The Hidden Side of Professional Boxing

Laight losing image: www.independent.co.uk

In boxing parlance they’re known as Journeymen. They are fighters skilled enough to protect themselves, brave enough to fight anyone, and tough enough to take a beating – but they also must pose little to no threat to anyone.

There’s a little known side to boxing – One in which fight promoters need their ‘prospects’ given experience without the risk of being beaten up.

Enter the Journeyman.

Kristian Laight is one of the most well-known journeymen in professional boxing. Since beginning his career at the Britannia International Hotel in London in November of 2003, he has fought an amazing 215 times.

Among boxers Laight’s record is deplorable, but among professional Journeymen Laight is a legend. The 34 year-old boasts a record of 9-199-7! That’s 199 losses!

Laight is even so well known as a Journeyman he was given his own chapter in a recently released book Journeymen: The Other Side of the Boxing Business.

Laight said he never planned for his career to go the way it has. Like any new boxer he dreamed of being another champion.

“I thought I could actually do something, you know, be some sort of champion,” he said on BBC. “It dawned on me, probably after the fifth fight, I wasn’t going to be a champion, that’s for sure.”

Journeymen occupy a very necessary niche in professional boxing. And their defensive skills make them, in their own way, champions.

Laight v Stalker image www.dailymail.co.uk

Laight v Stalker image www.dailymail.co.uk

“I just go in and look after myself, do my job to get through the fight, and reach that final bell in one piece, get my money, come home, and have to fight again the week after It’s a month’s wages for most people, for 12 minutes work.”

But Laight is risking serious injury every time he steps into the ring.

His opponents are usually totally unknown to him. He has to be able protect himself against anyone, entertain the crowd, give his opponent some kind of test, all while not ending the ‘prospect’s’ career with a crushing defeat.

Oh, and Laight has to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice

“One time I’d literally just gone to the pub, my phone’s gone and before I’ve had a sip of my pint my manager’s said ‘You’ve got a fight later on; get out of the pub’ You’ve always go to be ready because the phone could go at any time.”

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