Bideford boxers taking advantage of a changing scene

Conor Mcintosh knocking down Dean Wilkinson in his pro debut

Conor Mcintosh knocking down Dean Wilkinson in his pro debut - Credit: Richard Grigg

The impact of Covid has massively changed professional boxing and both Bideford Professionals Billy Stanbury and Conor Mcintosh have taken full advantage of the situation.  
 
In the past, professional boxers have gone through a ten-fight apprenticeship, earning their stripes and learning the trade against opponents classed as journeymen, who effectively turn up to lose and give upcoming prospects rounds in the ring.  

A lot of these journeyman are from abroad, travelling over to the UK boxing scene to earn their money but this has become a lot harder with the costs of Covid testing and travel restrictions. 

The knock-on impact has meant boxers have been forced to step up earlier, Bideford Middleweight Billy Stanbury boxed against an experienced title challenger Robbie Chapman in his second fight in September, securing a victory on points and now has a high ranking of number 22 in Britain. 

Conor Mcintosh now gets the same opportunity, as he takes on Russian welterweight Rustam Fatkhullin, who has a split record of eight wins from 16 professional fights and is currently ranked a long way above Mcintosh.  

Bideford trainer Richard Grigg spoke about the opportunities for local boxers: “We have two top class professionals in the gym with Billy and Conor, they have both been boxing for over 15 years, competing with the best boxers all over the Country as amateurs,” said Grigg.  
 
“When the opportunities come to take these bouts and climb up the rankings towards titles, which is the end goal, both boxers will grab them with both hands.”   

Youngster Charlie Passmore once again demonstrated his potential but also had to dig deep for a split decision win against Blake Trott from Torbay on his home show.  

It was a fast start from Trott firing away with fast flurries. Things settled down in the second, as Passmore’s boxing ability began to take over scoring to the head and body. It was all to fight for in the last but Passmore wasn’t going to be denied, as he upped his work rate, pushing Trott back to the ropes and firing away big punches to seal the win.   

Boxer Charlie Passmore

Boxer Charlie Passmore - Credit: Richard Grigg


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