When I left England 20 years ago,Cumbria had a good amateur scene but not a professional scene.

I'm back in Barrow at the moment visiting my family.

Since I've been back Liam Conroy was in one of the best fights of 2019 against Martin Ward in Belfast and at the weekend I went to see Ross Cooksey, Michael McGoldrick and Ryan Watson boxing in Bolton, Lancashire.

All four men gave incredible accounts of themselves and the support they receive is rabid.

What makes this even more remarkable is the fact that these pugilists live in Barrow, which happens to be one of the most most isolated town in England, they additionally work their days on the docks in a naval shipyard then drive a three hour round trip to Preston for training.

A couple of the lads partners have just had babies; that's dedication to our noble art.

You couldn't make this up.

Overall, the three Cumbrian were by far the standouts of the night.

We can be proud of what they are doing for Cumbria.

Not only that, the boxers must be honoured by their growing fan club.

They boxed out of their county yet received the biggest support and the biggest noise levels.

Add the excellent Liam Conroy to this and we have four incredible professionals.

We also must give a round of applause to the amateur clubs that build the professionals clubs such as Barrow Amateur Boxing club and Pat Ryans' boxing club.

Well done lads.

Mike Hills

68, Gamba Drive

Glenwood Springs




(Formerly of Barrow)