.

N.B. Our next meeting will take place at the Firs Club, Station Road, Codsall on Sunday 11th September.

From The Chairman's Pen

It was very nice to see our friends from North Staffs EBA attend our last meeting.

Larry Parkes, Harry Foxhall and the younger member Jimmy Stubbs with a total of some 244 years young at heart between them.

I am pleased to say it appears that boxing is on the up within the Midlands Area, we are on track for nearly fifty shows this season – the most we have had for a long time.

The BBBC Awards Dinner will be held at the Eaton Hotel on the 15th October 2016. Tickets are priced at 45.00p.p.and it would be nice if our organisation could put a table together. Ring me if you’re interested on 07970 792228.

I hope all members enjoyed reading the last Newsletter. ‘Snappers’ Snippets’ went down well, rumour has it that the Black Country Bugle may be head hunting our latest contributor/journalist as Gary remembers most of the places mentioned in his articles as if it was yesterday!

John Farney of F&F Mystery Tours ran a mystery tour recently to somewhere he has now forgotten. After returning from his comfort break the great man and his passengers were on the river where the boats’ skipper was running on large Vodka & Cokes. We hope to see Captain Farney at our next meeting where I’m sure he will give us an update on events.

Yours in Sport Martin

NORTH STAFFS NEWS...

On 17th August 2016 octogenarian member Larry Parkes celebrated his 86th birthday at the Commercial Inn, Stoke on Trent in the company of his family, friends and EBA members. A sign of the high esteem that Larry is held in was emphasised by the numbers in attendance and the consistent line of people wanting to spend time in his company.

Plans are underway for the certificate recognising the induction of Tut Whalley into the City of Stoke on Trent Sporting Hall of Fame to be sited in a prominent place at the Association headquarters and it has also been agreed that pictures of notable boxers from the North Staffs area could be hung alongside Tut.

Should there be anybody with a passion for our great sport who wishes to join our friendly, welcoming Association please feel free to contact Secretary Richard Vaughan on 07985 468004 or by e- mail at rich0906@yahoo.co.uk or simply pop in at The Leopard, 21 Market Place, Burslem on the first Tuesday of the month at 8pm.

Boxing Matters( By Craig Birch )

Tim Witherspoon has always maintained that Frank Bruno beat himself in their world title fight at Wembley Stadium 30 years ago.image_002

Witherspoon is still the last American world heavyweight champion to bring his belt to our shores and defend his crown successfully. ‘Terrible Tim’ shattered Bruno’s hopes of glory in the Englishman’s first shot at global honours and extended Britain’s near century-long wait for a world heavyweight ruler.

English-born Lennox Lewis finally put that to bed in 1993, some 96 years after Bob Fitzsimmons had made history. Bruno later got the job done, at the fourth attempt, in 1995.But it was Witherspoon in the firing line back on 19 July 1986 with Bruno, fast becoming a darling of the nation, fancying his chances.

The 25-year-old had been European boss but he’d already been beaten and stopped once before, in the 10th and last round against James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith two years previously.

Witherspoon had been robbed out of sight in his first world title opportunity, coming off second best to an aging Larry Holmes for WBC honours.

He then won and lost the WBC crown before picking up the WBA strap, with Bruno his first defence in his fourth world title fight.

Aged 28, he’d come out on top at levels Bruno hadn’t but was considered there for the taking, on appearance alone.

While Bruno looked to have muscles in his spit at their head-to- head meeting and the weigh in, Witherspoon appeared flabby even as a heavyweight.

image_003The notion that the champion had arrived all of the way from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania without taking the fight seriously wasn’t entirely accurate, though.

Nutrition had not been his strong point, true, and coach ‘Slim’ Jim Robinson took action when he got wind of it.

Witherspoon had definitely ballooned since they got on the plane. He recalls: “I trained pretty good, but I started eating different foods when I got to England. It was my first time over and I’d never had to make weight before.

“I remember them sending 12 cases of orange juice to my room in the hotel, I was drinking that and then I was eating really well. I must have gained 7lb to 10lb.

