picture courtesy Philip Sharkey
Accomplished Matchmaker Kevin Campion has a strong opinion on the value of away fighters, and not as another green W on BoxRec. Kevin is brutally honest in what he thinks prospects should pay more attention to, and I couldn’t agree more. Team Southpaw Jab’s Lewis “Poochi” van Poetsch has taught up and comers a lesson in the ring, and Campion believes those unchecked egos need to swallow their bravado and learn from the road warriors.

“More novice pros need to go and talk to the journeymen. Hell, even go and have one training session with them….

All I hear is ”he’s lost 80 plus fights. What can he teach me?”

Anyone who has been to York Hall will have seen an away corner win, a ticket seller shown up by a seasoned fighter with a losing record. These guys are not mugs, as Matt Lewis wrote for Southpaw Jab last year, boxers should Fear the Away Fighter. My chat with Jamie Speight, a former champion who went into the away corner, is a good place to start on how the road warriors think about the mix of talent they teach, too.

Kevin agrees. “Don't be put off by records, there is so much these guys can teach them. 

These guys know how to take breaks during the rounds, how to pace themselves properly, and they will show you there is more to it than just pouring forward throwing haymakers.”

picture courtesy Philip Sharkey

Learn, learn and learn again, Campion says.

“Learn how someone like Poochi van Poetsch doesn't get hit clean very often, his defence is good and most times he can get a glove, a shoulder onto most shots that come his way. 

Learn how someone like (now retired) Kevin McCauley can use his ringcraft and experience to get a prospect to fight at a pace he is comfortable with, then get them to get drawn in and throw big shots he can see a mile off.

Learn how someone like Jordan Grannum uses the ring and his feet/faints to move a prospect from the centre to the ropes without actually throwing a shot. 

Learn how Johnny Greaves and Kris Laight used to tie up people inside and frustrate them. Knowing when to hold on to the glove or pull the arm.”

Many new pros need to add to their arsenal, and complaining that a guy doesn’t come to fight isn’t a weapon. To paraphrase Sun Tzu’s Art of War, know your enemy. Not all are as kind as Jamie Speight, who’ll give advice as he’s boxing you. You’re not bringing anything new to them, as Campion explains.

“They all have something to teach, they have faced so many styles, from power punches to quick hands from ABA Champions to limited unlicensed experience. They fight so regularly they pick up tips, tricks and lessons every week.”

The old boxing adage goes “you don’t lose if you learn”, so why not learn outside of a competitive bout and reduce your risk of losing? It is also safer, as Campion punctuates,

“Trust me you don't have 100 plus fights and still have your marbles intact without knowing what you are doing!”


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