Over the past few weeks, much like everyone else I’ve been adjusting to life in lockdown.
Work has continued, albeit in a remote format, but the time away from family and friends has been the hardest element to adjust to.
Suddenly finding myself marooned at home has been oddly claustrophobic, despite being fortunate enough to have a garden complete with a freestanding punch bag. I’ve maintained that the best way to see out the remainder of this uncertainty is to create a structure, a ‘Normality 2.0’ if you like.
As such, every morning I have replaced my usual one-hour commute to work with a one-hour walk. I work as usual throughout the day spicing things up with a 15-minute Joe Wickes workout before lunch and, after work, I generally spend some time working the punch bag or doing some DIY.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but so far it’s working for me!
My saving grace throughout every daily walk and monotonous DIY tasks has been listening to boxing podcasts. It may sound obvious, or perhaps even trivial, but being able to stick a pair of headphones in and forget about the daily grind has been a breath of fresh air. One boxing podcast, in particular, has struck a chord with me, so I’ll dive into it a little deeper.
Boxing podcasts – a saving grace
The name is Tris Dixon’s Boxing Life Stories and each week the former editor of Boxing News speaks at length with a guest from the boxing world. Listeners discover their journey from how they got started to where they are now.
So far there have been eighty episodes across two seasons and, for me, it’s been hugely insightful to listen to each individual’s road to today. What has been most interesting for me is the range of guests that Tris has had on the show.
It’s very easy these days to hit up youtube and find a Mike Tyson documentary or one on Roy Jones Jr. but these boxing podcasts give a far more in-depth look at not only the lesser-known fighters but also the managers, trainers, promoters and journalists from across the world.
Absorbing the wisdom from lifelong boxing journalists such as Colin Hart or students of the game like John Iceman Scully is so rare. At times it’s easy to feel transported back to a bygone era as you become immersed in the story.
When listening to Philadelphia promoter Russell Peltz talk about bringing Marvin Hagler to the Spectrum as an opponent you begin to feel part of that gritty melting pot of the late 1970s.
Sometimes, it is hard to ignore though the slurred speech and jaded perspectives of once-great champions. Sad as it is, this is something that Tris doesn’t shy away from. CTE, or punch-drunk syndrome as it used to be known, is something of a specialist subject for him and a difficult topic that he’s happy to address, sometimes with mixed responses.
There is an overwhelming acknowledgement from guests of the show that the sport we all love has done great things for some fighters but a cautious admission that for some it can take far too much.
5 British Throwback Fights of the Week
David Haye vs Jean-Marc Mormeck – 2007 WBC World Cruiserweight Title unification
Lee Selby vs Evgeny Gradovich – 2015 IBF World Championship
Julian Jackson vs Herol Graham – 1990 WBC World Championship
Darren Barker vs Daniel Geale – 2013 IBF World Championship
Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton – 2018 IBF World Championship