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Spalding Round Table is a social networking and charitable organisation for men in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, founded in Norwich, in 1927. It is open to all men aged between 18 and 45 (originally 40, which is still retained as the age limit in some countries outside the United Kingdom & Ireland). Membership of Table provides a selection of social and community service related opportunities for its members, who come from all parts of the community. The name "Round Table" is not directly drawn from

Arthurian Legend; rather both its title and its maxim comes from a speech made to the British Industries Fair in 1927 by the then Prince of Wales 'The young business and professional men of this country must get together round the table, adopt methods that have proved so sound in the past, adapt them to the changing needs of the times and wherever possible, improve them'. The phrase "adopt, adapt, improve" is a key facet of the organisation, and is often seen on Round Table literature and regalia.

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FOREWORD so i’m back…! Despite relinquishing the reins of the boxing event for the last couple of years to give me the opportunity to re-join my table on the night, I have been coerced into rolling my sleeves up again for our spectacular 20th anniversary. To be honest, I have missed being so involved in the event, and I am thoroughly looking forward to the coming year.  I have looked up to the Spalding Round Table Boxing Event for many years and it is, in fact, the most prominent reason for me becoming a Round Table member. Being somewhat middle-aged in our group, I had the pleasure of attending the event before becoming involved in its organisation. Subsequently, I have managed the event solely on two previous occasions, raising a total of just over £25,000 for local good causes. Most notably, I value highly the relationships that the event has allowed me to forge, with the committee, the suppliers, the boxing celebrities and most of all the sponsors and ticket holders. It is always a great thrill that I hold in the highest regard to be thanked by up to 550 peers in business for their enjoyment of the night. This year sees our 20th anniversary, so we have grown our boxing committee in anticipation of this being the best and busiest year yet. Until 2012, the event was organised by just one person, well, usually along with his obligingly burdened partner. Adrian Griggs, Andy Crunkhorn and their spouses will know only too well the long preparation days on the run up to the event, not to mention the mammoth 18 to 20 hour shift on the day of the event itself. This year is a refreshing change, that not only have we got a larger team of four people with varying past experiences of the event, which has allowed us to launch the event at least four months earlier than usual, but we also have had several restrictions lifted, most notably in the budget for entertainment.  The event is growing in dimension and has seen a few subtle changes and additions over the years, including silent auction, waitresses, casino and this year shot girls too, and we hope it remains appropriate and thoroughly enjoyed by its attendees. Generally, boxing events throughout the country are in fact in decline. We are hugely

Matt Clark Boxing Committee 2014 & Ways and Means Officer

privileged to have such a strong support for our event, not least of all as it remains one of only a handful of all-male events nationwide. This year, the boat is being pushed out even further and, whilst we are hopeful of still earning a good amount for our charities and good causes, this year’s celebration is firmly focused on thanking the supporters and organisers of the last 20 years, by delivering an outstanding evening of entertainment. To this end, I am absolutely thrilled to announce here that we are bringing the enigmatic, eccentric and infamous Chris Eubank to our 20th anniversary event. Chris, as you will read throughout this brochure, is renowned throughout the boxing community, and, in my opinion, is at least on par if not superior to the other greats that we have brought along to the event in previous years, including Sir Henry Cooper and more recently Frank Bruno. I recall sitting up late as a child waiting to watch many of Eubank’s bouts, which, back then, were fought on home ground, before the days when Vegas consumed international boxing events. The three most memorable fights for me were all against boxers whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, at this event and in other social circles, those being Michael Watson, when Eubank won the WBO super-middleweight title, then against Nigel Benn, where he fought proudly but achieved only a draw, to retain the same title. Finally, against the Spalding Round Table two-time attendee, Celtic Warrior Steve Collins, where Eubank lost the fight and his title. To me, any fight involving Eubank was as much about the entertainment as about the sport itself. Entertainers like Eubank are inspirational, and to my mind, their successes will be remembered in their engaging pre- and post-fight publicity and their showmanship, far more so than whether they won, drew or lost! So I truly hope that all those attending February’s milestone anniversary event will see how the passion that our committee has shown in producing an outstanding night of entertainment pays homage to my own memories of Mr Chris Eubank’s career.


