BBN have put together their list of the integral fighters of British boxing that spend week in-week out occupying the away corners of the ring against the heavily supported home fighters.
This award will shine a light on the unsung heroes of the sport that are such an essential part of the game.
Lewis van Poetsch (9-117-2, 2KOs)
29 fights in 2019 makes ‘Poochi’ the second most active fighter in Britain. The 29-year-old former soldier kicked off the busy year by marking his centenary with a points win over light-heavyweight Scott Hillman (0-36).
Jamie Quinn (7-98-2, 0KOs)
Stockport’s ‘Devil Child’ packed in a mammoth 26 fights during 2019, marking his centenary in October.
The 29-year-old lightweight managed to upset debutant Ryan Walsh with a 39-37 points win, as well as unbeaten prospect Sam Larkin, who was 1-0 before Quinn won 39-38 on points.
MJ Hall (2-49-2, 0KOs)
Matthew James Hall experienced a whopping 25 fights in 2019, marking his 50th pro bout in November against Prizefighter finalist Lenny Fuller (8-1, 1KOs).
The 27-year-old from Brierley Hill in the West Midlands managed to score back-to-back wins in October against winning fighters Terry Maughan (10-7-3), who he previously drew with back in March, and Carl Chadwick (5-3).
3. Fonz Alexander (7-110, 4KOs)
19 fights this year and marked his centenary in May
From: Newark, Nottinghamshire
Alexander Anderson finished 2019 on 117 fights adding up to 543 rounds, all within six years of his pro debut back in March 2014. He is a very active journeyman, fighting on average up to 20 times per year.
Manager Carl Greaves praised his busy boxer, “I've got a few very good journeyman, who all deserve to be highlighted, but the one that stands out for me is Fonz Alexander.
“He went travelling for the first four months of the year but from May to December he still managed to get 19 fights in – one win, 17 losses – but took every single one of the prospects the distance, even putting a few down as well. Fonz always comes in on weight and is always in good shape all year round, he’s a very tough and clever fighter.”
2. Naheem Chaudry (2-63-1, 1KOs)
The busiest boxer in Britain
From: Blackburn, Lancashire
The 24-year-old welterweight from Blackburn crammed in an incredible 30 fights during 2019, making him the busiest boxer in Britain.
Not one of those group of 30 home fighters managed to stop Chaudry, and only debutant Connor Downs, now 2-0, scored a knockdown against him.
He reached a milestone of 50 fights in June against 3-0 Liam Berrisford, from Stoke-on-Trent, now 5-0, and defeated Darren Townley (8-2) with a first-round TKO.
1. Ben Fields (9-8-2, 0KOs)
Hand raised against five unbeaten opponents and experienced his first 10-rounder
From: Digbeth, Birmingham
Despite his winning record, Ben Fields is a journeyman who this year travelled to Barnsley, Liverpool, Bolton, London, Manchester, Hull, Oldham to fight in the away corner. On those visits, he managed to ruin the unbeaten records of Kane Gardner (9-0); Denis Denikajev (3-0); Sean Daly (8-0); Andrew Fleming (7-0); and Nathan Bennett (7-0).
Of his 15 fights in 2019, Fields won six and drew two, and finished the year with an English title eliminator on the horizon.
His remarkable year was filled with victories and as well as his first 10-round contest with a view to challenging for the English title. That 10-round super-lightweight contest ended in a points defeat to ex-English champ Lee Appleyard (16-5-1), which brought an end to Fields’ six-fight winning run.
William Warburton (26-164-10)
‘Warby’ had 16 contests during 2019 and finished the year on his 200th professional bout and also marked his 10th year in the paid ranks in April.
Most of his fights were six-rounders and it was only when he went past that distance against English welterweight champion Ekow Essuman (10-0) was he forced to bow out early when he retired in the sixth round of their eight-round scheduled contest.
Ricky Leach (3-50-1)
Manager Joe Elfidh said of the man from Margate who occupied the away corner 17 times in 2019, “Ricky is a great fighter and he gives 100 per cent every time he gets in there. He could just tuck up and move away, but he gives as good as he gets and every fight he’s involved in is always an entertaining one. You know that when Ricky is in the other corner, then you’re in for a good fight!”
Jamie Speight (15-45, 2KOs)
Three-time Southern Area champion Jamie ‘The Genius’ Speight fought 11 times in 2019, which included fights in the away corner against world title challenger Gavin McDonnell, two debutants and five unbeaten prospects.
Jordan Grannum (5-68-2, 0KOs)
‘The Brown Eagle’ from Islington had 27 fights in 2019, which was capped off by sharing the ring for a full six-rounds with former British welterweight champion Johnny Garton (23-2-1).
None of his 27 opponents managed to win against him inside the distance and that included hard-hitting Matchroom fighter Sam Eggington (24-6).
Edward Bjorklund (1-33-1, 1KOs)
Lewisham-based Scandinavian ‘Eddie Rockstar’ Bjorklund had 17 fights in 2019, all of them going the distance. Despite going down at least three times, none of the 11 unbeaten prospects, four debutants or former English flyweight champion Louis Norman could stop the 39-year-old Swedish super-featherweight.
Serge Ambomo (3-20, 0KOs)
Sheffield-based super-welterweight Serge Ambomo had 13 fights in 2019, which included a 57-57 draw with hard-hitting Central Area champion Evaldas Korsakas (10-7-3, 5KOs) and an astonishing third-round TKO of unbeaten American Ramon Perez, now 3-1.
14 of his foes during this year were unbeaten, three were debutants, and only one in 25 managed to stop the southpaw in his tracks.
Phil Williams (3-20-1, 1KOs)
Steve Goodwin’s 34-year-old heavyweight from Swindon had 14 fights in 2019, which included two victories and a notable six-round points defeat against 2010 Commonwealth gold medallist Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7KOs).
Lee Hallett (1-28, 0KOs)
Canning Town southpaw Lee Hallett had 17 fights during 2019, but his name is now recognisable for his shock win over Harley Benn (6-0) on the Billy Joe Saunders vs Shefat Isufi undercard at the Lamex Stadium in May.
Chris Adaway (10-63-4, 1KOs)
26-years-old from Plymouth, super-lightweight Chris Adaway finished 2019 with a points win over debutant Gary Hughes. He also managed to upset 6-0 Tom Ansell in March and had a total of 17 fights this year.
Michael Mooney (9-72-2, 3KOs)
The ‘Mad Man’ from Worcester had 17 fights in 2019 and managed to have his hand raised once against 1-0 Daryl Pearce in March.
Dean Jones (1-23, 0KOs)
14 fights in 2019, which the 30-year-old Telford lightweight kicked off in style with a six-round points decision over unbeaten Barrie Mcrorie (1-0) in January.