August 4, 2017
August 4, 2017
journeymen

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IF someone told you that a boxer had lost 100 boxing fights you would think it’s about time they stopped right! Well Peter Buckley lost 256 fights before he hung his gloves up. He is one of many ‘journeymen’ we have in boxing.

There’s so many of these guys who make a living by losing.

These guys help out boxing big time around the world, the boys fight every other week during the season, take fights at short notice, even a couple of hours’ notice. If someone pulls out and a promoter needs an opponent fast, they save boxing shows, they are often very tough and rugged but have not got the talent to make it as a champion but the talent to make it as a ‘journeyman.’ I say talent because that’s what it is! And often they can make more money than the average fighter.

Not everyone can do what they do, even some top level pros would struggle, to fight as often as them, their body has to be super durable. They have to be smart enough to not get hurt, know when to hold, it’s a totally different style of fighting.

These are the kind of fighters that just about every successful pro boxer has fought mostly at the start of their career. It gives new pros the experience of being in a professional ring, with no headguards, sometimes longer rounds and the change of the pro style.

Fighting guys like this brings you on mentally and physically. Most of them go to lose because if they win and beat a prospect they won’t get any more fights because no promoter wants their prospect to lose and so they could be a bit risky.

I’ve heard more stories about journeymen making deals with the promoters not to get stopped, because this stops them from working the next week…

A lot of them fight so often that they don’t need to train, that is there training!

If you look on boxrec.com , it has the boxing records of every fight past and present, look at their records and see who they fought their first 10-15 fights. Like Ricky Hatton on his 12th fight he fought a lad who had only won 17 out of 96 fights. Joe Calzaghe on his 11th pro fight he fought a journeyman with 33 wins out of 67 fights.

Former world champ and Sky TV commentator Glenn McCrory on his 20th fight he fought someone who’d had three fights and had only won one and been KO’d twice. Glenn won on points over six rounds. I was wondering why on earth this fight would be made after he’d had 20 fights but then I seen that out of Glenn’s six fights before this one he’d only won one and been KO’d three times so maybe it was a confidence booster, another reason why journeymen are so great for boxing.

Former pound-for-pound king for many, Manny Pacman was even one for fighting a load of journeyman on his way to become one of boxing’s biggest earners and most well known fighters, he turned pro at the age of 16 and was fighting journeyman for the first couple of years learning his trade, which was definitely needed at that age. So boxing without these guys with very bad records would be a different sport.

When fighters don’t fight on TV they can get away with this, but on TV if a prospect fights a guy with a crazy record like Billy Smith, it will make bad viewing because everyone knows the journeyman has no chance, and the majority of people don’t want to see it.

So now I see promoters using foreigners with padded records, who may have won eight fights out of 10, but the eight opponents all had terrible records or records that were not confirmed.

journeymen

From my 10 pro fights I think I only three or four of those guys came in there thinking they would win.

Honestly I didn’t mind, I was being paid really well.

Former Olympic bronze medallist Tony Jeffries is the owner of the Box ‘N Burn gym in Los Angeles and runs the Box ‘N Burn Academy