“I was running a lot and still putting it on, then my trainer came in and saw the orange juice. I told him it was complimentary and he was like ‘I think they did this on purpose!’

“I think I was 224lb when I left America and I wound up being something like 234lb at the weigh in. We gave the juice to my sparring partners!”image_004

Witherspoon had been rendered out of shape, but he remained adamant would still be capable of beating Bruno on fight night.

His confidence soared, in fact not just because of the people around him but also because of the English public.

The man in the street had grave reservations about whether Bruno could pull it off and Witherspoon reckons it eventually told on their countryman.

He said: “A lot of people doubted him, claiming he was too muscular and things like that. When I came over and talked to the people, I noticed there were several different opinions of him. “That gave me an edge. It was his first chance to become a world champion and a lot of weight was on his shoulders. He had a lot on his plate.

“I think that worked against him. I knew it and I took advantage.” Before getting down to business, Witherspoon first had to run the gauntlet of a hostile Wembley crowd after 40,000 spectators packed into the stadium for an open-air show.

Bruno could punch, but Witherspoon had the ability to slip them. The American had a chin, too, whereas our Frank’s punch resistance was already deemed suspect.

Boxing with a languid style suited Witherspoon over a long haul, with Bruno looking increasingly stiff as he blew himself out in the later rounds.

The fight was still relatively close on the cards when the end came, just three seconds before the bell was due to finish the 11th round.

Bruno first came forward to put three punches together to Witherspoon’s head, only to be sent reeling into the corner from an overhand right after leaving himself wide open.

Bruno escaped but could not defend the same shot three more times, dumping him onto his backside in Witherspoon’s corner. In went the towel and it was over, without a count.

Witherspoon said: “I knew the crowd were there and that they were really hostile. They wanted their man to win and were behind him, 100 per cent. I’m just glad I got out of there safe!

“I knew all I had to do was hit Frank solid on the chin and the fight was over. He was game but he was basic, although some of his combinations were good.

“He needed to learn a lot more to reach his goal, but he was in good shape. His muscles were as big as I had ever seen.

“I planned on taking my time, because I knew I could block his punches. That allowed me to relax a bit more.

“I knew I’d have to knock him out, that I’d have to hurt him in order for them to give me the fight. I took my shots when they came along.”

Bruno was gutted in his first time on the big stage, with the bout starting at 1am to accommodate box office in the United States. He went home with $1.1million, though, as the beaten man.

Witherspoon took the belt home with $900,000 of the purse. After he lost his title, he would later spend years battling his promoter, Don King, in court over his earnings.

SNAPPERS’ SNiPPETS by Gary Bate

The following are excerpts from local newspaper articles concerning prize fighting antics from days of yore. The first article concerns an intended major event that was due to take place in Bilbrook in the ‘parish of Codsall’. Whilst the report that ‘several thousand persons’ was probably an exaggeration, bare knuckle bouts were obviously a major attraction back then, taking into account that in 1835 there would probably only be a couple of hundred residents in Bilbrook, the attraction of the venue was obviously wide open spaces with very few prying eyes. (This was of course a short time before our very own Don ‘Chisum’ Bartlett was stationed within the parish.)

Wolverhampton Chronicle 4/3/1835

A prize fight was announced to take place on Tuesday last at Bilbrook in the parish of Codsall, five miles from Wolverhampton between two men, one named John Hicken, and the other called ‘White-Headed Bob’, for £5.00 a side. Mr Bache, high – constable, having received information of the intended fight taking place within his division, proceeded with a warrant accompanied by Mr. John Sparrow, one of the constables of Wolverhampton to the spot, where he found assembled several thousand persons.