“Brilliant event! I’ve been going for the past 18 years.” kyle tointon

“...DEFINITELY coming next year!” chris boothby

“...always find it very enjoyable, very well organised” ben blom west nurseries

“one of the best events we sponsor” ray sellars ray sellars quality homes


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SIMPLY THE BEST THE CHRIS EUBANK STORY

CONTENTS 5

FOREWORD BY MATT CLARK

8

WELCOME FROM MARK LUCK

9

THE BEST NIGHT OUT OF THE YEAR - ADRIAN GRIGGS

13

BOXING MEMORIES - NICK SMALLEY

14

BENEFICIARIES

15

MAIN CONTRIBUTORS

17

TWENTY KNOCK-OUT YEARS

22

GUEST SPEAKER: CHRIS EUBANK

29

CHRIS EUBANK INTERVIEW

32

THE POLICE & COMMUNITY BOXING ASSOCIATION


welcome Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read this brochure. For those new to the Spalding Premier Boxing Event or for valued past participators we promise an exciting evening and we are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the 20th anniversary and hopefully expressing our gratitude to all those who have supported us in the past. The event has evolved and grown but the format has not changed much over the years because our guests don’t want us to change it, some guests have been to every single year and sat in exactly the same seat and table and wouldn’t have it any other way. If you have not been before, I can promise you a spectacular evening - one that you would not dream of having outside of London, let alone Spalding. The specialist lighting, professional catering, real boxing, 500 gentlemen dressed for such an occasion and a top name celebrity guest sets an atmosphere that has to be seen to be appreciated. This will be my fifth year and when I walk into the hall I am still speechless of what we achieve. The fact we manage to raise so much funds to give to local charity is the icing on the cake. Spalding Round Table was established in 1953 and we were the 428th table to start so although we are quite young we are celebrating our 60th anniversary and whilst in those 60 years there have been many changes and evolvement, the root values and aims of the club are still as strong today. Ask any of our current 18 members why they joined and you will get 18 different answers. It is initially the social side, getting out of the house to do something different once a fortnight, but the real attraction of Round Table goes beyond this, because once you are involved, there is a unique camaraderie, a mixture of respect, banter and belonging which does not exist elsewhere. Ask members what it is that they like most about Round Table, and they’ll tell you it’s the opportunity to have fun and do something different which they would never try alone. It is like having a stag do every other week (by this we mean everything other than being handcuffed to the prom at Blackpool!). It’s why I joined, my

Mark Luck Chairman Spalding & District Round Table

introducer was taking part in all kinds of events that I had only dreamed of doing - tractor racing, clay pigeon, shooting, fencing, go-karting, pottery to name a few. I enjoyed them all well perhaps not the pottery! But it’s mostly the fund-raising and the community work we do with Round Table that turned out to be a fantastic experience for me. The team work and banter at events is what Round Table is all about, it has helped me to develop new skills personally. Above all, the sense of personal achievement each year is impossible to describe, being able to give a little back to help those less fortunate or needy than ourselves gives an enormous sense of wellbeing. Your support in this event allows us to continue with this, for which I thank you all. What’s the secret of the continued success? Without doubt it is ordinary guys doing extraordinary things. We are not a bunch of old men sitting round discussing town affairs, local politics and the problems with the youth of today! We are not some strange secret society with funny handshakes and weird rituals that you have to perform. We are also not about standing out in the street every weekend shaking buckets. It's a great way to make some friends. If you’re new in town or seem to be stuck inside staring at the same four walls every night talking to yourself, then give us a call. It changed my life and it could change yours. I hope to see you all on the event and I promise it will be as exciting as the propaganda has lead you to believe and I am sure there will be a few more hidden surprises along the way!


the best night out of the year Adrian Griggs

Boxing Night Organiser 2006, 2007 & 2009

I was first invited as a guest to the Round Table Boxing in 2001, before I was even a member of Spalding Round Table. I remember the event well, it was the first time I had been to an evening like this. I had a fantastic night and it left me wanting to get involved more. I was asked to join Spalding and District Round Table the following year and got involved on the boxing committee for 2005. We had a rule back then, that you could only do a maximum of 3 consecutive years organising the event. 2005 was Andy Crunkhorn’s last year and so I knew there was a chance of being asked to take on the event, which was something I really wanted to do anyway. And so in 2005 I was given the (dubious) honour of organising the following year’s event. Planning as always started in August, and I wanted to put my own stamp on the night. We had not had a BIG name for a few years and so I booked Henry Cooper, possibly the biggest name we had ever had. I also booked an American boxing team, which were flown in from New York. The night itself was a great success, which made the 6 month’s hard work and planning all worthwhile.   The end of the night gave mixed emotions; relief it was all over, enjoyment that it had gone well, gratitude to our guests for putting their hands in their pockets once again, but I suppose more than anything a bit of ‘I did that and you know what – it was a bloody brilliant’.

