News August 2017

Teamwork makes the dream work for Mick Hall


Mick Hall has surprised even himself by managing to get into title contention despite an unsettled and unfocused start in the sport. Now, with a new management deal in place and a settled training team supporting him, the Preston based middleweight is excited to find out just what he is capable of.

“This is the first time in my career that I’ve had a good team around me. Everywhere else I’ve trained I just haven’t felt like I’ve had the right people around me,” 31 year old Hall (14-2, 2 KO’s) said. “Boxing is a hard game and without the right people behind you you’re pretty screwed. I was in that position for my first twelve or 13 fights.

“I didn’t really take the sport seriously to be honest. I always trained hard but there was no structure to that training. What I was thinking was right, now I know it is. I’ve just signed a new three year deal with Neil Marsh and I’m training with Alan Levene, I’ve got a strength and conditioning coach and a top physio. I go to Liverpool University for sports science testing. It’s all made a massive difference. I get free use of the amateur gym I trained out of for training my private clients and I’ve got a life coach too. Somebody to keep my head right.”

Until recently, Hall’s mindset has been one of the major factors preventing him from fulfilling his potential. Hall always enjoyed his downtime between fights but had also begun to worry about just where he stood in the sport.

“I almost gave up boxing because I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. After Prizefighter [where Hall lost a highly contentious decision to Jack Arnfield in 2015] I fought Dan Blackwell and struggled. It was like I couldn’t be bothered. I was worried that I was back on small shows for the rest of my career.

“I don’t know how I did it. I’d be out drinking right up to my fights. I was totally unprofessional. I’d go out and just think everything would turn out alright. I was out and about on the streets getting upto allsorts. I fought a lad called Ali Shah in his hometown and thought I’d go there and beat him. I got into the third or fourth round and it hit me. I was in trouble. I won but I knew there and then I couldn’t carry on like I had.

“For the first time I feel like I’m not on my own anymore.”

Hall announced himself to British boxing fans with a brave but ultimately unsuccessful challenge for old rival Jack Arnfield’s WBA International middleweight title back in January, his refusal to take a backward step despite suffering a shocking haematoma leaving an indelible impression on those who tuned in to the action on ITV. The latest test of Hall’s new found dedication and professionalism comes on September 1st when he takes on the capable but unpredictable Central Area champion Darryl Sharp over six rounds at Blackpool’s Hilton hotel but he is desperate to get back into the title mix and has set his sights on the British title, currently held by Birmingham’s Tommy Langford.

“When I fought Jack Anfield I had a broken rib. it took all of my movement away. I couldn’t do what I did when I fought him in Prizefighter the first time. Going from four rounds to twelve was a massive jump and I had to just stand in front of him but it was big money for me. I’d have fought him with a broken leg if I’d had to.

“The swelling on my head disappeared the day after. It was an elbow that caused that. Gennady Golovkin couldn’t do that, let alone Jack Arnfield. It burst a blood vessel but it looked a lot worse than it was.

“I don’t know how good I can be. Neil and my team see something in me and know how good I can be. The more I fight the more conditioned and confident I’m becoming. I always bring an exciting fights but if I have to box, I will do.

“I’ve gotta be right on my game but I know exactly what I’m gonna do with him. I’m quite a clever boxer when I want to be.

“I’m fighting Sharp on September 1st and back in June I won a final eliminator for the English title so I’m just waiting for a date [Hall stopped Matthew Mallin in three rounds]. I thrive on fighting the best. I raise my game. I fought the best right through my amateur career. I would see people i fought in the amateurs like Liam Smith, Hosea Burton and Sam Sheedy doing well and wonder why I couldn’t be up there too. Now I have the team to do it.

“I want the Lonsdale belt and I want to keep it and that’s exactly what I’m going to. I wan’t that belt for my kids and for everybody who has believed in me. I always knew I was good enough but now - especially with the team I have around me - I know that I can do it.”

Mick Hall v Darryl Sharp takes place at the Blackpool Hilton on Friday September 1st. R.P Davies’ clash with George Rhodes is also on the bill. Tickets priced at £65 and £80 are available from the fighters on the bill. Contact Mick Hall on 07375747458.

Ryan Davies Gets Serious


Ryan Davies is a man on a mission. Almost three years into a delayed career as a professional boxer, the novelty and excitement of life as a full time fighter has given way to grim determination. The 30 year old middleweight has realised one dream, he is now intent on accomplishing many more. Davies takes on Yorkshire’s George Rhodes (5-1-1) at Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel on September 1st and is eager to get the new season underway.

“This is something that I’ve always wanted to do but never thought I’d get the opportunity. People say that if you have a job that you love doing, it doesn’t feel like work,” Davies (12-1, 1 KO) said. “That’s beginning to change. As you get older, you have extra commitments outside the ring. I didn’t have commitments when I started. I was a young lad who’d just turned pro and everything was fantastic. You’re set on living the dream and getting to Vegas but things change. My partner is eight months pregnant now with our first baby and I run my own gym. My boxing career has helped me set something up that’ll be with me after the boxing.

“I think that I’ll win this fight and then it’ll be straight into something bigger like an area or an English title fight or maybe some kind of eliminator against a gatekeeper type of opponent. I’ve come this far and it feels like I’ve been on a journey to even get here. I never thought I’d even get in a professional ring. I’ve already climbed the mountain and I can almost see the top. It’s just about whether I can finish the journey off now.”

