As John Shaw approached his destination, a proper old school Boxing Gym deep in the heart of East London, he must have thought the gods were trying to send him a warning, as before he even reached the door of the famous TRAD TKO Boxing Gym a crash of thunder erupted as lightning flashed across the increasingly darkening sky.
The intrepid reporter, along with film crew, had made the short trip from Wapping to Canning Town to undertake a training session alongside new British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams as part of the Daily Mirror featured ‘Brut Man Up Challenge’.
Starting out gently John joined Leon in a warm up session, before gloving up for four rounds on the heavy bags. The plan was then to undertake some pads work with one of the UK’s top coaches Johnny Eames, however Johnny had other ideas and with a grin on his face ordered the pair into the centre ring for four rounds of…sparring.
After the sparring John was given an even greater insight into a pro boxers routine as he and Leon were put through a fighters conditioning session and finally three rounds of skipping to warm down.
When the session was over John said, “Today I’ve been training with the champ, Leon Williams, Leon ‘Solid’ Williams as he likes to be known and he put me through his paces. He was going about two miles per hour and I was pushed to my limit.
I’ve got an insight to what it takes to be a boxer and what I found hardest was the sparring, even though he wasn’t actually hitting me, just pacing the ring.
Three minutes seems like an hour in the ring, it’s hard work.”
The Champ then added, “Yeah I got beaten up. He made it hard work and made my session even harder.
It’s good, it’s good seeing how he deals with what I have to deal with, even though it’s only one percent of what I normally have to do, but It was fun.”
To read John Shaw’s thoughts on the Brut Man Up Challenge, with British Cruiserweight Champion Leon ‘Solid’ Williams, buy a copy of the Daily Mirror this Saturday, November 5th, or visit www.mirror.co.uk to see video highlights.