  And so my connection with the Round Table boxing began. I organised the following year, when we had Barry McGuigan as our celebrity guest, and again in 2009 and have had heavy involvement up until last year.   There are so many people I would need to thank, Andy Crunkhorn to start with whose help and assistance that first year was invaluable. Barry Jones MBE from the Police Boxing, and more recently Cliff Perkins, who have always brought along the best quality boxing teams available. Jamie and his team from TGS who do such an amazing job with the lighting and sound, John Norman on the catering side, as well as Springfields for hosting the event. Also to the guys from the Table who have taken the event on over the last few years; Ed Rees, Matt Clark, Tom Wright and Jonathan Palgrave, who have all done a great job.   And so as we go into the 20th anniversary of this great event, I look back with pride and satisfaction that I had the opportunity to get involved back in 2005/6. Although it is hard work when organising the event, the end result of guests enjoying the event. But most of all, the money raised for local worthy charities makes it all worthwhile.    All this is down to you, our guests, who have continued to support the event in their numbers. We owe it to you to continue to put on the best event possible and I am sure that we will continue to do so and it is in safe hands for the years to come.   This is a great night and although I am normally amongst the very few that are fairly sober at the end of each night, the one thing I regularly hear is that the boxing event  ‘is the best night out of the year’ – I may just be biased but you know what, I happen to agree with that sentiment completely.


“The Spalding Round Table Premier Boxing Event is a great night out, but it is underestimated how much the money raised helps the local community. Being a part of that was very rewarding�

- TOM WRIGHT


“I've been going to the Event for the past 10 years and I can honestly say what a great job the committee on the Round Table do in organising this big function in making sure everything runs smoothly, to plan and making sure people enjoy themselves. All my guest enjoy the evening every year and always look forward to the next year’s event. You have had a lot of all-time great boxers attend over the years who do a good speech and get everyone laughing.”

- JOHN COUTTS drains r us


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boxing memories by Nick Smalley It was back in 2000 when my fellow tablers Mike Phillips, James Smith and I took the boxing to the level and format that you still see it in today. It had always previously been a good event; (with massive potential) it just needed capitalising upon. It started with an initial meeting with one of the ‘Police Boxing Association’ founders Barry Jones (now MBE) and his chief coach Mick Gannon (at the Little Chef at Colsterworth of all places!) to discuss how we could really move the RT Boxing event up the ladder. My wife, Kate, and I were invited down to New Scotland Yard, to the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon's Retirement Dinner. During the course of the weekend we would finalise with Barry about flying in a team from America, a huge step for RT. We were also lucky enough to be introduced to the other founding members of the PBA, Derek Rutlen and Gordon Valentine. One pleasant memory of the evening was being shown round NSY to see the RT Boxing Trophy on display in one of the many of their trophy cabinets.   The following day Kate and I took a trip down to the East End of London in an attempt to secure the services of Charlie Magri as guest speaker for the evening. Whilst we left his boxing shop with a signed agreement I never felt comfortable over the deal and about a week later he called and pulled out of the event. So, back to the drawing board we went and I contacted our local(ish!) boxing legend Dave 'Boy' Green and a deal was done.  It was in 2001 where my fondest memory of the event comes from, when we invited the Long Branch Police back again for a second year. The reason for this was partly due to the success of the previous year but in essence it was mainly in an attempt to bring our trophy home! Barry pulled out all the stops to raise a really cracking PBA team and Mick was motivating his troops like never before. It was about the 3rd or 4th bout of the evening, when for the

