TONY OAKEY prepared to step back into the ring and vowed: This will be no exhibition
The Leigh Park Warrior is expecting fireworks when he clashes with old sparring partner Wayne Elcock in Essex.
A six-round exhibition will top the bill on a ‘night of champions’ in Chigwell, to raise funds for the Indee Rose Trust – named after a child who lost her life to an inoperable brain tumour.
Oakey believes a champions’ spirit will come to the fore as he meets the former Birmingham middleweight and world title contender.
The night will awaken memories of a glittering career for the 38-year-old.
And he knows a fighter’s heart will be evident when the bell sounds.
Oakey said: ‘I’m looking forward to it. It’s exciting.
‘It’s against another ex-pro champ who boxed for a world title and it’s for charity.
‘With a boxer, those feelings never die. It’s like getting a fix.
‘I don’t know a champion who, once punches start landing, will not show their competitive nature.
‘Although it says it’s a charity exhibition, that is not how it will be.
‘I’m not stupid – I know we both have a competitive nature, and that will come out.
‘Me and Wayne used to get clapped for our spars in the gym.
‘The spars were like fights and people used to loving watching – this is going to be no different.
‘My old trainer Ronnie Davies told me once you are a champion you will always have the attitude of a champion.
‘Champions are a special breed. That will be in you until the day you die.’
Oakey has called on the services of pal Michael Ballingall, who runs a pro gym in Fratton, to help ready himself for the contest – with Ballingall in the former light-heavyweight’s corner for the contest.
Oakey feels the fact Elcock came looking for the match-up adds spice to the meeting.
That arrived after his old trainer, Johnny Eames, lined up the former Southern Area, Commonwealth, British, WBU and Prizefighter champion for the event.
Oakey added: ‘My name was already in and Wayne rang up and put his name forward. He said: “I’ll fight Oakey”.
‘He said he wanted to fight me.
‘He said we used to knock lumps out of each other, so one last time for charity isn’t going to hurt.
‘People are coming out to lend their support.
‘It will be a great night’s boxing, with loads of champions taking part.
‘Johnny (Eames) knew I’d do it. He put my name down without asking me, because he knew I’d do it.
‘He knows I miss boxing and he knows I’d do anything I could to help people.
‘My life has changed. I’ve settled down but that competitive streak doesn’t leave you.
‘If you can help people less fortunate than yourself, I will do it – especially if it means getting the gumshield out of the drawer one more time!’