Originally Posted by Makingweight
Here is a tale of how sometimes opportunity knocks a fighter staying in shape & a manager staying by his phone.
The Cinderella Man guess most of us have seen the film & know the story of James Braddock v Max Baer.Baer a great fighter big punch & had been involved in ring tragedies fair to say his family were not too impressed with the hollywood version.....no not that version the welsh one.
Rueben Palacios v John Davison WBO FWGT title fight 17/04/93.Check weight's done physical medicals completed however the fight is called off two days prior.Title vacated.
Routine blood checks & Palacios has failed a HIV test,stripped of his title & back on a plane to Columbia.He never fights again dead by 40 & within a year of the fight being called off doing 4 years for drug trafficking in the USA things change quickly.
The fight due to be on tv tickets have been sold & a opponent needed last minute or not.Calls were made & as you read down the rankings fighters are turning it down.No suprise why two days notice,fighters are overweight & purse demands that had no chance of being met.
Dai Gardner takes a call & the promoters are desperate he manages Steve Robinson at the time 13w-9d-1 draw.Robinson had taken short notice fights before always in shape weight no issue & working as a storeman part-time at Debenhams in Cardiff for £50 a week the money is very welcome.Two days notice WBO title where do we sign?
Robinson wins a SD.Davison a real heavy favourite interviewed years later said 'My head was gone 3 times the Palacios fight was on & off just couldn't peak again but the money was great 40k & Robinson went on to be a worthy champ good luck to him'.
Indeed he was & made seven defences beating some very good opponents in McMillan(who had lost the title to Palacios),Hodkinson & Duke McKenzie fitness & workrate getting him through at times.Training full time made all the difference he said.
He was eventually beaten by Prince Naseem in 1995.He also said in retirement he took that fight on just over 3 weeks notice as he was on honeymoon!The money was good & being the welsh Cinderella Man the opportunity just too good to turn down.
M, keep searching your head for more of these, you could tell a fighter stay in shape cos you never know, but for the most part it goes in one ear out the other and no stops in between. This story makes that point without the constant drone of the coach trying to crack the whip trying to get you in the gym. Robinson was really an unlikely guy I didnt know the background of how he got the shot.
Guys ya never know in boxing there are always fights falling out for one reason or the other. Have your manager or you yourself contact every single matchmaker, promoter even commissioner anybody that can get you work(fights). You get yourself ready so that you don't go in as an opponent in halfass shape, GIVE YOURSELF a chance to spring a surprise. Put it in your mind that this is an opportunity, grab it with both hands and hold on tight.