Having had a couple of weeks to reflect and consider what the lay of the land may be, we have found it to be barren and to keep us all active we shall over the next few weeks and on into the months ahead be looking at some items of interest and what might be issues in the sport we love and hope, will survive this pandemic.
As always the big news – you can get elsewhere, as for the grassroots… keep reading…
UNSUNG HERO OF THE MONTH – Youssef al-hamidi
Syrian refugees may not be getting a great press now or maybe they never really had but in the boxing world there is someone who has been part of the infrastructure of our sport – a massive part of it – after all he has amassed no fewer than 146 professional fights. Every single one of his fights has been in the UK!
Born somewhere in Syria, Youssef al-Hamadi 16-125-5, 1 KO’s, has got to his 42nd birthday but is now showing signs of slowing down. In 2019 he only fought a few times and he has yet to make his first fight in 2020 but hey, after nearly 150 fights, you have to say maybe it is time…
His career in boxing began whilst he was a serving soldier in the Syrian army it is claimed he had another 150 fights as an amateur which delivered a bronze in the Army world national championships. He was even the Syrian amateur champion at 57 kilograms for no fewer than 10 years!
In a professional career that has seen him almost always as an away fighter he has taken the scalp of a man recently retired. In his memories is the fact that he was the guy who beat a man destined to become a world champion! Considering the career that Anthony Crolla has had – that is no mean feat and certainly a massive scalp. It was in 2008 that Crolla was beaten by al-Hamidi, at the Bolton Arena, in Crolla’s 9th fight.
2008 was an eventful year for him, and al-Hamidi entered a ring against the fearsome John Murray after being asked to do so a short few hours beforehand. It was not to be another fairytale appearance though Murray managed, only just, to beat al-Hamidi on points; clearly al-Hamidi aint no pushover.
Al-Hamidi is noted for his work outside the ring and for him that is selling ice cream round Huddersfield where he manages to make a living whilst also being available to step into te ring and help a guy or ten out.
A frequent visitor to Scotland he has notable names on his record which include, Eddie Doyle, Michael Gomez Jnr, Lewis Paulin, Ally Black, Ronnie Clark, Kris Hughes and Mitch Prince, fiigts against fellow journeymen like Fonz Alexander and Kristian Laight as well as “names” such as Darren Surtees, Lewis Ritson, Lee Appleyard, Declan Geraghty, Rendall Munroe, Atif Shafiq, Craig Evans, Sean Dodd and Anthony Cacace.
I have seen al-Hamadi box a few times and I have to say I love watching his survival techniques. He has a very well worn way of ensuring his own survival without ending up on the canvass, out the ring and not earning. It makes him my unsung hero of this week!