THE following is a conversation between myself – a hardcore boxing fan – and a casual boxing fan.
Casual fan: “I see Jermall Charlo is now the WBC middleweight champion. What happened to Canelo Alvarez?”
Me: “He got elevated to WBC Franchise champion.”
Casual fan: “What’s that?”
Me: “A sort of super elite champion.”
Casual fan: “So Charlo isn’t really the champ?”
Me: “You could say that.”
Casual fan: “What’s the point of that?”
Me: “Err, I really don’t know.”
WHEN I left England for America 20 years ago, Cumbria had a good amateur scene but no professional scene. I’m currently back in Barrow at the moment visiting my family. Since I’ve been back, Liam Conroy has been involved in one of the best fights of 2019 in Belfast. I’ve also been to see Ross Cooksey, Michael McGoldrick and Ryan Watson box in Bolton while I’ve been back [see page 33]. All four men gave incredible accounts of themselves and the support they received was rabid. What makes this remarkable is the fact that these pugilists are from Barrow, which happens to be one of the most isolated towns in England. They work their days on the docks in a naval shipyard, then drive a three-hour round trip to Preston for training. A couple of the lads’ partners have just had babies, yet they still show up to training every day. That’s the level of their dedication to the noble art. Well done, lads. Mike Hills
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