Was anybody else a sh-it boxer?? I was talking to my eldest yesterday, whilst the History Channel was on in the background. Something on the telly caught his eye. "Who's that daddy?" "That's Muhammed Ali, son." "Was he a boxer?" "Yes, son. Some people think he is the best boxer that ever lived. Your grandad goes on about him whenever he gets the chance." "Is he dead?" "No, but he's not the boxer he used to be." "Why?" "Cos he got old and sick." "Was grandad a boxer?" "No, son. There isn't anything he doesn't know about it, but he never actually boxed. I did, though." His eyes lit up. A big beam of pride spread across his face. "You were a boxer. Wow." "Not for long, just a couple of years" "Were you as good as Muhammed Ali?" "I remember thinking so, son. But unfortunatley for me, I was fcuking sh-it at it." That was the end of the conversation, but I had a good laugh to myself last night reminiscing about what a fcuking lame-o I was when it came to trying to punch people. My short lived boxing career, came about, as for most Bill Oddies as a complete diversionary tactic and escape from the 'rigours' of the Apprentice College. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Corporal ***** was putting together a team for the inter-squadron boxing and he was looking for volunteers from all the divisions. The only thing that qualified him as a boxing coach was his ability to wear a rolled up towel round his neck with the ends jammed in to the top of his sweatshirt. It was a testament to his persuasive abilities that he made it sound inviting. Instead of saying that we would be subjecting ourselves to a medieval training regime that would finish with us getting leathered in front of the whole college and John Conteh, he focussed on the positive. We'd get out of trade training, the sloppos wouldn't batter our hands if we went for extra helpings at brekky and we would earn the admiration of our peers. Unfortunately for me, throughout the whole training period and right up to the weigh ins, everyone had conspicuously failed to notice, that I was sh-ite at boxing. When we were working the big bag, I used to miss with every second punch. Obviously it was quite tricky to hit, standing there perfectly still, the size of a grizzly bear. I took several standing counts whenever I had to work that ball that hangs down from the ceiling. As for sparring, I just used to look like Stan Laurel, trying to swing my spindly arms with gloves the weight of microwave ovens on my hands. In the time it took me to put a combination together, my opponent could do a crossword. Corporal ***** kept the faith and put me in anyway. In hindsight, I can only assume that nobody else in the squadron was in the frame to fight as a 'paper-clip weight.' I had to carry two bags of shopping to get the scales to move on the weigh in. Unsurprisingly, on the night of the fight, I got marmalised. With the crowd of nearly 1500 baying, i'd managed to whip myself up into some sort of frenzy, bobbing and weaving all the way to the ring. Just before the bell rang to start the fight, Corporal ***** gave possibly the best boxing advice in history. "Right, Convoy. Try to hit him as hard as you can and try and make sure he doesn't hit you." Look out Angelo Dundee!! The bell went and I moved in to meet my adversary. I did a couple of foot shuffles. They looked good from the side but I was only trying to get some sellotape off one of my trainers. As we closed to punching distance, I sized him up. Slightly shorter than me, with a crouched style. Right, I thought, let's see if I can soften you up with a few of my trademark jabs. Going against traditional boxing dogma, I dropped my left to jab with my right. As I did so, what can only be described as a boxing glove seemed to appear from nowhere, before connecting soundly with my hooter. Fcuk me, I thought as the back of my head hit the canvas. I managed to beat the count. I wish I hadn't really, because I spent pretty much the next three rounds holding on to the other fella's leg whilst he tried to punch me on the top of the head. By the end, everyone was a bit embarassed really and when the bell went, I got up and gamely pretended that I might have won the fight. The judges weren't fooled and awarded the most unanimous points decision in boxing history. Corporal ***** was sympathetic when I made my way back to the corner. "Fcuk me, Convoy, you are one spineless c-unt. I knew you were sh-it, but I didn't think you were that sh-it" I would be interested to hear from any other arrsers who have ventured into any sort of sporting arena with less than glowing success.