Amazing life of Hemsworth boxing coach

Dave Radford in action against the legendary Roberto Duran.
Dave Radford in action against the legendary Roberto Duran.
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Former boxer Dave Radford has gone into print with writer Nick Towle to tell the story about his life in fighting in a new book now out.

Radford, who now runs the Hemsworth Alpha Gym Club and coaches young boxers in the area, has plenty to look back on over a mighty career that once saw him go the distance with all-time great Roberto Duran.

Blood Is Only Red Sweat tells the story of how the Duran bout came about as well as what made Radford start boxing and how he ended up going into the dangerous world of cage fighting and unlicensed boxing.

It is a no-holds-barred autobiography, an unflinching, raw and brutally honest account of his life inside and out of the ring.

In it, Radford recounts in his own words how he came back from the brink to have one last shot at a British title.

The Yorkshire lion heart roared into the UK knuckle pit after a terrible accident down a shaft spelled the end of what promised to be a glittering professional career with the gloves for one of the best middleweight boxers in the country.

Not to be deterred, the man known as ‘The Beast’ simply whipped the gloves off and made it in the unforgiving world of knuckle boxing.

His recollections – in turns hilarious, tragic and nightmarish – open the door to the dark otherworld of underground boxing, with its assortment of gangsters, gipsy knuckle merchants and blood-curdling bouts where punches crack like whiplashes.

Radford doesn’t merely shine a light on these darkened chambers, he makes you feel like you’re standing right beside him as he trades blood and sweat with some of the fiercest knuckle warriors in the country.

‘The Beast’ pulls no punches in his portrayal of a sport that delights and disgusts him in equal measure.

He knows that what he is doing is fundamentally wrong, but the warm family man remains a cold fighting machine inside the ring; a born fighter who shot to the stars then crashed back down to earth.

Radford’s long and arduous journey back to the Elysian Fields of sporting conquest is both painful and inspiring; an essential read for any fan of the noble art.

Dave will be signing and selling copies of his book on Sunday in the Alpha from 2pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. Blood Is Only Red Sweat is now available to buy, priced at £8.99, at www.lulu.com and on Amazon from January 6.