Showdown at Samson’s
An EBF Semi Professional Fight Night
If there’s one thing I can tell you about the world of semi-pro boxing it’s this – it’s tough as hell.
You might not be inclined to call the participating pugilists true athletes even if by the very nature of what they do many of them might consider themselves to be just that. And you’re certainly less likely to see the same amount of cut, muscled and lean looking protagonists as you’ll see on the professional scene – that’s for sure. But let me tell you something; on fight night – everybody, and I mean everybody – comes to win.
Whereas the pro scene has its so called ‘journeymen’ (those boxers that are there to look good, fight well but ultimately lose so that the real prospects can hone their skills, gain experience and go on to bigger stages, brighter lights and a world of possible boxing fame and fortune) that scenario is just not a part of the semi pro mix – or if it is, well I personally haven’t seen it yet.
What I have seen is a gut full of great small hall shows and unfortunately also my fair share of some real stinkers – that’s to say; those kind of shows where there have been boxers involved that were so outta shape you worried that they may just keel over with the effort of trying to make it to the bell at the end of the first round. Thankfully my last outing took me to a show that fell well inside the former rather than the latter category. Not all of the fighters were great fighters but most of them looked like they’d at least made an effort to get themselves ready to fight. And like I said earlier, from what I could see they’d all come to win.
I gotta take my hat off to Andy Flute and here’s why. If you didn’t know it Andy is a former pro boxer whose career lasted from 1989 to 2004. He fought mostly at middle weight and although he wasn’t able to win a title (and bear in mind that back in those days there were far fewer titles out there to win) from say 93 to towards the tail end of his career he was always in the mix.
As well as sparring with some real greats such as Chris Eubank, in his quest for title success he took on some real top notch boxers including the likes of Neville Brown, Mark Delaney, Robin Reid and Glen Gattley to name but a few.
Now an established and respected Trainer and Promotor for EBF Andy develops boxers and puts on great shows like the one I attended at Samson’s in Oldbury. And I have to tell you, as shows go – on this occasion I was mightily impressed.
In the final picture above Andy is the one standing just to the right of the boxer’s corner with his hand on the bucket. And if you look carefully you’ll just make out that he’s wearing a T with his name and a picture of himself printed on it . The T design is actually taken from the front cover of a book he’s written and is about to publish and I believe MBC is lining up an interview with him to talk about his forthcoming publication which is called ‘Andy Flute. Jesus In My Corner. A Boxer journey from Hell to Christianity.’
I’m not necessarily out to plug the book here but the truth is my interest is stoked by the title alone. Not that any of us need to be reminded about how hard boxing is and can be, but only recently a friend of mine said to me that the toughest part of boxing is the life you have to live outside of the ring.
This in mind, for me Andy Flute’s book seems like it’s going to provide a real insight into the hell and high waters of a boxer’s life which makes it a must read and I can’t wait for its release. What more can I say?