Vehicles of every description were upon the ground, with abundance of eatables and ale. Mr. Bache on alighting from the chaise proceeded at once in to the ring and over the ropes, followed by Mr. Sparrow, where the combatants stood in a sparring attitude. Mr. Bache charged the peace, seized the man Hicken, and with the assistance of Sparrow succeeded in bringing him out of the ring to within a few yards of the chaise, when the mob closed upon him, and jostled and elbowed Hicken out of custody. Both delinquents took to their heels, and ran over hedge

and ditch, followed by the multitude like a pack of hounds. In about an hour afterwards fresh arrangements were made, and the people on horse and foot, in great numbers , made the best of their way to Slade Heath, on the Stafford Road, about five miles from Wolverhampton, where they again staked the ground and made a ring to renew the fight. Mr. Bache and Mr. Sparrow were on the alert, and proceeded from the Lion Inn, Codsall to the spot, when the combatants were again put to flight, and obliged to relinquish any further attempt. On Thursday, however, the peace of the neighbourhood was again disturbed by their endeavour to renew the contest. Another warrant was granted, directed to Mr. Bache, who, in company with Mr. Fenn, a constable of Wolverhampton, followed the parties to Rough Hills, between Sedgley and Bilston, and chased them across the country through Bilston and Darlaston to the borough of Walsall , without being able to apprehend either of the parties. The fight was afterwards concluded at Walsall Wood, and was won by White – Headed Bob, whose real name, we understand is Martin. Both men are well known bad characters, and have been tried for manslaughter on account of their pugilistic encounters.

One of the seconds, a man named Baker, is under recognisances to keep the peace for five years, for assaulting the magistrates at our Public Office about two years ago.

Wolverhampton Chronicle 17/7/1833

James Burke, better known as ‘Deaf Burke’, and Richard Curtis, having surrendered themselves this morning, were put to the bar, and pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging Burke with having inflicted divers mortal bruises in a pugilistic contest at Noman’s Land, on Simon Byrne, whereof death ensued; and Richard Curtis with having aided and abetted him in the felony, by acting as his second.

Mr. Ryland conducted the prosecution, and after an able address to the jury he called S.G.Shaw, reported to the County press, who

said that he was present at the fight, which took place on the 3rd of May last at Noman’s Land, between Simon Byrne and Deaf Burke. Byrne was seconded by Ward and Spring, and Burke by Gaynor and Curtis. The men fought for a long time, upwards of three hours, with alternate success. Sometimes one was down, sometimes the other, and sometimes both together. About the 50th round both men were down, and Byrne was undermost. Burke smiled, and tapped his antagonist good humouredly on the shoulder. The whole combat was conducted with great humour on both sides, particularly on the part of Burke. Witness saw both men conveyed out of the ring.

The Doctor who attended Byrne said, that when the body was examined after death had taken place there appeared to have been former disease of the lungs. There was no external injury answering to the internal appearances which could have caused death.

The Learned Judge here stopped the case, and directed the jury to acquit the prisoners. When the verdict of acquittal was announced, the spectators cheered vociferously.

Spring, Ward and Gaynor, immediately surrendered; but no evidence being offered, they were also pronounced Not Guilty. Wolverhampton Chronicle 17/7/1833

On Tuesday another prize fight was fought in a field at Whetstone, between Edward Thompson, a journeyman baker, of Praed Street, Paddington, and Michael Murphy, brother to the well-known pugilist Ned Murphy, for £5 a-side.

The fight lasted one hour and forty-eight minutes, during which twenty-nine rounds were fought, of the most unfair description. Thompson was not only dreadfully stoned by Murphy’s attendants, but also severely beaten with bludgeons. The circle was numerously attended on both sides. Thompson expired at one o’clock yesterday morning from the injuries he had received. Murphy also remains in great danger.

Wolverhampton Chronicle 16/2/1859

Thomas Magnus and Charles Bird were charged at the Police Court on Tuesday with having committed a breach of the peace by engaging together in a prize fight; and fifteen other men were charged with aiding and abetting in the said fight. The fight took place near to the PEAR TREE INN, in the parish of Wednesfield, the defendants surrounding the pugilists. Thomas Tranter said he was not on the ground or anywhere near, but that he was at work all day. In support of this, he produced a note from his master’s clerk. The police officers who made the charges were recalled and they said they were quite sure that Tranter was there, but all the other defendants denied that he was there. Under these circumstances Tranter was discharged. The two principals, Magnus and Bird, who had, it was said, fought together for up to two hours, were ordered to pay 4s 6d each, and the other defendants were bound over to keep the peace.

