Billy Bessey determined to bring back glory days after taking over at Leigh Park Amateur Boxing Club
Billy Bessey reflected on returning to the club where his boxing career began and revealed: I want to bring back the former glories.
The 45-year-old recently took over from Spud Vince as the lead man at hometown venue Leigh Park Amateur Boxing Club.
Things have come full circle for Bessey, who started out at the club at the age of 10.
Now the former ABA heavyweight champion is eager to bring through the best talent in the area and restore Leigh Park ABC’s glory days.
Tony Oakey, a one-time Commonwealth light heavyweight and British light heavyweight title holder, is just one of the success stories to have had an association with the club.
Billy’s brother, Chris Bessey, who was a six-time ABA champion is his career, also used to train out of Leigh Park.
Meanwhile, former England boxers and ABA runners-up Dean Frost and Nigel Philpott used the club.
Given the pedigree Leigh Park has had in years gone by, Leigh Park resident Billy Bessey is eager to bring back those glory days.
‘It used to be on the forefront of Hampshire boxing,’ said Bessey.
‘That’s we want again, we want champions coming out of the gym.
‘It’s not just about champions, it’s about making sure it’s a community area where everyone can go.
‘I started at Leigh Park when I was 10 years old, which is about 35 years ago now.
‘It’s always been my club, sort of thing.
‘When I was a kid, we had the best club around.
‘We were churning out champions left, right and centre.
‘It was just a champion machine basically.
‘It just needs an injection and that’s what I’m going to do.’
Bessey is an experienced coach having previously ran a White Collar club and took sessions for his regiment during his time in the Army.
He has assembled a team of coaches and is hopeful his team can bring the best out of the best young talent in the area.
‘I’ve got some brilliant coaches that I’ve brought with me,’ added Bessey.
‘Yinka Bello used to be in charge of Stacey Amateur Boxing Club.
‘But he’s going to be the main coach for the kids at the club.
‘To have someone with his experience on board is brilliant.
‘I’ve had lots of experience.
‘But with the kids at the club, Yinka is the main, he’s got a great pedigree.’
Leigh Park Boxing Club are hosting a show at Leigh Park Working Men’s Club tomorrow night.
Tickets are priced at £15 and available on the door from 6.30pm.