Moss Side - Creating futures through boxing
On 10 July, Boxing Monthly was kindly invited to Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club’s annual awards presentations.
The awards were hosted by former amateur GB No.2 Nigel Travis, who’s also been known to act and put out fires (for about 25 years), on the side. BM was fortunate enough to be able to steal a few words in advance of the presentations, with his father, former Team GB boxing coach, Kelvyn Travis. The man who had previously been in the corner for the likes of 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medallist Audley Harrison, had this to say about the awards, his son and the impact of the boxing club.
“It’s about making a special occasion for a few kids, so they can be motivated for next season and most importantly, be recognised for all their hard efforts this season. The club’s been going for eight years now, and this is the fourth awards ceremony we’ve done. It’s about getting that sense of team spirit and also making the day a bit of a social with the families and friends, who play a big part in these kids’ lives.
“In terms of the impact of the club - I don’t use the word ‘massive,’ lightly, but I know personally what it’s done for some of these kids and it genuinely is a massive achievement. It’s affected the way they behave, their outputs at school. I’ve had mothers and fathers coming up to me saying that the teachers have noticed a difference in studies. Boxing clubs aren’t all about champions. The community aspect is just as important, if not more. Thankfully, we have both here. It’s taken eight years to have our first elite level fighter by way of Conner Tudsbury, but we know more are on the way.
“As for my son - I’m very proud of Nigel for what he’s done, but I won’t tell him! I’m as bad as he is. I have to tell him he swears a bit too much sometimes, but he knows that. I know he’s made a lot of sacrifices. How he’s able to juggle this alongside being a fireman, a husband and a father is incredible. We have up to 80 people per night and it’s no easy task to make sure everyone is taught, and taught correctly.
“We’ve just put together a committee, which was down to Nigel. The committee plans to increase the space and increase the level of support to keep it going. Hopefully the future continues to be bright.”
Also in attendance, fresh off his book launch the day before, was former British, Commonwealth, Irish and European light middleweight champion Jamie Moore. As always the consummate professional, Moore spent time to chat with the kids, the parents and anyone in fact who wanted to shake his hand or have a photo. Aware of the impact that boxing can have from a young age in terms of keeping kids on the straight and narrow, Moore listened attentively to the sage words of Nigel Travis, as he addressed the audience and commenced with the presentations.
“In the last year, we’ve won 68 bouts and lost 75," Nigel said.
"We aspire to win more than we lose, but I’m very proud of every fight we took part in, win lose or draw. There’s no such thing as a loss, just a lesson. If you learn off that lesson, you’ll only get better. The fact that you’re in this club working hard instead of getting involved with those negative influences outside which can drag you in and destroy lives, is a big achievement in itself. Changing your life for the better. That’s all we want to do here.”
Awards were presented to:
Lutae Jones – Best development
David McCallum – Most dedicated
Subhaan Khaliq – Most improved
Matt Knipe – Best junior
Ely Murphy – Best senior
Conner Tudsbury – Most outstanding boxer
A massive achievement to all those who received awards, but also to everyone who walks through those doors to lace up the gloves and give it their very best – students and coaches included.
Tudsbury is certainly one to watch in the future. A two-time, national champion at 15, who came close to winning the European gold very recently, Tudsbury has all the makings and skill to go all the way as both an amateur and a professional fighter. Remember this article in five years’ time…