Pompey boxing fans! Top local boxers will be joining author Andrew Fairley to chat about Pompey’s Boxing Past and sign copies of the book this Saturday at Waterstones, Portsmouth between 11am and 3pm.
Among the local fighters dropping in at various times will be Wayne Evans, Andy Gatenby, Mickey Driscoll, Joel McIntyre, Mikey McKinson, Lucas Ballingall, Josh Pritchard and Jason Lepre. Tony Oakey is very probable but just out of hospital, and Kellie Maloney is going to do her best!
Andrew Fairley has extensively researched Portsmouth’s pugilistic past and, using in-depth interviews with living fighters and the family members of those no longer with us, he paints fascinating portraits of some of the city’s best-loved boxers, including:
- Arthur ‘Kid’ Connor: ‘The Punching Publican’ was a Hampshire champion, emerging after World War I to make a hard living in a country ravaged by recession. A star between the ropes, he was also well known for running Pompey pubs including the Florist and the Fort Cumberland Arms.
- Billy Streets: Reputed to have climbed between the ropes over 300 times during the 1920s and 30s, the Pompey icon was famous for his exciting style and distinctive haircut. He twice fought the legendary Jack ‘Kid’ Berg and is arguably the most popular boxer in the Island City’s history.
- Tony Oakey: The ‘Leigh Park Warrior’ talks candidly about his rise to become British champion, the error in judgement that cost him a vital year of his career, and his inner struggle as he adjusts to life after the glory days.
- Andy Gatenby: The popular bantamweight retired undefeated, and has some shocking revelations on what really goes on in the fight game, away from the cameras and the crowds. His story is every bit as hard-hitting as the crowd favourite himself.
- Floyd Moore: The city’s only two-time Southern Area champion describes his journey from an ignominious loss on his debut to championship honours. Known for his passionate fan base, the Fareham fighter touchingly describes his Cinderella story of defeat and redemption.
- The New Breed: Boxing is not just a part of Portsmouth’s past – young pugilists such as Joel McIntyre, Lucas Ballingall, Mikey McKinson and Josh Pritchard are evidence of that. Can one of these exciting young fighters deliver another British or, dare we say it, even a European title to their home city?
Click here for more information, or to read a sample from Pompey's Boxing Past