By Anthony Ritchie – Any parent will agree that their child will always listen more to their coach of any sport than any knowledge the parent will look to pass on, this has proved to be true on more than one occasion for myself since 2011 when my son and I walked into a Boxing class taught by Former British and World Champion, Birmingham’s Wayne Elcock, as part of Waynes own Box Clever Programme. I had witnessed Wayne tear the British title from Howard Eastman in 2007 at the Coventry Skydome, in a fight which epitomised his Mad Dog nickname, so was possibly more overawed at this meeting than my five-year-old son seemed to be! I took great pleasure in showing my son highlights of this fight on youtube when we returned home in order to try and convince him that learning the noble art and being taught by a former champion was quite the achievement.
In a 19 fight career, Wayne beat Anthony Farnell for the WBU World title in just his tenth fight, dethroned Champion Howard Eastman for the British Title in 2007 and challenged IBF Middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in his next fight, after losing to Matthew Macklin in 2009 he ultimately retired and was immediately thinking what was next for Mad Dog. The Box Clever brand was born in 2010, with the aim of it being to work with challenging youngsters, harnessing useful exuberance with the skills that he learnt in an ultimately successful career. The first school Wayne took the programme into was Dovecotes Primary School in Pendleford and was successful in being a major factor in changing pupils behaviour and instilling core beliefs, which parents and Head Teacher Gillian Beddow reiterated that Wayne was responsible for due to the structured nature of the programme and motivational skills of the former Champion.
With Box Clever thriving in schools across the Midlands, Wayne Elcocks Boxing Academy was born in 2014, with the ABA affiliated Squad also moving into their current gym, which is based in Chelmsley Wood, with several of the current crop of academy boxers, of which my son is one, having come through the Box Clever programme. Here Wayne devotes his time four days a week to training his squad and preparing them for life inside and outside the ring. When not training he is to be found inside his Ringside Boxing Shop in Sutton Coldfield, where the shop due to Wayne’s drive has quickly established itself as the go-to shop for boxers throughout the Midlands and beyond.
Most Recently Wayne also donned the gloves for one last time in a charity bout at the home of Birmingham City, this was against Fellow Pro Tony Oakey, in order to raise money for local charity Libby Maes Angels, the night was a huge success with several of Waynes Academy being given the chance to showcase their skills on the night.
Sadly not every boxer is able to replicate their success in the ring, but if anything Mad Dog Is surpassing his, with his many ventures proving that there doesn’t have to be an end when boxers stop throwing punches, it Seems Wayne will keep striving to move forward and will continue to keep proving he is pride of the Midlands.