Sport I would say is probably my favourite past time and for those that know me, it won’t surprise you to know that football would be top of the list. I’m a massive Arsenal fan who’s been lucky enough to see them win the Premier League and FA Cup. Since I’ve been in Mallorca I have become a fan and season ticket holder of Real Mallorca. In fact I would have to say my best moment in football so far would have to be seeing them beat Deportivo La Coruña in the Play-offs to reach La liga. I do of course follow my boys around the island playing football which is where the name Dad Taxi came from. There’s nothing better than watching your own kids playing a sport.
I do watch other sports too, cricket, F1, Rugby would be ones I look out for but over the last couple of years I’ve suddenly started to watch a lot more boxing. I don’t know why, maybe because I have done some ring announcing and watched some fights live but i’m definitely more interested now than before. I’ve been lucky enough to interview Nigel Benn and his Son Conor Benn, who used to live here on the island. Conor grew up watching Pirates which he always reminds me of when he visits the show. I watched his Dad train once after he retired, he was still frighteningly good then and not someone I would want to step into the ring with. Check the size of his fist in the photo compared to mine. I also did an event with Joe Calzaghe where we did a Question and Answer session with the audience. Known as ‘The Italian Dragon’ Joe was the former two-weight world champion who left behind a perfect 46-0 record when he retired in 2008. Unlike a startling majority of his peers, he has never felt the need to come back, knowing that he had nothing left to prove.
Many sportsmen find giving up their sport is tough as they are suddenly out of the limelight and in particular boxers find it difficult to adapt. Which is why you see so many of them trying to return after they are well past their best.
I used to think Tyson Fury was very arrogant and not someone you would instantly like but my attitude to him has changed over the years. I remember him out on the strip in Magaluf a few years ago and he’d become overweight and someone who liked to party. All of a sudden in 2017 he decided that being an alcoholic and taking drugs was not what he wanted to be at the age of 29 and he decided to return to the gym. I also watched a documentary on his comeback and saw him as someone who was still fighting his demons but was also helping others fight theirs too. The rest as we now know is history, he lost ten stone in weight and regained the Heavyweight Championship of the world by defeating Deontay Wilder in a thrilling trilogy.
Last weekend at Wembley in front of a record 94,000 people he defeated the mandatory challenger Dillion Whyte and decided enough is enough and retired. But has he?
I can’t believe that he wouldn’t want to become the undisputed, undefeated and possibly the greatest heavyweight of all time and fight the winner of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk fight which is scheduled for July. If he does retire you have to totally respect his decision but I wouldn’t be surprised if he took that fight. Listening to an interview with the promoter Frank Warren this week, he believes it could make upwards of two hundred million pounds.
I bumped into Welsh born local boxer Liam Jones last week in Pirates. You may remember I wrote a piece on him and have interviewed him on the radio. His career as an undefeated Professional is still going well. Speaking to his trainer Paul Hamilton this week he told me his next fight may well be in the UK and he’s also scheduled to fight on a televised event in Marbella towards the middle of the year. I’ll keep you posted on how he is doing.
Take care everyone and enjoy the weekend.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.00-10am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org