I was meant to fight Craig as a junior; I think I was 15 at the time. The fight was on the undercard of a show at the historical fight venue, The York Hall in London.
Gavin and Yogi two of my good friends and stable mates both great fighters in their day came down to give me some support. I remember getting to the venue just as my opponent was on the scales, he was a lot taller than me but to be honest most people are.
He was standing very strange on the scales. Kind of leaning back on them with his hands on top of his head. Whilst shifting he’s weight from side to side, almost like he was trying to change what they read. Steve went over to see what he weighed in at and didn’t look too impressed. I was called over by the official. I came in at 52kg and Craig was at 57kg.
We went for some food so it would give me some time to decide if I wanted to take the fight or not. So after a huge meal at Pizza Hut, which probably would have got me close to 57kg anyway with the amount of food the three us consumed, I decided not to take the fight. The promoter wasn’t too impressed with my decision.
Basically, what he said was that Steve Logan and myself could go in for free but Gavin and Yogi would have to buy tickets if I didn’t fight. Straight away “I’ll fight him, I’m not buying a ticket” Yogi blurted out. Now those that know him can probably visualise him saying this as Yogi can be a little hot headed at times.
Me and yogi did fight around the same weight when we were in our teens which meant he would be giving away the same weight; but also experience if he took the fight. Steve, concerned a little, asked Yogi whether he was sure about the fight and with a quick response Yogi agreed; using some cocky response that I can’t remember now.
Yogi had a good fight, his will and big heart saw him go the distance but the height, weight and experience was too much at that stage of his career. He lost on points which made my victory even better when I fought him a few years later. Yogi was there to support as always and loved every minute of it.
Despite being slightly dangerous, these situations build great characters in the sport and as a fighter push your will and bravery to the limits. I know these fights aren’t necessarily what your doctor recommends but how do you feel about putting yourself in that situation as a fighter, parent or friend? Have you got a similar story?
Let me know what you think…