I think one of Benn's fights around 93/94 (forgot against who) was the first full live fight I watched on telly when I was staying at my grandma and grandad's one weekend. My grandad was a big boxing fan going right back to the late 20's circa the early 30's and was a proper fountain of knowledge.
He'd let me stay up reading Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator while he was watching the fight but I can remember putting it down and just sitting staring gormlessly at the telly while Benn was rabbit/kidney punching away. My mum was well ****ed off when she found out but my dad was a bit more pleasantly surprised, seeing how I was a quiet and introverted kid, so he overruled my mum and said it was ok.
My dad used to work away from home a lot too when I was little, and my mum was usually busy looking after my younger brother - who was a right little **** - so I used to spend hours with my grandad reading books and watching Boris Karloff or Laurel & Hardy films. So after I told him how brill I thought boxing was, we sat down and watched some tapes of Joe Louis, who was his favourite and is still my favourite today for that reason alone. He got me into the likes of Buchanan, Winstone, Lynch and Conteh too. Any past British fighters really, especially if they were taffs (as he was by birth).
Whitaker, Chavez, Benn and Eubank were coming to the end of the line, Tyson was battering Big ***** before Holyfield came along and upset everything. Naz was getting yo-yoed by Kelley. I can remember my grandad complaining about SKY and all the daft belts and weight classes, saying how the number of great fighters and trainers had been dropping off for years and would continue to do so etc. I thought at the time he was just being a miserable old sod when actually it turned out he was hitting the nail on the head.
We'd sit for hours watching Louis, Ali (who he didn't like but made we watch anyway), Robinson, Duran, Marciano and loads of the old timers, and he'd leave me to own my devices watching Barrera, Jones Jr, Stevie Johnston, ODLH, Trinidad, Calzaghe, Too Sharp etc. Barrera was my favourite at the time and one of the few active fighters who my grandad had any time for, so it was a glorious day when he swung Naz about like a broken washing line.
The last fight we ever watched together, after him not watching any live boxing for years, was Khan getting bazeemed by Prescott
. He was quite ill at the time, pushing 90, and it got a massive laugh out of him, so he thought it would be a fitting last fight to watch.
Good times they were. Makes me feel old as **** despite not even being 30 yet.....