BANK Holiday Monday ... what’s a Bank Holiday? It seems to be like any celebration for me now, it’s just another day.
Every time a birthday, a party or a Bank Holiday comes around, I seem to be right in the thick of training, building up to a fight. That was the case again yesterday. I drove to Leeds yesterday morning for a pads session, that’s just the norm now.
I don’t mind missing out on things. You’ve got to be dedicated and disciplined, haven’t you? I’m IBF world bantamweight champion and it’s about staying at the top of the tree. That’s not going to happen if you don’t take it seriously.
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I’ve heard of boxers in the past who would have a cheeky pint or whatever, but that’s not me. Those who do that will get found out and that’s what’s happened before and will happen again.
The right preparation for a fight is exactly what it’s all about at this stage and I’m doing everything right to make sure I’m ready for my second defence of my title against Paul Butler.
It’s such messages which I will be telling boxing students at Darlington College soon. Today I’m launching the Stuart Hall Boxing Academy in my hometown which will offer a BTec sport course in boxing from September.
The idea has come from meetings with Martin Gray, the Darlington Football Club manager, and I would have loved something like that when I was younger. To be able to get an education while developing your boxing talent at that age is superb.
That way students will have a chance to become better boxers but if they don’t make it to the top in boxing they will still have an education behind them, so they will be able to go on to become a PE teacher or coach or whatever.
It’s all about dedication in whatever you do and that’s exactly what I am: dedicated. After launching the academy today it will be about June 7 again for me.
This Saturday I’m having an open training session at the Metro Centre in Gateshead ahead of the fight with Butler. It should be good and hopefully there will be a few people watching who go out and buy tickets.
Paul is also supposed to be coming up to the North-East to go in the ring before me to have an open session on Saturday. It’s probably wise we go in separately otherwise we will have a prefight, fight. I’d only end up winning that too!
I’m hoping there is a real drive from boxing fans in the North-East to buy tickets in the next few weeks because of the uncertainty that was flying around about the fight a couple of weeks ago.
It’s definitely on and I want to put on a performance for the public after the frustration of what happened last time against Martin Ward when the fight had to be stopped in the second round as a technical draw.
Tickets are available for June 7 and there will be a bus travelling from the Shuttle & Loom pub in Darlington for my hometown fans to go up on. More information or tickets are available either by going to the Shuttle & Loom or call 07824 466535.