Fighting Talk: Johnny Greaves
19:00 10 December 2015
East Ham stalwart discusses his early days in the ring
Firstly, thank you to the overwhelming response I’ve received from everyone after my debut column appeared last week. I’m really humbled to hear your positive feedback.
I’m onto the next challenge in my boxing career as a manager, currently with George Hennon and Sonny Whiting in my camp to begin with.
I will be looking to give everything to build their careers as I know first-hand how hard this game is.
My own career began as an amateur at East Ham Boleyn trained by Dave Launder. I got to the semi-finals of the ABA Novices, but I was always so stop-start in those days that I didn’t really fulfil my potential.
It wasn’t until I discovered unlicensed boxing when I was a bit older that I realised getting punched for pay was for me!
I had 50 fights exactly and then when my Teddie was born, I was after a fast buck so I turned pro under manager and good friend, Carl Greaves.
We had a phone conversation where he told me I’d have to sell 80 tickets per show, he’d build me up to look at getting title shots down the line and I’d take home over £800.
But I got paid better than that in the unlicensed, so I told him I’d chew it over.
Literally 30 seconds later, Carl called back and said he’d put me in with a hot prospect called Rob Hunt who was seven fights unbeaten for almost double the money and no ticket-selling involved – and that was how my professional boxing journey began.
I told Carl I was going to have 100 fights before I’d even thrown one punch and he said: “Hold on Johnny, you ain’t even had one yet!”
So I stepped into the ring with absolutely anyone, and everyone that I boxed was just another number to get to my 100 mark.
I was adamant I was going to achieve it and at times it was so tough that I thought otherwise, but the very next day when you’re all battered and bruised, you just had to count the pound notes in your pocket to think, ‘yeah I’ll go again!’
Follow Johnny on Twitter @johnnygreaves
Johnny would like to thank sponsors The Peacock Gym and PR Manager Tim Rickson.