English team, a big, thick set, clumsy looking, muscular, black guy stepped into the ring, a Frank Bruno look-alike if you like. The bout started off with the PBA trailing 2 or 3-1 and this guy, I can't remember his name, didn't start off too well either. The American was short, quick, nippy, dodging about, landing jabs, dancing almost. Our guy, the 'frank' look-alike was sluggish, throwing punches from 2 yards back, the American dodging everything. Round one to the USA, and it wasn't looking good! Round 2 kicked off and our 'Frank' had taken everything from the American without a flinch, and then he landed a couple, the American visibly shaken. Then he landed a couple more and the crowd started standing, shouting, punching the air, "come on!" they shouted. The atmosphere in the hall had changed and he won the second round! The 3rd started and more of the same came, the American hurt, and our guy landing punch after punch. He just kept slugging it out, swinging punch after punch whether they landed or not. By the end of Round 3 there were people standing on tables and chairs, the hall was electric and the cheering was deafening. At the bell the applause was out of this world and from that point onward the English team never looked back and went on to win the event. But during round 3 just standing at the back of the hall, watching 500 odd people supporting this guy gave me a real feeling of happiness and a real sense of achievement. In seeing that many people react in that manner and enjoy that moment so much for me that was what every little piece of the organisation had been about. For that one moment I will personally always be eternally grateful to RT to have had the opportunity and pleasure to have organised that moment.   The frightening thing is that it was so close to never happening! Just 24 hours before the Americans were due to fly out, a band of snow dumped 20 inches of snow across the east coast of the US, eventually some of the airports managed to open and our American team managed to change airports, catch a flight some 24 hours later than planned and eventually landed in London on the Saturday morning!


Beneficiaries Over the past twenty years Spalding and District Round Table’s Premier Boxing Event has raised a vast sum of money for local and very worthwhile causes. In 2007 over £6,000 was donated to Spalding Hospitals’ League of Friends for four special electronic profiling beds. Major beneficiaries in 2008 included Macmillan Cancer Support, Spalding Athletic Football Club and the Priory School in Spalding, with donations of £800, £1,500 and £5,000 respectively. In 2012, the Round Table donated £1 of every seat sold at the Boxing Event to Spalding Amateur Boxing Club. On the same night we officially presented the donation of £9,600 towards the £10,000 appeal made by Johnson Community Hospital for a new scanner for the prostate health clinic in 2011. We have recently donated to LEEBS so they could buy another Blood Bike to expand their fleet. The money donated brought a brand new Honda Deauville, which is now on Lincolnshire’s roads helping to save lives every day.

In March 2013, the Round Table donated to the Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund campaign to help Ben and Toby, two severely disabled youngsters who are yet to develop the ability to walk and talk. Due to the boys growing up and getting bigger, their mother Julia was struggling to pick them up. The campaign was launched in order to get Julia and her family a walk-in bath tub in order to make her life a little easier. The general public responded well to the campaign but the target was not met. However, two weeks into the campaign we donated the remainder of the £4,000 fund so the lives of Julia, Ben and Toby could be a little easier. We also frequently donate money through the Smile fund to worthy beneficiaries. Recent donations have included the local Scouts, Brownies and Guilds. The local Scouts received funding towards food and equipment for Poacher, an international camp that is only held in the UK every four years. As well as many people from the local community who have asked on behalf of very worthy causes such as the disabled, those with illness and many clubs for children in the local community.


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Jason Parnell, Steadfast Training

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twenty KNOCK-OUt YEARS 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

The hugely successful inaugural amateur boxing night was held at the Civic Centre in Spalding. Organised by Steve Watson, John Dutton and Phil Posey, the sell-out event raised an impressive £6000 for local charities. Nine amateur bouts were held featuring boxers from as young as 8, all coming from Boston’s Amateur Boxing Club. There were 14 sponsors and 247 people attended the original night. This night marked the first amateur boxing tournament in 40 years.

After the success of the first amateur boxing night and charity dinner, a second amateur boxing night was held on 24th February 1996 in the Civic Centre. Once again, Boston Amateur Boxing Club returned to the ring, drawing 240 guests and raising more than £3000 for charity. Donations were made to Action Research, Ladies Circle and Boston ABC.

Still in its infancy the Premier Boxing Event was still developing into the event that is held today. Returning to the Civic Centre for its third year, just over £3000 was raised, with donations made to the Ladies Circle and Boston ABC.

As the last Round Table Boxing event held at Spalding Civic Centre, the night drew in 340 guests and featured bouts between the Army and the Police. This was the first year Spalding and District Round Table teamed up with the Police Boxing Association of Great Britain.

