McIntosh back on track
There wouldn’t be enough time in the day to talk about the number of lives that boxing has saved from poverty, prison or death.
Some have found their way into the brotherhood of a boxing gym in the nick of time, others have already danced with the devil before discovering the noble art. ‘I’d be dead or in jail.'
And so begins the story of Nathan McIntosh (7-0) and his answer to ‘Where would you be if you hadn’t found boxing?’
“If it weren’t for Tommy, I wouldn’t be boxing.”
The Tommy in question was Nottingham coach Tommy Thompson. A man who over time has worked with the likes of Kirkland Laing, Tony Sibson, Johnny Nelson and Junior Witter to name but four.
McIntosh had already tried kickboxing, karate and football before finding boxing through a friend of his father before his age went into double figures.
“I just clicked with it. It come so natural,” McIntosh told Boxing Monthly.
The education would blossom for Nathan when Thompson used his long-term relationship with a name steeped in British boxing folklore – Ingle, to benefit his pupil. Sadly, it wouldn’t quite work out for McIntosh as it had for so many before him.
“To be honest I didn’t feel like I fitted in at the Ingle camp,” he explained. “I didn’t feel like I was getting time put on me. So I decided to leave and things just died down afterwards. Boxing’s my life but I’m back on it.”
The dying down included a hand injury that placed McIntosh’s career in jeopardy and in the care of surgeons. Thanks to the unforgiving head of the late Billy Smith, the index finger and metacarpal on McIntosh’s right hand would shatter when the pair met in October 2011.
“His head was like hitting a brick wall,” he recalled.
The damage sustained forced the 27-year-old out of boxing for three years and force a Doctor to tell him he would never box again. McIntosh would leave the Ingle gym and consider his future in boxing. Thirty-six months out of boxing and with a family to feed put the Nottingham welterweight on the doors of the city’s nightlife. A city that once led him down a path which could have concluded with, as he alluded to earlier, a prison sentence or a death sentence.
“School never interested me,” said McIntosh. “I was bad at school. Left school with no grades whatsoever when I was 14. I tried to go to college, got kicked out of college. Where I used to live in St Anne’s, Nottingham, it was really bad for gang crime. I was just living that life. Had my son at 19 and that gave me the drive to succeed.
“There was some eventful weekends I’ll tell you that,” he laughed as he looked back on his bouncing days. “But once I got back into boxing that’s when I stopped doing the doors because of the risk, because you get people starting trouble and there’s knives, guns…. so I come away from that.”
McIntosh, who returns to action on 26 September in Chilwell and then five weeks later in an intriguing clash against Georgie Kean on BoxNation, is now in the capable hands of Carl Greaves.
After becoming disillusioned with the Ingle Gym, McIntosh is grateful to Greaves who has kept his drive going with back-to-back dates and giving him the one-to-one training that he wants.
“I’ve always said I need someone who’s going to use me as a little project just not as another boxer to go in the ring and make money and that’s what Carl’s doing. He looks after me well.”
A Masters title or an Area version is on the horizon for McIntosh in the coming months and moving into next year. Goals and activity are what he believes will bring the best out in him and let those who haven’t seen him fight want to come back again and again.
“I know after 4-5 fights in a row people will know my name and know what I can do,” said McIntosh.