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Peter Buckley – the mundane color of boxing

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Losing 256 in 300 professional matches, but former boxer Buckley is still admired for his rare fighting spirit.

Buckley received a gift of gratitude to the 200th professional match in 2003. Photo: PA.

– “There is a contract for you.”

– “Where is it?”

– “Let me pick it up”

– “Please, sir”.

That’s how Peter Buckley typically schedules a match in nearly 20 years professionally with a rep. Former boxer born in 1959 never chose an opponent. Just closing the deal and making sure to make money, he will take his backpack on the road, even though the match may be only a few hours away from the phone call.

Buckley’s begging spirit is acknowledged by fans. Although he lost 256 out of 300 times on the platform, he was still grateful by the audience on November 1, 2008, after his last battle in his career. “Maybe a poor puncher, but Buckley has determination and courage. Men like that make sports more beautiful and more inspiring,” said a member of the forum. BBC Sports write about Buckley.

Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, famous boxers, can make tens of millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars after a match, are the idols of most young people when embarking on professional boxing. They have everything from money, fame, to the admiration of the majority. Even when the fall, Tyson was still charismatic enough to rebuild his life. He is still a magnet on the top floor, despite claiming to hang the gloves 15 years ago.

Beside Tyson or Mayweather, Buckley brings another color of the million dollar sport. When he was still playing, the appearance of the 51-year-old former boxer was nothing special. A crumpled sports suit. His eyes were permanently puffy – a trace of knock-out battles, but easily mistaken for long nights. Only Buckley’s gaze was calm, instead of defiant or proud like most of his colleagues. He once dreamed of becoming Muhammad Ali one day, winning six of his first eight professional games. But when successive failures happen, boxers born in Birmingham know boxing isn’t just pink.

It all started when Buckley was a teenager. At 15 years old, he went to prison for causing trouble, petty theft. The destitute life of a boy who lost his father soon pushed Buckley to the bottom of society. No matter what, Buckley’s 24 hours are always haunted by meals. Bad habits, as a way of earning extra income, arise in the mind of the amateur boxer, when employers hesitate to let an employee like Buckley struggle for more than eight hours a day.

For many of his friends, boxing was synonymous with Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, but Buckley thought differently. An amateur match lasts only about six or eight innings, or less than 30 minutes. In a state of fullness, former welterweight fighter can fight two matches a day. “I may have just collapsed in Birmingham in the morning, but am willing to have a bandage on the train to London (more than 200km away) in time to hit the afternoon,” he said. In Buckley’s opinion, fighting two battles a day is not necessarily less tiring than working eight hours, but the return is certainly equal to many normal work days combined.

From a potential amateur boxer, winning 50 out of 54 superstitions, Buckley decided to go professional after a tea afternoon. Nobby Nobbs, Buckley’s manager, was the first to remind Buckley on the quest to make money, instead of thinking of the championship belt. “If my eyes are dark after the game, I don’t do the job,” Buckley said. “My ideal night is getting the game off the ground. All I try to do is move around the belt, dodge as many hits as possible. As long as I don’t get badly injured, I’ll have the match again. Next. Many boxers define success as a one-match bonus, and mine is the number of matches “.

By the time he retired, Buckley had an unbelievable performance: he spent three months on average. The opponent turned to Buckley for many reasons. New boxers need a gentle training to gain more confidence. Those who beat longer, beautify the statistics table, before making big bets. Only a few see Buckley as a rival, before taking further steps in his career. Whatever the reason, Buckley nodded. Most of the weekend, he is spent negotiating a contract with his manager. Everything is not a big deal, because the bonus is only a few hundred or at most a few thousand dollars. With Buckley, the only thing he cared about was getting to the ring on time.

“Nobbs called once while I was having dinner. ‘Two hours on the floor,’ he said. But I was in no hurry to continue eating. After a while, Nobbs turned back on, telling his opponent to find another match.” Buckley said. “Another time, when I was fixing my car, I got burned, just as Nobbs announced that I arrived at Nottingham (more than 90km from Birmingham) at 6pm. It was already 16 o’clock. May the taxi still arrived. Of course I lost. but a little tip after the game is enough for me to get a new car the next morning. “

Buckley’s turbulent life went on like this for many years, and he wasn’t always lucky. Once, Buckley was on the radio in Scotland, but before he got off the station, the message came in that the match was canceled. Another time, Buckley came home at 5 a.m. Not yet leaning back, the manager reported that the match took place at 11am. “I felt a bit giddy, but clicked my tongue to let it go, since there were only six (two minutes each),” he recalled.