In its 5th year, the annual boxing event made its move to Springfields Exhibition Centre, where it is still held today.  This was the year that basic sound and lighting was introduced to the event. Just over £4000 was made for charity. 400 people attended.

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2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

In 2000 the boxing event had developed further. Knowing what a huge success the Boxing Event was becoming more was pledged to the event, meaning it could become the type of event we see today. This was the first year a celebrity was introduced in the form of Dave Boy Green. The night featured twelve bouts between The Long Branch Police of New Jersey, USA and a team from the Police and Community Boxing Association. The American team won. The night made over £13,000.

The Long Branch Police returned to the UK to allow the Police and Community Boxing Association a chance to win back the trophy. The British team won 6 bouts to 3, winning the trophy back.  Alan Minter was 2001 guest of honour, with rounds introduced by local girl and the UK’s No.1 glamour model Kelly Bell. Once again another sell out event, more than 500 guests descended on Spalding on 24th February 2001, helping to raise a staggering £12,000 for charity.

Yet another successful year of the event, with a great deal of money raised for charity and the attendees of the event were once again captivated by the night.

After dishing out a beating to the Americans in 2001, the British Police Community Boxing team took on the Germans for 2003. Over £10,000 was raised by another sellout crowd of 500 guests. 2003 also featured the donation of a £5000 cheque to the hospital league of friends, the largest donation of the year.

After last year’s sellout night, expectations were high and the Spalding Round Table needed to pull out all the stops to even match the success of 2003. Andy Crunkhorn’s organisation of the event didn’t disappoint, the night was a massive success, pulling in another packed out crowd to the events centre.

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2005

The 2005 Boxing Night was Andy Crunkhorn’s last as organiser for the event. As per previous years, the spectacle proved to be the gentlemen’s night of the year for the Spalding district. Going out on a high, Andy passed the mantle on to Adrian Griggs to organise the 2006 night.

2006

The 2006 event pulled no punches by delivering British heavyweight legend Sir Henry Cooper to the event as Guest of Honour. With an audience of 550, the nine bouts of boxing between The UK Police Community Boxing Association and The Police Boxing Clubs USA had the house enthralled. The auction was a huge hit but all eyes were on one prize in particular; a cricket bat signed by Kevin Pietersen. The night raised over £8000 for local charities - the cricket bat itself raising £475. With the largest audience to date, plus a memorable rematch between the British and American boxing clubs, organiser Adrian Griggs set a new benchmark for future events.

2007

With such a hugely successful previous year, demand for tickets and anticipation were at an all-time high for the 2007 event. Organiser Adrian Griggs certainly had his work cut out to recreate the success of his previous year. The 2007 Guest of Honour former WBA Featherweight Champion Barry McGuigan did not disappoint. With bouts between The UK Police and Community Boxing Association and an Irish Squad, and an audience of 500 the total raised was over £8000. Spalding Hospitals’ League of Friends was a major beneficiary, with £6,724 donated for four special electronic profiling beds.

2008

Tickets for 2008 where sort after so many failed to get hold of tickets for the previous year, they sold out weeks in advance of the main event. After hid knockout night seven years previous, Alan Minter was invited back as legendary guest of honour once again and had the audience of 550 captivated by his stories. With bouts from the Police and Community Team of Great Britain and a Scottish select team, the event was a massive success; a phenomenal £13,000 was raised for charity.  Organiser Ed Rees delivered a record-breaking night.


2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

In 2009 Adrian Griggs returned as event organiser and once again produced a spectacular night. ABA light welterweight champion John H Stracey was invited as Guest of Honour. Once again tickets sold out and an audience of over 500 witnessed Boxing Night history as the first ever female bout took place. The bouts took place between the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain and Royal Navy select.  The event raised a solid £10,000.

Organiser Matt Clark pulled out all the stops to bring home one of the most memorable nights to date. With £12,000 raised on the night and former WBO Champion Steve Collins rousing guests off their seats, the night was another ‘best ever’ for many attendees.

How do you follow from a superstar like last year’s Steve Collins? Only with one of the most iconic and popular boxing stars ever. A legend in his own lifetime… WBC heavyweight champion Frank Bruno! With 440 guests, bouts between The UK Police and Community Boxing Association and a select Welsh Team and a total raised of over £10,00 once again the event proved to be a huge success!

