Feature | Issue | Premium | Aug 19 2019

James Branch: ‘They want to see blood and gore’

James Branch tells Ian Probert what it feels like to land a fight-winning punch
James Branch
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

WHAT does one of Britain’s brightest young boxing prospects do to relax when the sweat and toil is over for the day and he’s basking in the glow of having just registered his very first knockout as a pro? 

“I was just playing FIFA on my Xbox,” grins James Branch as he sits in his bedroom surrounded by the sound of giggling which is emanating from two of his best mates. There is a carnival atmosphere in the room.

Daniel Vale is perched at one end of the sofa. He has known James since they were both 11 and shares with his friend the almost supernatural inability to ever stop his lips from moving. Chris Hinson, on the other hand, keeps a stoic silence; he has known James since they were both 16 and has obviously long since given up on ever being able to make any kind of meaningful contribution to the relentless verbal sparring. Because when James and Daniel get talking it’s clear that persistence is futile. 


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