It started with my 2010 New Years Resolutions, in which I said I wanted to start boxing, with the aim to spar competitively by next year. Then on 22nd February I joined the boxing gym. Things were looking up after my first week of boxing. By the 30th June I was sparring with almost full contact.
Then... on the 13th September I was told I had been selected for the next boxing show. I was nervous, and new it meant loads of training, and started taking it seriously, and when the poster was printed and put around Birmingham it felt a lot more real. One week before I was counting down the days.
Friday night was the big night. I was getting more and more nervous through the week, though was able to ignore the feelings mostly. Lots of training had gone in and I couldn't let myself down. My arm wasn't fully healed, so I was worried how it would hold up.
Andy, a heavyweight fighting, invited me and some of the others from our team to his place before to calm the nerves and meet up. When I got there I was a little bit relieved to see that I wasn't the only nervous one. While others queued for the toilet, I sat and watched Rocky III (the part where Apollo Creed is killed in the ring. Brilliant).
When we finally got to Gatecrasher the nerves had gone. I was ready to jump in the ring right away. I paced around the dressing room shadow boxing. I did some pad work, and waited until it was time.
I heard the announcer saying my name and measurements (of which he got my reach incorrect!! 74" instead of 71"!!). Then the music started. I think it was a good choice (watch the video below to hear). For those who don't know, its the Shawn Michaels WWF theme. I think it got some laughs.
I will upload the full fight at some point, I am waiting to get the DVD in the post.
When I watched the video back, it was like I was seeing it all for the first time. All I really remember from the fight is:
- Ed starting off really fast, and landing a lot cleaner and more powerful than I expected.
- My lip cutting in the first few punches and tasting blood the rest of the round.
- Thinking that every time I caught a combination I had to come back out of it swinging to get back a point.
- The bell going after the first round. Sitting down and having water sprayed in my face to try and get me focused again. Drinking the water instead of spitting.
- Going to touch gloves at the start of the second round, and Ed hitting me.
- The game-plan of stepping back and hitting with the right landing cleanly a couple of times.
- Feeling very, very tired, but Ed seeming as if he wasn't getting any slower.
- Knowing I couldn't keep catching hits like he was giving.
- Hearing my mom shout "you're winning", but not knowing if it was true.
- Ed's corner say less than a minute left, and knowing I had to keep hold of my potential lead.
At the end of the fight, I still had no idea if I won. I wanted to go back to the dressing rooms and get water. I only found out when I went out to speak to my mom and friends after. All of which I am very grateful for their cheering, which I could hear in the back of my mind during the fight.
Massive props to Ed. He was a very, very difficult opponent, who was beating me to the punches a lot of the time, and packing a lot of power with them, and at no point seemed to back down after getting hit.
A big thanks to all the people at Fighting Fit City Gym, including Neil Perkins, Paul Gough and Jamie Cahill for the training, the other boxers for their advice, and to my parents and friends who turned up to support me.
After months and months of training I have finally crossed off '56) Have an MMA/Boxing fight', with the added bonus of crossing off '118) Win a Boxing Match'.
I remember in year 4, my school put on a production of 'Bugsy Malone'. The 5 people I mainly hung around with were all cast to be boxers, and the teacher decided I should be a priest. Blatantly only to be nasty, but I think I got the last laugh there.