2012’s Guest of Honour did not disappoint. World light-heavyweight boxing champion John Conteh gripped the audience with his electrifying speech. The superstar talked through his boxing career with a touch of slapstick comedy. Bouts between The UK Police and Community Boxing Association and the Royal Marines National Amateur team kept the audience entertained well into the night.    

In the event’s 19th year, The Police & Community Boxing Association took on the Royal Marines. The legendary guest of honour was Irish heavyweight boxer and actor Joe Egan. Once again the night was a huge success and a great deal was raised for charity


simply the best


He’s one of life’s most eccentric personalities, he’s transcended the world of boxing, he’s established himself as a role model to millions of fans globally...and he’s coming to Spalding this Feburary...he is...Chris Eubank. Chris Eubank exploded into the public consciousness in November 1990 with a ferocious defeat of Nigel Benn for the WBO middleweight crown. Once crowned champion, he made 19 successful defences of his title and became one of the most talked about boxers of his generation. Christopher Livingstone Eubanks (later dropping the ’s’

Chris writes in his autobiography that his drive to succeed in

from his surname) was born on 8 August 1966, in Dulwich,

boxing came through his drive to become an accepted

South London and spent his early days in Jamaica. Chris

individual, largely caused by subjective bullying from his

attended various schools, managing to get himself expelled

elder brothers.

from all of them. He spent his childhood in and out of care

He made his professional debut at the Atlantis Hotel and

and by 14 he was living on the streets. He was constantly

Casino against Tim Brown, shortly after his 19th birthday.

being chased by the police - once for a full 24 hours, only

In February 1989 he made brief headlines in defeating

escaping by sliding down a drainpipe in his underpants.. At

Jamaican Anthony Logan in an undercard match to a Nigel

the age of 16, his father sent Chris to the U.S to live with his

Benn-headlined show. Eubank set his sights on Benn,

mother in the tough South Bronx district. In his spare time

believing he could beat him.

Eubank trained at the Jerome Boxing Club on Westchester Avenue, following in the footsteps of his boxing elder

After a string of impressive stoppage victories following a

brothers back in England.

dominant 10-round decision over American 'gatekeeper'/'journeyman' Randy Smith, Eubank captured

Eubank became obsessed with boxing training and went to

the WBC International title in 1990 against the useful Hugo

the gym every day, even working as caretaker to pay his way.

Corti. Later in the year, he knocked out Renaldo Dos Santos

He won the 1984 Spanish Golden Gloves Tournament and

in precisely 20 seconds (including the 10-count).

also got to the semi-final stage of the main Golden Gloves tourney at Madison Square Garden at aged 18.

23


WBO Middleweight Champion Against the odds, Eubank won the WBO middleweight title against Nigel Benn in a classic encounter that was later released on DVD: a gruelling battle which ended when Benn was stopped on his feet near the end of round 9. Eubank would defend the title successfully against Dan Sherry (in a fight cut short by a headbutt, for which Eubank was penalised 2 points but still won on points over the 9 completed rounds), fellow Briton Gary Stretch and finally in an excellent match with another fellow Briton, Michael Watson, fighting him to a narrow 12-round majority decision in Eubank's favour. This concluded Eubank's career as a middleweight, with a 28–0 record. WBO Super Middleweight Champion A rematch with Watson for the vacant WBO super middleweight title took place in 1991, in which Watson suffered a near-fatal injury. Eubank was behind on all scorecards after 10 rounds and was knocked down halfway through the 11th, seemingly on the way to defeat: but he rose from the canvas to unleash a devastating uppercut to Watson's jaw right at the end of the round. Despite the knockdown, it was still obvious that Eubank needed a knockout to win: and early in the 12th with Watson still visibly shaken the fight was stopped with Watson under a flurry of punches from Eubank. Soon after the fight Watson collapsed in his corner.

