Opinion | Jul 23 2019

Paul Dempsey: “We need to remember we are lucky to do this.”

Paul Dempsey says he feared for the future of boxing during the boom of MMA, but insists the sport's now thriving again, writes Terry Dooley
7252  |  Paul Dempsey has hosted a number of boxing broadcasts over the years

A lot of people enter the world of boxing thinking that it will lead them to fame and fortune. Then they spit a sentence or two and the game bombs them out. They stagger out of the darkness, muttering about how the sport turned their “Days of Wine and Roses” love of it into a bitter addiction followed by an even more acetous disillusionment — like it is some kind evil reverse Jesus that turns water into vinegar. Then they say: “Well, it is all one big Old Boys’ Club, isn’t it? I didn’t stand a chance.”

In reality, the people who make it in boxing must have the resilience of a honey badger mixed with the heart of a lion and the cynicism of a career politician, with a thick skin to boot. Overnight success stories are often anything but and it requires a lot of patience to make it. Most people have earned their spot. The ones who haven’t fall by the wayside.  

Paul Dempsey has hosted many, many shows for SkySetantaBoxNation and now BT Sports, with other channels mixed in. When he left the City of Leicester Boys’ School and, later, St John’s College he had no real idea of where he was going or how he would get there. Consequently, Dempsey moved into journalism without a fixed employer at first and spent some time living the precarious life of a freelancer before nailing down permanent roles with the likes of Sky. 


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