The journey to the top of the mountain almost came to an end at base camp. Davies was due to turn professional around six years ago but a problem with a routine heart scan threatened to halt his dream before it could begin.

“They found an electrical imbalance or anomaly,” Davies explained. “To be honest it was something they never really came up with an explanation for. For some reason, my heart showed up differently than yours would on a scan. Questions were asked whether that would affect me in a boxing ring. I’d had around nine unlicensed fights by that point and I’d never had any kind of issue or chest pains but I had to go through a battery of tests. Eventually, because I passed all the tests they had no real choice but to say that although my test was a bit different, they would let me in a professional boxing ring.

“I was supposed to turn professional when I was 24 and it held me back for three years. It ate a lot of my youth away but in effect, I feel like it matured me. I’m a young 30 years old now. Some people get to 30 and they’ve been boxing since they were eight. I feel as fresh as a daisy and it all still feels new to me.”

Davies is aiming to capitalise on the revitalised Blackpool boxing scene. Brian Rose kickstarted the sports’ resurgence in the seaside resort with his unlikely run to a world title shot. Scott Cardle carried the baton by winning and defending the British lightweight title and now Davies hopes to follow British cruiserweight boss Matty Askin, WBA International middleweight champion Jack Arnfield and stablemate Adam Little in leading the latest wave of talent from the Lancashire coast. A victory over Rhodes would position Davies nicely for his own concerted attack on the domestic rankings.

“I’m quite aware that boxers have a very short life [in the sport] and I know it won’t be around forever. You have to take the opportunities when you can get them and understand that it won’t be around forever. I’m trying to make the most of that locally. With the popularity I have, I’m trying to build my own brand and fan base and, thankfully, it’s worked out.

“Myself, Jack and Matty are all coming through now. Matty has finally got his just rewards. He’s been lingering around that British title level for a while now and it’s great to see. I also like Jack and it’s good to see him doing well too. I get on with all the lads.

“As you get older though you’ve got to become a bit selfish. The only career I’m bothered about now is my own. Now I have the baby on the way its about securing the best future I can for her. My manager Neil Marsh has been fantastic with me and now it’s about pushing on and hopefully getting my own just rewards.”

Marsh himself is looking forward to seeing his man in action. “We’re ready to give Ryan a step up now,” he said. “We’re getting him ready for championship fights and it won’t be long until he’s at that kind of level. He’ll be down the the championship weight limit for this fight and this is all about getting him ready for that next level.”

Until he suffered a shock stoppage last time out, Rhodes, 25, was in a similar position to the one that Davies now finds himself in. His entertaining and aggressive style generated plenty of local interest and he began to attract a sizeable following from his hometown of Scarborough. Davies knows exactly what to expect from the Yorkshiremen and is determined not to let Rhodes reclaim his standing at his expense.

“George looks young, fit and game. He just lost his first fight but I remember when I lost for the first time. It made me even more hungry to come back. I expect nothing less from George.

“He’s going to come and fight and good on him for that. I’m confident. I think there are certain areas I can exploit. I give everybody I fight respect. I’m sure he’s training very hard - I know I am - and the best man will win on the night. I believe that will be me but we will see.”

R.P Davies v George Rhodes takes place at the Blackpool Hilton on Friday September 1st. Mick Hall’s clash with Darryl Sharp is also on the bill. Tickets are available from Davies Boxing Gym, by calling 07780962863 or by e-mailing

Fury has the rib eye of the tiger


WBO World Heavyweight Title Challenger Hughie Fury is preparing for his massive showdown with Champion Joe Parker by punching on a meat carcass like movie icon Rocky.

Fury has based himself at a spartan-style training camp at Lake Windermere for the big fight on Saturday 23rd September at the Manchester Arena and is using a local abattoir to help with his preparations.

The undefeated 22-year-old has been working on his power and combinations by pounding his fists into a 400lb carcass of beef which was made famous by Sylvester Stallone in the legendary film franchise.

In the first movie, unknown Philadelphian fighter Rocky gets a million-to-one shot at the World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed and prepares for his fight by punching meat in an abattoir.

The Manchester hero has been training spartan-style at his training camp at Lake Windermere with arduous mountain runs, log chopping and swimming in freezing lakes with father and trainer Peter watching on and believes this adds another dimension to his training.

“I love different ways of training to keep things fresh and new and when the owner of the abattoir saw us training in the hills we ended up talking and he mentioned about Rocky punching the meat and said I could come and do the same at his place,” Said Fury.

“I jumped at the chance because, one, the carcass of meat weighs nearly 400 pounds and that is one heavy ‘punch bag’ to slam punches into. Two, its makes a much better sound when the fist connects with the meat, just like in a fight and, three, Rocky is one of my favourite all time movies so to do that myself was a bit of thrill,”

“That carcass has Joseph Parker’s face on it when I’m punching the hell out of it and hearing the ribs and bones crack it makes me punch it harder and harder. Just like Rocky, my white hand wraps end up a bloody mess after a twelve round session on the meat.”

“I’m preparing like never before for this fight and pushing myself to the limits and beyond. There’s no way Parker is leaving Manchester with that World title. I will everything to make sure that belt stays here with me.”

Photographs courtesy of Hennessy Sports/Dave Thompson

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