Boxing: New Steve Bunce book will have fight fans in a reminiscent mood
PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:19 13 September 2017
PA Archive/PA Images
Fight tales from the local boxing scene are recalled in ‘Bunce’s Big Fat Shirt History of British Boxing’
Top trainer and ex-fighter Jimmy Tibbs has seen some strange events in over 50 years in boxing, but still shakes his head in disbelief recalling the night when his fighter Tony Wilson’s mother Minna helped her son to victory, writes Len Whaley.
Wilson was under pressure against unbeaten rival Steve McCarthy in a fight in Southampton in 1989.
His mother Minna climbed into the ring and battered McCarthy with her shoe, opening a head wound that later needed several stitches.
McCarthy raced away from the ring and Wilson was named the winner, sparking a riot at ringside.
However, McCarthy made up for the loss and won the British title in his next fight.
The strange tale is recalled by Steve Bunce in his book Bunce’s Big Fat Short History of British Boxing, covering the years from 1970 to 2016 in more than 400 pages, crammed with stories from the fight scene.
Champions come and champions go in the boxing business, but the media men stay on the safe side of the ropes and write the stories as the heroes rise and fall.
I have covered boxing for many years as a ringside regular alongside the author who is a respected pundit with roles on BBC Radio and the BoxNation channel.
He remembers the multi-million dollar fights as the big-name gladiators battled for world titles at boxing’s biggest venues.
He also recalls almost-forgotten fighters battling for poor purses and even sadder stories of the tragic nights when boxers suffered serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries.
It’s quite a ride from the days of Henry Cooper up to Anthony Joshua’s big nights.
Local fighters who became world champions, including the likes of John H Stracey, Charlie Magri, Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis, Colin McMillan and Nigel Benn are included.
Ringside notes and memorable quotes add appeal to the book, which is published by Bantam Press (£18.99 hardback).
It’s a good read, I enjoyed it, and so will fight fans.
With plenty of tales from the local fight scene involved, it is sure to keep anyone who picks up a copy thoroughly entertained.