instinct in the ring – I couldn't finish fights anymore. However, I needed to work and so I carried on and I won most of my fights on decisions. And I blamed myself, after all, it was me who threw the punch.” Eubank was particularly noted for his confidence, concentration, composure, and extravagant behaviour. His trademark theme tune was Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" anthem, which included often-hilarious posturing (particularly between rounds of fights). Eubank was by now presented as something of a "man you love to hate" figure in the British tabloid press because of his perceived posturing and arrogance and for his singularly unconventional sense of style. After the Watson tragedy Eubank never again showed any desire to knock opponents out, preferring to retain his title through points victories. He made successful defences against "Sugarboy" Malinga, the American quartet of John Jarvis, Ron Essett, Tony Thornton and former World Champion Lindell Holmes, as well as Juan Carlos Giminez Ferreyra and a draw with fellow Briton Ray Close. Nigel Benn moved up to super middleweight and became WBC champion. The pair agreed to meet in a WBC/WBO unification rematch. In 1993 the rivals would engage in another contest named 'Judgement Day' watched by a reported 1 billion people and fought an exciting contest – albeit less brutal than their first – to a draw.

Eubank later reflected on the aftermath: "I lost my finishing

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF THE SPALDING & DISTRICT ROUNDTABLE PREMIER BOXING EVENT

25


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Following the Benn fight, Eubank went on to defeat Graciano Rocchigiani of Germany, the undefeated former IBF super middleweight title holder. After a split points victory over Ray Close, in the King's Hall Belfast, Eubank signed an eight-fight £10-million deal with Sky Sports for contests in South Africa, Manchester, London and Millstreet. Eubank made five further successful defences, beating British world title contenders Henry Wharton and Sam Storey as well as unbeaten Dan Schommer and Mauricio Amaral Costa. In March 1995, however, Eubank lost his title to Irishman Steve Collins, by unanimous decision. Cruiserweight Eubank then added 20 lbs in weight and challenged Britain's Carl Thompson for the WBO cruiserweight title. Eubank floored Thompson in the fourth round but, as in the first Steve Collins fight, failed to press home his advantage. The fight went the distance, with Thompson's strength and durability eventually telling in the later rounds. Thompson won by unanimous decision, but the closeness of the fight was reflected in the scoring, with two of the three judges giving the fight to Thompson by a single point. A rematch was quickly arranged for three months later and they again fought for the WBO cruiserweight championship in what turned out to be Eubank's last fight. Eubank had the better of the fight early in the rematch, but the short rest between the bouts came back to haunt him as his left eye that was damaged in the first fight rapidly began to swell. The fight was stopped at the end of the ninth round, when Eubank's left eye closed completely from swelling. At the time he was ahead on the scorecards. Eubank finished his career with a record of 45 wins (23 KOs), 5 losses, and 2 draws.

27


the

CHRIS eubank interview After five years as an unknown pro, you faced

How would you have fared?

English crowd favorite Nigel Benn in front of

They'd have been my hardest challengers and

more than 10,000 spectators and more than

I'd have been theirs.

10,000,000 as a television audience. Despite Benn having the best punching record in

Who would you say is the greatest post-Hagler

boxing, how did you hold your nerve and do

middleweight?

you feel that great win is even under-rated,

Mike McCallum.

especially on this side of the ocean? I understood early on that I would get nowhere

What about the best fighter of your time?

without focus, application and self-belief. If

I mastered boxing, but Roy Jones was in a

you prepare correctly mentally you cannot fail.

league of his own.

Many European fight fans feel you lost your

What would you say were the best

killer instinct as a fighter – so to speak – after

performances of your career?

your tragic fight with Michael Watson in 1991.

All of the Benn, Watson, Thompson and

Would you go along with that?

Rocchigiani bouts.

Yes. Is it true that you once knocked out Herol Who would you say is the best opponent you

Graham in a sparring session?

ever fought?

No I hit him too hard to knock him out! I hit

By far, Michael Watson in our second fight.

him so hard that I couldn't hit him again! I didn't hit him on his bottom, I hit him on his

You didn't attempt to unify the titles with

back. That's how hard I hit him. But he

American champions, why was this?

bounced up off the canvas and I couldn't hit

I was a world champion in my own right, just

him again.

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Do you feel your punch is historically under-

that and placed discipline near the top of my

rated?

agenda.

It was measured at two tons in force in 1990. It takes years to learn how to punch with devastating

'Prince' Naseem Hamed claims you stole the

consequences. Eric Holland wouldn't ever go

acrobatic rope-jumps from him. What's your take

down again in 58 fights and that was my hardest

on that?

punch at the time, still in development.

