English boxing in Mexico; the Eagle and Serpent and the three lions
Seven young English Amateur boxers have enjoyed a magical week in Mexico, competing, making friends and the fiesta culminated in a bumper tournament with the people of the Iztacalco District of Mexico City, welcoming them with open arms.
This is part of an initiative of the World Boxing Council`s Amateur Boxing Committee to offer a broadening scope to young boxers from all over the World to sample, savor and feast on the glories of Mexican boxing, culture, cuisine and its famed friendship via unforgettable hospitality.
For Sean Murphy who`s the Head Coach at Finchley Amateur Boxing Club and once trained Anthony Joshua, this is his second time in Mexico. In November he brought eight boxers to Monterrey. This time it`s been seven boxers from three different Clubs, destination Mexico City. They are Reading ABC, Finchley ABC and Broad Street ABC. He enthused: “We`ve had an absolutely wonderful time in Mexico. With the Mexican hospitality you can`t ask for better. It`s been an amazing experience. Mexico is a boxing nation and they`re going to accept you. When you get in the ring, it`s just two fighters.
“You can`t beat this experience. Our fighters have handled it well and so very proud of each and every one of them. Win, draw and lose, they`ve given absolutely everything.”
Frankie Storey aged twenty, a promising featherweight who`s been at Finchley ABC for two seasons and loving every minute of it said: “It`s a big step up in my career and probably also for the other boxers as well. Back home, the altitude isn`t the same as it is here. Everyone has been really, really nice to us. The hospitality from the WBC and the people of Mexico City has been fantastic. I want to thank the coaches who`s come out here with us. It`s been a lifetime experience that I`ll never forget! And Frankie Storey`s motto is tattooed on his arm: “No guts not glory!”
Ross Driscoll who`s also twenty from the same club and a lightweight said: “Not many people are lucky enough to get this experience. The altitude is quite something. When you come here to fight three rounds of three minutes and you come from such a low altitude in England it just shows how fit you really are. The experience it`s taught me is to come here as early as possible prior to the fight, because it can really drain you. Great experience, because you know what to expect and can prepare for it. People love their boxing here. It`s a great boxing community.”
Scottish Sandy Matthewson, who`s been an International Referee for forty years, and prior to that as a talented amateur fighter, held his own against Jim Watt and Dick McTaggart. Sandy`s refereed some of the fights on this trip and says: “There`s been some tremendous boxing with some really hard fought contests. I`ve enjoyed it tremendously. The kids here have bonded and we`ve had a wonderful time and they can only gain from this fabulous experience. This is the way that amateur boxing should be, about friendly internationals. It creates lasting friendships. We`ve had a memorable time.”
Super flyweight Shannon Ryan from Finchley ABC is very impressed and she says: “This has taught me to work even harder when I go back to the gym. It`s also taught me that moving forward, this is what I want to do. Everyone here has been absolutely lovely and it`s been great. The altitude here is very high and it`s also quite dry. But what can we do? Fight to the very end. My favorite thing is how nice and welcoming everyone has been. I`ve just fought my sixth bout. It`s the memory of having not even ten bouts…and boxing in Mexico. Not many people can say they`ve done that!”
The organizer of the tournament and coordinator of the different activities in Mexico of our distinguished guests, Efren Juárez, commented at the end of the event his gratitude and pride for having had the opportunity to collaborate with this important project.
“This is the first of many cultural and sports activities between these great nations. We will continue making alliances around the world on the benefit of the youth according to the goals set by Mr. Mauricio Sulaiman.” concluded Juarez, from WBC Strategic Alliances.