Boxing

From Celtic Warrior To Royal Military Police: Teaching The Next Generation Of Army Boxers

As Forces Radio BFBS' Jason Herbert discovered, only one Reservist signed up for the week and for boxing fans it was a real treat.

Blandford Camp in Dorset has hosted a week-long concentrated boxing course, not only for those looking to improve their skills in the ring but also to raise the next generation of British Army boxing referees and timekeepers and to enhance the qualifications already held across all cap badges.

As Forces Radio BFBS' Jason Herbert discovered, only one Reservist signed up for the week and for boxing fans it was a real treat.

Reservist LCpl Stephen Collins of the Royal Military Police (RMP) was known as "The Celtic Warrior" during his professional career in the 1980s and 1990s having held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) middleweight and super-middleweight titles.

His claim to fame includes beating long-reigning boxing champion Chris Eubank in 1995 and he even appeared in 1998 crime thriller film 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' as a boxing gym bouncer.

And what does the former professional think of the British Army amateur boxers?

"It's a very high standard for novice boxing because what they have, which is instilled in them, is they have the fitness and the discipline which is the most important thing in boxing."

The Garrison Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor (QMSI) and organiser of the event WO2 Richie Richardson explains what the course involves.

"It's kind of an all-encompassing boxing qualifying concentration as a plethora of qualifications ranging from level two coaching, boxing referee, judge and timekeeper."

Having progressed in the sport during his Army career another legend of boxing, professional coach Mick Gannon was brought in for the week as the tutor for those wanting to upgrade and qualify as a Level 2 trainer.

Mick is keen to remind people that refresher courses like this one are essential for any boxer, no matter how long you've been in the ring.

"58 years of boxing is quite a lot of experience but I still need to keep my eye on the rules, still need to check up on things because I don't know everything about boxing."

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