Tudsbury turns life around with Moss Side Fire Station BC
When you win an accolade such as the national Junior ABAs, you would assume, aged 15, life was fairly simple and challenges far and few between. Boxing Monthly caught up with recently crowned 66kgs champion Conner Tudsbury to discuss the genesis of his boxing success.with
With a relaxed, calm and polite exterior, Conner Tudsbury explained to BM how boxing has helped mould him into the person he is inside and outside of the ring, and how the correct choices at an early stage can affect the rest of your life.
“When I was younger, I was very hyperactive and always getting into trouble. Fights and stuff. I struggled with my schoolwork. When my mum read about a gym [Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club] in a local newspaper, she decided to take me along. I was eight years old at the time.”
Tudsbury soon developed a love for the sport and the discipline it brought. He started to have a vision of where he might end up if he dedicated himself wholeheartedly and soon decided he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Bolton hero, Amir Khan. Tudsbury explained. “He started training in boxing at about the age of eight and he’s won a lot of things I’ve gone on to win. He’s a big inspiration.”
Another inspiration, who has also acted as a strong mentor figure, is Moss Side Fire Station Boxing coach Nigel Travis. Tudsbury expanded. “He’s had a positive influence on my life. I see him as a father figure. He’s always been there for me. When I used to get in trouble and stuff, he used to tell me, ‘You’re not going to the gym if you keep this up.’ He helped me focus. Boxing is now my life. I never want to lose that. Nigel knew how to make me behave. He’s a good person.”
And how does it feel to be ABA champion. “[Tudsbury laughs] Errr – I can’t speak! It feels incredible. All the time I go into the ABAs I’m really nervous because I’ve been trying to win it for five years. The furthest I’d got was the semi-finals. This year we gave it a really big push. Before I went into the ring for the final, Nigel said to me, ‘How much do you want it? This is your year, Conner. Nobody deserves that title more than you. Go get it.’ Nigel is the person I respect the most at the club. He knows me best.”
The ABAs are the pinnacle of his boxing silverware to date, but certainly not his only accolade in the trophy cabinet and certainly won’t be his last. “I won the ABA championships and got a belt. I won the NABCs. I’ve boxed in New York and won. I’ve got a gold and silver medal in Finland and I’ve also got a gold medal boxing in Ireland.
“As an eight year old who used to get into bother, I never even thought I was going to be a good boxer, never mind travelling and seeing so many incredible places. My dream was always to win the ABAs and fight for England and those dreams have come true.”
Tudsbury’s advice for anyone who’s verging on coming off the rails: “At least give boxing a try. With me, it was a massive confidence booster. I struggled in school and it lifted me up and made me feel good about myself. I’ve now got lots of friends and I’m fit and healthy.”
What does the future hold for Tudsbury? “My main plan is to become a professional boxer, but before that, I’d like to box for England and become a European gold medallist and also compete in the Olympic games. Hopefully, I can win a world title one day as a professional.”
A humbling presence in amateur boxing who has all the tools to blossom into a good professional. We wish him the best of luck for a fruitful future.