As a martial artist, no one wanted his name to be ridiculed or made fun of, but Buckley had no choice. From 1992 to 1994, “Professor”, the nickname given to him by fans, meant respect for personality rather than talent, losing 17 consecutive games. The featherweight stars are gone every day, but Buckley has no time to resent. “We have to live on, right? Many times frustrated, I thought to myself, not yet reached the 100-game mark yet to conclude anything. But then, I started to get used to the defeat. I learned to foothold myself, and waved to the winner. “

Peter Buckley vs McKenzie 1991

The match between Buckley (white) and McKenzie in 1991.

The match that was considered a milestone for Buckley’s career came in 1991. During his 24th professional match, he met Duke McKenzie, who was a former IBF flyweight holder and recently changed to a bantamweight. Before the Buckley match, McKenzie lost to Thierry Jacob in the European Championship title match, and desperately needed a boost. Buckley “fulfilled” the mission, helping to help McKenzie win the WBO title five months later. In late 1992, the two remarried, this time after McKenzie lost the WBO title to Rafael Del Valle. Once again, Buckley had the opportunity to celebrate McKenzie’s victory, setting the stage for the opponent to win a junior-featherweight WBO belt three months later.

By the time he hung up his gloves, McKenzie was the best martial artist in British history, and Buckley experienced Europe for the first time. Although he lost, “Professor” broke two expensive lessons: Enough to endure five rounds against the top boxer of the old continent, and to find joy as a brick paving the way for new hope. At the age of 30, Buckley is a green army that fits any boss who wants to train chickens. He didn’t get knocked out too quickly, to make the opponent fall short and feel a waste of time. The one-color, lack of weight style is more of a plus, because it does not bring any threat to the other side. The image of Buckley prostrating or lying on the floor became so familiar that the organizers of his matches often joked, being able to sign the loser early before the first half started.

Barry Jones, 15 years younger than Buckley, said about the meaning of the seemingly innocuous match for his seniors: “The opponent that day retreated close to the day of the match, and they called Buckley in. I’m not sure. He only knows him as fast as a squirrel Buckley’s experience seems to be seasoned.He always thinks in front of me, in order to avoid being pressured. That type of attack is annoying, even when Buckley does not hit. At times, I was like crazy, because I didn’t hit it all the time. But thanks to that strange match, I won the WBO belt.

“The more I meet a strong opponent, the more determined and better I play. That’s because if I fight a young guy, I can’t judge their attack. I punched, but they punched more confusing.” Buckley analyzed. “On the contrary, if they play against top fighters, they are well trained, from the way of moving, lowering the center of gravity, to even hitting a lot, I know which direction they usually hit from and take the initiative. I also get less hammered attacks, I also learned how to defend with just one hand. Due to a rush back to the stage after a dislocation injury, I have to practice that way otherwise want to be cotton “.

Big fights were a luxury for Buckley. The most prestigious name he has been associated with is Mike Tyson, when fighting undercard by “Mike Steel”. Buckley was also dragged out by Errol Spence Jr to mock Kell Brook, when his opponent fought first professionally with Buckley himself. The biggest match that Buckley attended was when he went to Austria, competing for the WBA Intercontinental title with host boxer Harald Geier. “At that time I was stunned by being treated like a star. Before the broadcast, I even heard the national anthem. It was also the first time I played 12 rounds,” Buckley recalls.

Retiring in 2008, at the end of his 88-match unbeaten streak, and reaching the 300 professional mark, Buckley holds a unique place in boxing history. Martial artist born in 1959 is considered a “guide” for the future champions, also a reagent enough to eliminate the inappropriate factors.

Kristian Laight, a former boxer who also had 300 professional games but lost more than Buckley (279), explains this phenomenon: “With boxing, I was a loser. But when my kids grew up, they never have low self-esteem in terms of clothes and clothes. I worked hard, in a way that is very difficult to imagine, to support my family. “

Sports, especially high performance, failure is difficult to swallow. Buckley understands, but doesn’t forcefully, tries to find the best for himself. “I have only been stopped by the referee 10 times in my career. But if I try to beat to death, it is not certain that the victory will belong to me,” he said. “Either way, I’ve always loved boxing, a sport that changed my life. The destiny card is already given. For the same amount of money, I consider losing the game a less difficult way.”

Thang Nguyen (according to the Sky Sports)

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