OK so if your reading this you probably gone through the last few posts that were the build up to this wonderful night. 8 weeks of training, ups, downs and ups again. I’ve focused on me and my experience through this, but every one of my experiences has been with one of the other 14-20 people that signed up for this event and I will mention these guys today. Not just the ones boxing but the ones organising, preparing, babysitting and motivating from in the gym and out of it.
As you know I do bad news, good news, so here’s the bad. There are two bits.
1) the professional photos and videos of the event are not ready yet. It’s only been 24 hours give them a break. 🙂 I’ll update this blog or write another once it’s all ready to go.
2) I lost, that is all, there are no excuses. Paul fought well, he came with a game plan, executed, saw a weakness in my movements and capitalised on it. Great job Paul. Round 1 Paul had, just. Round two, I feel like I had, just. It was a very even exchange, I feel like our styles of boxing worked well together, our fitness levels were about right, I’d almost say it was a perfect match setup between us.
I was feeling pretty good about round three until Paul caught me with a good hit and I was sat on the floor with a sprained ankle. Gutted is not the word but there are no complaints. This was a brilliant achievement for both Paul and myself (mostly for Paul if I’m honest, lol). Weirdly we sat together for some of the night up to the fight, watching other fights, feeling the fear and calming each other down. Friends until the bell went, punch each other in the face for about 6 minutes, friends again afterwards. I can’t tell you how great it is going through this with someone you like. Probably totally different if we didn’t like each other, luckily I won’t have to find out what that’s like.
That’s all the bad news for today. Pretty good right. 👍🏻
The good. There’s lots of these today so I’m making a little list 😝
- My face doesn’t hurt and is not bruised or bleeding from anywhere. Brilliant.
- Every fight was a good one, I can’t stress this enough 8 weeks should not be enough time to make so many people capable to do what they did on the night. Well done everybody in the ring and everyone that helped out of the ring.
- Everyone was friendly before, during and after the fighting, both fighters and fans. This created a brilliant environment in the arena and in the back rooms.
- The team work in the back room was amazing, even between teams, sharing sweets/drinks, warming people up, motivation. Just a great environment to be in.
- I loved every second of this experience, looking back it’s been one of the best things I have ever been part of, not only because I lost 13kg through this 8 week process, but because I faced a massive fear of performing in front of people and I feel like a superstar for doing it.
There are more good points, being with each fighter, from the blue corner, before and after each fight. I wanted to get a full experience so I spent a lot of time in the back rooms. One of the best bits for me was early on, watching Jack Minnock shadow box before his bout. It was like watching someone float, 1,2, pivot, step, reset, next combo. Strangely it’s one of the things that really stands out for me from the whole night. I wish I could move like that, natural, smooth, without effort just simple flowing movement with one goal, positioning. It was inspiring to see.
Now onto everyone else. This was a truly amazing team effort. Every training session brought something new. Jack Minnock, I think I’ve said enough on him, just a pleasure to watch, George Allen for entertainment early on calming the nerves, Paul Bailey, my opponent, has a personality that lights up a room and makes you laugh, adds a little motivation to every session. John Fitz a massive hitter who spent extra time outside of sessions to get me motivated to drop the weight, also preping me for getting punched in the head. Lee Claff and Craig Hanson pushing for hill sprints and for the 8am Saturday sessions. Darren Walsh for helping me out when my confidence dropped with a steady counter punching session. Mark Dixon for pads on the night and being a genuinely lovely guy. Justin Smallman for showing its not just the kids that can do this, his speed and power inspired me to try harder, Greg Derkats for helping out with my defence, punch variance and fitness, Jacob Collins for showing where I need to be fitness wise for next time, John Plant fitness motivation and advice on conditioning, Martin Cleary for that morning session on the day, settling the nerves and bringing the cookies for a sugar rush before the fight, Mark Bradshaw for jumping in at the last minute to fill a spot, Liam Whelan for constant adjustments in my form, always looking and commenting on how to improve, John Larrigan for help with defence under pressure and Tristain Hoban for confidence building over the 8 weeks and the first beer after we’d finished boxing, very important. 😜
Remember all these guys have a story just like mine, from day job to ring in 8 weeks, life, work, family, struggles and obstacles that made this a real challenge for everyone, in every situation. Yet all of these lads would have done anything to help you out or pick you up because they were all going through the same struggles. I couldn’t have hoped for a better set of lads to do this with.
I’ve mentioned one or two things that these guys have done for me, there are many more. Most of which they probably don’t know about, hitting the last 20 seconds of a workout hard when on bags or pads, pushing me that little bit more. Turning up to training every time enforcing that there is no excuse for missing a session. Last but not least all being decent guys, people I can see myself going for a beer with. I’m going all soppy here but I’d class you all as close friends now, if there is ever anything I can help with, the offers always there. Except you Paul. You can sod off after beating me in the ring. Ha ha ha
Now there has been one guy in the middle of all this, Anthony Carr.
I’ve been seeing Anthony once a week for about 18 months for one2one sessions for weight loss and fitness improvements, I started at around 24 stone, I’m now 16st 8lb. I know I did the work but he put the motivation to do the work in me. I trained next to the lads last time Stealthukboxing held an event like this, seeing how he worked with the guys to make that event for the individuals, rather than a Stealthukboxing event, made me want to get involved this time.
Think of this event as a red letter day for you, rather than a White Collar Charity boxing event. Some people drive sports cars for a couple of hours, Anthony gave us 8 weeks training, a full evening of boxing, a new group of friends and the pleasure of raising money for a fantastic charity.
I wrote this in March this year about what I saw training along side the guys last time. All of it still holds true, I’m seeing it from a different light now I’ve been through it.
We had the same corner men as last time, the two servicemen Sgt Done and Cpl Harrison of the 1st Battalion (CHESHIRE) Mercian Regiment, served with Anthony in the army, also boxers in the army, offering help and advice in the corners.
Sorry about the pictures guys. As soon as the pro ones are ready from the night I’ll update them.
I can not thank these guys enough. I’d like to thank Simon (Sgt Done) especially, for looking after me inside and out of the ring on the night, sorry for adding a loss to your record, I should have listened more but I just got caught up in the doing, not the listening then doing. Well done for pulling the overall win out of the bag though.
To round it all up, I’ve had the best 8 weeks in a long, long time, finished off with an amazing night that I will never forget. I can’t recommend this to people enough. Thank you all for helping me through this last 8 weeks, friends, family, gym buddies and my wonderful wife. I could not have done this without you all.
As always follow me on Twitter for smaller more regular updates. Leave questions or comments below I always try to respond quickly.
This blog will be updated shortly, once the photos and videos of the night are officially released, I had to get my thoughts written down before they were overwritten with day to day grind. Keep up to date with Stealthukboxing events have a look at HelpforHeroes or donate to my JustGiving page.
Last thought. Just go out there and do something that scares you, makes you smile or as Simon told me “gets you NASTY”. Whatever happens you will not regret it, trust me.
Until next time everyone. See you later.