THE BOROUGH COMMANDER A ND THE BOXER (By Melanie Lloyd)

image_005Former British and European Super- Middleweight Champion, James Cook MBE, has been working with the Hackney Police on their Independent Advisory Group, a concept devised by the MET to improve relations between the police and the people. Every London borough has an IAG, consisting of police officers, including the respective Borough Commanders, and representatives

from the local community who are termed as advisors. The key objective is for the Met to gain a deeper insight into the mood on

the street generally and obtain guidance on various cultural matters.Cook, who was awarded the MBE in 2007 for services to youth justice, is the driving force behind the Pedro Youth Club in East London and has been an advisor to the Hackney IAG for five months. “We invited some local police officers to come to one of our Pedro boxing shows and they spoke to me about it then, so I thought I’d give it a try. The meetings are really good, because we’re normal people who want to help the community. We bring things up that aren’t working, and the police are listening to us. If anything is happening in your particular area, you might get a phone call or a text to let you know about it, and they’ll ask if you can try and calm it down. A lot of people, especially young people, they’d rather speak to somebody they know before the police come, so we’re there to sort of keep the peace.”

James and I took a trip to see the Borough Commander of Hackney, Simon Laurence, who heads up the Hackney IAG. Simon explained “The best way to describe the IAG is we want representation from as many communities as possible. I’m

particularly proud of who we’ve got on it, and the fact that I’m able to openly discuss things that are going on in the borough with leading members of the community. The work that James does is absolutely marvellous, and you don’t get an MBE for nothing. I’m really proud to have James on my IAG. If we think about the whole gang culture, if these young people have got nowhere to go, no positive role model, there is a big chance that they’re going to fall into a life of crime. The whole idea of something like the Pedro Club is they’ve got somewhere where they can expend their energy, somewhere which is safe and where they’ve got people who care about them.”

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS! Our own Nicola Adams made history when she won her second Olympic Gold in Rio. The charismatic Leeds flyweight initially captured our hearts and opened many traditional boxing minds with her emphatically

dazzling performance at London 2012. The issue of whether women should participate in the noble art is one that will always be up for debate. One of the most interesting viewpoints I have ever encountered on the subject came from former British, Commonwealth and European Welterweight Champion, Colin Jones, when I interviewed the Welshman for the Boxing Monthly prior to the London Olympics. Jones is the Head of the National Welsh Squad and, when I asked him how he felt about ladies donning the gloves, he explained “Sometimes, when you’re at these tournaments and they’re mixed, when you’re standing at a distance and they are wearing head-guards, to be honest, they’re so well-schooled that you would think they were boys.”

Adams’ relaxed style on both sides of the ropes denotes a strong sense of confidence in her natural ability to fight. One blast from the past who would have certainly matched Adams for self-belief was Helen Hindreth, a prize fighter from New York who plied her trade 100 years ago. During an interview, she was once asked if she had ever been hit hard, to which she replied “Yes, but that’s part of the game. The excitement and nervous tension you are under when you are boxing makes you forget the pain of a blow almost as soon as you feel it.” In February 1916, Hindreth took part in a mixed contest with a man called Johnny Atkinson. She was actually winning when the police jumped into the ring and stopped the fight!

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOUR ILLUSTRIOUS PRESIDENT! It is

fantastic news that Bunny Johnson is going to be inaugurated into the British Ex Boxers’ Hall of Fame. In the 1970s when he was boxing, Bunny was faced with and overcame many obstacles in order to realise his dream of becoming the first black British Heavyweight Champion. Yet, he always behaved in such a noble and dignified manner, a trait that he has carried with him throughout his life. We are all very proud of you Champ! Have a wonderful day.