By Dennis Dodge – First off, a massive congratulations to the scouse mouth Tony Bellew, who smashed David Haye inside of 5 rounds to once again upset the odds and show the boxing world that you should never rule out boxings answer to Marmite. Though some forumites are stating Haye was injured (again), Haye says he was fully fit and all credit to Bellew for being the better man in both bouts. Maybe they’re getting mixed up as Chisora told the world it was Bellew that was injured (ribs) although a visibly annoyed Bellew stated he didn’t want anyone to know that, regardless of what the result would have been. Unfortunately, Bellew still won’t get the credit he deserves from some quarters and whilst he may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I do believe he’s made more of his career than anyone thought he would and jealousy plays a part. Congratulations to the Bomber and nice to hear him say there will be no further foray’s into the heavyweight division as they’re too big. What comes next we won’t know until he talks to his better half, if it’s retirement he can ride off into the sunset a happy man safe in the knowledge he continually proves us ‘smart’ boxing fans wrong.
As for Haye I hope retirement beckons and he concentrates on managing/training, the only way is down now and I’m not sure his character can do with many more smudges on it
On another note, I’m happy for Bellew that he won but am gutted in another way as I was going to write a piece on Haye and name it either Revenge on the 5th or Return on the 5th. A nod to my Star Wars obsession and I knew it would make my family laugh.
That’s my two penneth on the main event but I’m really here to talk about another show I attended in the afternoon, as a number of youngsters and schoolboys made the trip up to Tameside Elite Boxing Academy, to take part in the Official Steve Tallo-Brady’s monthly Super-Skill-Tech-Spar-Day. It’s a day where kids from aged 10 can take part in a show very much like an official show, every boxer has to have an England medical card. The weigh-in takes place an hour before the start and everyone is matched based on age, weight and experience thus keeping the experience as real as possible and allowing the youngsters to not only keep active but help dispel any nerves that may have manifested in the future. The shows have hosted those starting on the first rung of the ladder and have been the stepping stone for many a national champion (Sky take note and come watch).
Due to a couple of gyms not realising it was on a Saturday this month, the main participants came from the famous Collyhurst and Moston ABC, lads and lasses from Tameside Elite Boxing Acadamy, Gorton ABC and sole participant from The Peoples Gym, Stanley Dodge making his first foray into a boxing gym for 3 weeks due to illness (guess who this is gonna be about?).
All the kids were milling about seizing up possible opponents and wondering who’d get the valuable experience of taking on someone from another gym who they hadn’t faced before. Stan obviously would get that but who would it be? That was answered shortly as he would face the similarly experienced Big Jim Mongan from Moston. My lil lad was nervous but confident as both boys checked on each other as they hit the pads or the gloves. A lovely gesture at the start of the first round saw both boys touch gloves before going to what can only be described as absolute war. Rounds are 1 minute long with the first round being jabs, the second 1’2s and the 3rd full boxing. Despite coming back from injury Stan showed little rust as for a change he started the first round fast, throwing a lovely straight jab to keep the bigger lad away from the inside. Jim settled in quickly though and both boys traded hard shots as Jim forced the wee lad onto the ropes, a number of hard punches thudded in before Stan slipped to the side and thudded in a double jab of his own. At this point Steve stepped in to tell both lads to calm the power down (it’s learning not fighting) as the bell went and they went back to the corner. A big grin on my lad’s face (and I’m certain on Jims) shown the enjoyment as I (being his corner man) checked him down and made sure he was okay. A quick swig of water and a spit and the lads were itching to get out. The atmosphere intensified as they stalked to the middle of the ring and traded punches, both looking to block and counter until Jim hit a sweet right that forced Stan into his corner where he tucked up and blocked until an opening came, and what an opening, a straight right cross sent Jim across the ring and off balance as the crowd ooohed. Not to be deterred Jim shook his head and they met in the middle again as the bell went to end the second. Stan looking tired now but still grinning asked if he’d done alright (‘Your doing brilliant lad’), ‘I’m ready for this one now’ he says as he bites down on his gumshield and nearly pushes me out of the ring as he wants to get back to it. The fighters once again move to the middle of the ring and put on a barnstormer with neither willing to concede an inch, Jim hits a lovely right hook that staggers the wee lad off balance but they’re back in each others face once again showing great defensive and offensive skills. The bell goes, the crowd applause and both shake hands in the middle of the ring showing that respect has been earned on both sides. Referee (and organiser) Steve Brady holds their hands aloft and asks for another round of applause as not only have we seen a barnstormer but we’ve also seen how boxers should react, and both lads leave the ring feeling very proud with happy dads in tow.
I can’t wait to see what’s next for the little man as he wants to move his training up a notch and get himself leaner and fitter and his twin sister who also boxes is currently adamant that she’ll be taking part in the next technical day. A massive thank you to Steve for putting it on and making us all feel welcome (and for giving me a lot of advice and encouragement in my own coaching experiences), for the various gyms that always take part (just check up most in the North West) and to all the coaches for making what could be a very, very competitive day between them into a big get together and passing on of knowledge.
Whilst I have only gone into detail on my lads fight, there were 14 other bouts that day as well, every one was a cracker with varying degrees of skill and experience, special mentions go to Tameside Elites 2 schoolgirls (one coming back from a broken hand) who had 2 bouts each, the older lads from Gorton put on a few corkers to round out the evening and Stan’s former Gym mate Jerry had the no.2 bout of the day (yes my Stan’s was first, my article my choice) with fellow Moston boxer Lil Bernie, like a smaller version of the above fight both lads went at it hell for leather from bell to bell, hard to believe that these 2 were gymmates and friends outside the ring they circled each other like cats waiting to pounce, and when they did it was brilliant, a standing applause (in a day of many) was the least they deserved and I’m happy to say that everyone that participates in the event goes home with a medal and a trophy if they happen to be in fight of the day. It’s the icing on the cake for the boys and girls and allows us coaches the freedom to relax as there’s less of the hassle that can go with some of the busybodies that frequent the sport and sometimes seem to have less than the kids best interest at hearts.
Steve Tallo-Brady has started something that boosts the grassroots of North West Boxing and allows every boxer the opportunity to gain the experience that maybe difficult to arrange at other times. If your gym would like to attend please don’t hesitate to contact the main man through their webpage or facebook page.
Come Join us on the 20th May for an official skills show at Tameside Elite Boxing Academy, tickets are £5.00 and you can show your support for grassroots.