History | Aug 22 2015

I confronted Mike Tyson’s bodyguard and told him to get his own towels

Matt Christie talks to veteran whip Ernie Draper about the manic life behind the scenes of British boxing
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ERNIE DRAPER has been a fixture in British boxing for over 40 years. Working as a whip behind the scenes of Frank Warren’s boxing shows, Draper has been up close and personal with most of the big-name fighters who have fought in Britain over the last 40 years. As he prepares to retire after Warren’s September shows at Limerick and Wembley, the 75-year-old shares some stories with us. It was the kind of chat that left Boxing News wanting to hear more, and preferably over a pint or three. We’ll see you down the boozer, Ernie. The first round is on us…

Tell us what your job has entailed over the years.
I go to the venue, go the dressing rooms and make sure they’re warm. You look down the list [of bouts], work out who don’t like who – and this is just a personal thing for me – and make sure they do not share a dressing room. Then you go on from there. Make sure there’s toilet rolls in the dressing rooms, give the gloves to the trainers, and as Frank [Warren] said to me when I started all those years ago: “You make sure everything is there for them.” Also at the weigh-in I get the weights, the short colours, get a list of the music, make sure they see the doctors before and after, and make sure the appropriate medical rooms are there for the doctors.

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