I took the vault into the ring from Dennis Cruz. My first five professional fights were in Atlantic

Your level of competition is sometimes criticized

City against guys with similar records and similar

by fight fans, do you feel that's under-rated too?

names, so I felt I should vault into the ring to let

I turned professional in 1985, won the world

the crowd, judges and referee know that I might

championship in 1990 and retired in 1995 with a

be abit better than normal and abit better than

43-2-2 record that included 21 world

novice.

championship fights and 15,000,000 pounds in finances. The great Mike McCallum wouldn't fight

Finally Chris, we hear that your son, Chris Jr, is a

Michael Watson again, Steve Collins wouldn't

great prospect and Golden Gloves champion in

fight Joe Calzaghe and no other world champion

Las Vegas. Will he be following in your footsteps?

would defend in Germany.

Like every parent, I want my off-spring to be happy. I'm not happy for him to box, but if he's

Who was your boxing idol?

happy to box then I've no choice but to support

Dennis Cruz, who you would not have heard of.

him. He is good, but didn't have the hardest of

Like Herol Graham, in the gymnasium it was like

upbringings and we all know that boxing is about

he was unbeatable. His ring movement was

being able to take it, not just give it. We know

poetry, like nothing. On two occasions Dennis was

Amir Khan can give it...

one fight away from a world title shot, only to blow it through lack of discipline. I learned from

31


The History of The Police and Community Boxing Association The Police Community Clubs of Great Britain do many things, all of which are aimed at providing a safer and more inclusive life for the most disadvantaged children and young people in our communities.

but those who boxed with non-police boxing clubs. Having successfully staged a number of these events, all interested active police boxing sections were invited to a meeting at Paddington Green Police Station in October 1988. From this meeting was born the Police

The PCCGB is administered entirely by serving and retired police officers and, as and when required we engage some of the most experienced, innovative and informed consultants in Citizenship and Community Project delivery in the United Kingdom.

Amateur Boxing Association. On 12th July 1997 a meeting of representatives from all Police Community Clubs took place. It is correct to say that there was overwhelming support for the concept of an ‘alliance’ of police community boxing clubs with the emphasis being put on service to the community by volunteer police officers and

Although specific Police Amateur Boxing

civil staff through community boxing clubs.

Clubs including the Metropolitan Police Boxing Club have been in existence and active

At this formative meeting twelve clubs joined,

since 1928, prior to 1986, nationally, Police

all were from inner city areas throughout

Boxing had been fragmented.

England including Newcastle, London, Bradford, Devonport and Birmingham.

In 1986, Barry Jones  - a member of the Metropolitan Police organised an annual

Some clubs have formed partnerships with

charity-boxing event, the sole purpose of

their respective local authorities and the

which was to raise much needed funds for

benefit that the actions of the member clubs

police charities in particular for the widows of

have given both to the local communities and

officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (now

police community relations is immeasurable.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland).This

Literally hundreds of children and young

was achieved by contacting every police force

people now find themselves in a disciplined

within the UK -  and in doing so, making that

and friendly environment as opposed to

vital initial contact with ‘all’ police force

wondering the inner city streets or

boxing clubs. Also identified were individual

participating in anti-social activities and

police officers that participated in the sport

crime.

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The ‘Clubs’ are committed to enhancing police community relations whilst at the same time promoting healthy sporting activities. We seek to exploit every opportunity to promote our organisation and aims.   On the 28th November 1997, the Chairman of The Clubs, in liaison with the Secretary of the Police Athletic Association agreed that the Association should be renamed in order to correctly reflect the activities of the newly constituted Association outside the P.A.A. structure.   It was agreed that henceforth the Association would be called The Police and Community Boxing Association. By January 1998, the Home Office and Civil Service were included within the Police Association. This instruction incorporates such organisations as the Prison Service some Fire Service athletes and other Home Office and Civil Service employees.  

It’s no understatement to say that many of our members have been guided from a path of crime into the competitive and disciplined confines of our clubs....

In 2004 the Police Association was asked by the ABAE to formulate rules for Female Boxing, based on the Police ‘Graded’ boxing rules they were adopted by the NGB and the Police Association staged the first Female Championships at the Hendon Police College in north London in that same year.   Given the unquestioned success of the Amateur Boxing Section, we can feel confident police community relations can only thrive on our efforts and that amateur boxing remains one of our major vehicles to enable us to achieve our aims.

Find out more at www.policecommunityclubs.org 33


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