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EBA newsletter – July 23

Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor is the new IBF super-lightweight champion (Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith)
Simon Euan-Smith pays tribute to Harry Doherty, the president of Kent EBA, who sadly passed away on July 13 at the age of 78

I WAS very sorry to hear of the death of my old friend Harry Doherty on July 13. He was 78. Harry was President of Kent EBA in its last years, and a staunch supporter of the EBA movement and boxing generally. I’d often see him at shows and EBA functions – not so much recently, because he had health problems, including having been involved in a car crash. He was very knowledgeable – his views on today’s boxers were always worth listening to, and his reminiscences of past fighters were fascinating. And his love of the game was paramount. He was also a very funny man, with a new joke every time one saw him.

His son-in-law, Paul, phoned me with the sad news, explaining Harry had had a stroke two days before – and then another. “He didn’t suffer,” Paul said. I’m sure all BN readers will join me in sending condolences to Harry’s wife, Vivienne (who often accompanied him to EBA functions), and all his family and friends. He will certainly be very much missed.

A minute’s silence was held at July’s London EBA meeting for members and other fight people who had passed on, and Stephen Powell paid tribute to them in his President’s Report. He described Ernie Hatton (aged 90) as a lovely man and a staunch LEBA member, even after moving to Norfolk. Bob Draper, too, was a good member and supporter. He said Isola Akay did a lot for the local youth, and helped many young offenders go straight. He spoke of Connor Law’s tragic suicide at just 26 – a good amateur, unbeaten as a pro, and seemingly with a good future. He said Jack Lindsay had been a fine trainer who had worked with several champions, including Billy Schwer, and reminded the meeting that Wille “The Worm” Monroe was the only man to have beaten Marvin Hagler without controversy.

I’m continually stressing how important it is that EBAs show they support today’s scene. There are several ways they can do this. The Scottish EBA have instituted a Scottish Boxer of the Year award, and this year’s winner is Josh Taylor, who is currently 15-0 and last time out won the IBF super-lightweight title with an emphatic win over the previously unbeaten Ivan Baranchyk. So, well done Josh – and well done SEBA for setting up the award. Josh will be presented with the trophy at a future SEBA meeting.

In a similar vein I heard from Ipswich EBA Secretary Erik Roper, as follows: “I attended Harwich ABC’s presentation evening this month, representing Ipswich EBA. The visit was to present our sponsored Smiler Perkins trophy to Harwich boxer Conor Harvey, who was deemed the Best Senior Prospect by coach Martin Webb and his committee. Conor returned to the sport at the beginning of the season after a seven-year absence, and appears to have a new appetite, as evidenced by his performances. Taking pictures was Harwich ABC photographer Dave Edwards, who himself boxed in his younger days – for Colchester. Prominent among the other trophy recipients were the Fighting Gordons, brothers Paul and Rio, who between them won five other categories. They are both outstanding prospects.”

Well done, Ipswich, who I know are great supporters of the current  scene – members regularly attend local shows, pro and amateur, and will travel quite long distances to support their fighters.

The voting forms for Inductees for the British Ex-Boxers Hall of Fame for 2020 are now due. Any EBA that has not returned their form to Dave Harris is requested to do so as soon as possible – in the stamped addressed envelope that was included with the voting form. The deadline is September 1, and the inductees for 2020 will be announced at this year’s event – being held at Orsett Hall, Grays, and hosted by Essex EBA. Next year the Welsh EBA will be hosting the event in Cardiff.

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