Boxing and Me…

Neil Slater vs James Smith Fight 6 (230)

I have been in interested in boxing for as long as I can remember…….

My passion for boxing really started in the 1980s, watching the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson fight – in an era of boxing that may never be repeated. More recently, the bravery of Arturo Gatti and sheer skills of Oscar De La Hoya have fascinated me. How Oscar fought in the early stages of his pro career is (in my humble opinion) how it should be done – hit – but don’t get hit.

I had small learning stints in my teens at Finchley and Islington Boxing Clubs but without competing. I then learned to box in the Army in Germany under Cliff Ross, a very talented and gifted fighter himself. I classed myself as a very dedicated and committed boxer, but without any real talent. Unfortunately, when I used to box in a bout, I would forget everything I had been taught, the ‘red mist’ would come down and more often than not, I would be stopped….. Time to do something else sprang to mind !

Since then, I have progressed to an England Major Panel Referee & Judge and also an AIBA 1* Referee & Judge – and have been privileged enough to officiate all over the UK, the last three Senior Elite National Finals in a row, Germany (Round Robin Tournament), Serbia (Nations Cup) and Finland (Tammer Tournament) where I was awarded ‘Top Official’ of the tournament in November 2015.

The dream? To officiate at the 2024 Olympics………..

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