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London's Boxing Eye: A Night with Buncey in Essex
Boxrec correspondent Paul Foley spent Tuesday night and £10 to get a ringside seat for Steve Bunceís tour and was glad he did!
Steve is a man who certainly has (inadvertently) developed the art of rubbing people the wrong way. Since the demise of Setanta earlier this year, opportunities to see or hear him have been very much limited. One thing is for sure, he is someone who is not afraid of speaking his mind.
Essexís Loughton Academy (training home of olympic gold medalist James De Gale) hosted the last night of Buncey's tour to an educated boxing audience of about 80. Steve has been conducting the tour every Tuesday since the middle of September. His journeys have taken him to places such as Dublin and Sunderland.
Buncey introduced his night as an occasion to tell the truth a lot more, (I wish we could, but the laws of libel donít shine too brightly on writers in England!). Steve kicked off at the sound of his own bell ringing at 8.30.p.m, by telling everyone about his 2005 tour with Tyson where Mikeís team would only answer irrelevant questions like do you like London?
Amongst Bunceís guest were Jim Mcdonnell who spoke of his great 1989 world title challenge to the great Azumah Nelson. Jim fought for what he describes as ďproper world titlesĒ (Jim also fought another modern day great in Brian Mitchell, a year earlier losing a unanimous points decision). In his preparation for the Nelson bout Mcdonnell didnít want his national anthem played because it may have upset the African warrior who had destroyed Britainís Pat Cowdell four years earlier inside a round.
Nelson broke Jimís heart by stopping him in the final round. Thatís not the whole story though as he explains ďwhat a lot of people donít know is I was ahead on the judges scorecards going into that last round.Ē
Jimís one gripe is the way Barry Mcguigan avoided fighting him for so long and that Barry never fought Nelson. Buncey backed up Jimís claims by informing the crowd that Barry was not an old man at the time being just 29. (And Jim elaborated on this subject with me in a private conversation.)
On the training side of things Mcdonnell described the moment when Danny Williams triumphed over Mike Tyson and that the fight was mentally won before they even got in the ring (like Mike used to do to his opponents). At the time Danny and Jim were in a lift and guess who was there waiting for them as they touched down? none other than Mike himself.
On spotting him Danny quickly got back into the lift and tried to persuade his trainer to do likewise. But Jim was having none of it. ďGet out there now Danny.Ē By doing so Mcdonnell believes this was the moment Williams won. (Danny stopped Tyson in four)
In other relevant talking points Steve pointed out that renowned trainer Freddie Roach has had his fair share of failures which the press have failed to pick up on. He cites Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins as two. How did we get on Freddie? Buncey feels that if Roach had have been in Kevin Mitchellís corner on Saturday night the whole world would be paying homage to his ring tact, so why is no-one doing the same for Kevinís trainer Jimmy Tibbs?
Buncey also spoke of his many falling-outs with TV, promoters and fighters.
The question section brought up some interesting pointers. Why is Carl Froch not getting the wider publicity? According to the gospel of Buncey itís simply because he has no great story behind him in comparison to Dimitry Salita. Does he want to see Khan and Hatton? No but it makes common cash sense.
It was a quality night. Buncey himself is without doubt a man of the people. Itís refreshing to see a celebrity (if we can call Steve that) without being surrounded by body-guards and shielded from the punters. Steve is happy talking to just about everyone in the audience and itís obvious this crowd loves him. If Steve was a fighter he sure would make every minute count if this night is anything to go by.
Being filled with passion and energy leaves you in no doubt this is what he was born to do. His wife describes him as ďa big softieĒ and all his helpers were friendly. If I could persuade Steve on anything for a future live audience it would be to get a leading promoter and let the paying public probe them on the tricks of the trade. (If they agree)
As the evening drew to a close at around 10.30 Steve was quick to down the lagers and enjoy having his picture taken with anyone who fancies having this fine example of health and fitness on their wall.
Good on you Buncey, even my wife enjoyed it!
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good read that. I wish Buncey all the best and still missing his shows.
Wanted to go to the one in Salford when the tours first started but had no one to go with. Hopefully he comes to Liverpool and I'll go along then.
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