August 2, 2018 by Mike Madden
This article first appeared in the High Peak Review.
Many sportsmen and women can easily make the transition from one sport to another, for instance golf is a popular discipline for many cricketers and footballers, however for Chapel-en-le-Frith amateur boxer Jack Massey the crossover is not so obvious.
Four years ago Jack and his older brother Dan were playing ice hockey for Sheffield when they decided to take on extra training. They went to the boxing gym in Buxton to work on fitness and stamina, and it was not too long before their potential was spotted. Jacks’ father Dave had also been an amateur boxer for Buxton, and under the watchful eye of trainer Kieran Broomhead it was apparent that Jack would follow in dad’s footsteps. His training regime consisted of gym sessions four nights a week, and this was supplemented by running most weekends.
After eight months at Buxton he was ready for competition, and he was entered into the 66 kilo weight division. Since then he has progressed to 81 kilos, and he has a proud record of 19 wins from 24 fights, including three by knockout. In the 2008/9 season Jack won the National Junior Novice championship, for boxers who have fought in less than ten bouts. To achieve this he had to first win his Midlands division, before taking on boxers from Yorkshire, the North West and the North East. Finally, he was able to win the title in a bout against the best boxer from the South. In the same season he also won the Clubs For Young People (CYP) competition, a title that he retained the following year. In June 2009 he won the Tri Nations Gold Medal in Edinburgh, but his most outstanding achievement has been taking the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) championship for two consecutive years.
The ABA finals in Liverpool saw Jack perform in front of the biggest crowd of his career to date, as around 500 spectators saw him triumph. With all of this success it would appear that Jack’s future as a boxer is assured, and he has a growing band of supporters from Chapel-en-le-Frith and the surrounding areas, with one local landlord arranging coaches to his bouts. He is also grateful to a number of local businesses that help to support him financially. His custom made shorts come in at around £150 per pair, and sparring gloves are around £110, so the tools of his trade are certainly not cheap. Three months ago he joined the Northside gym in Manchester, which is considered to be a “pro” gym. Since then his training has approximately doubled, despite having snapped a tendon in his leg.
His immediate aim is to be selected for the 2012 Olympic squad, however this is far from straightforward. He is in the Talent Pool for the squad, but that is still a long way from being included in the final team. It may be that the only avenue open to him is to turn professional, though for now he is hopeful that his focus, determination and rigorous training regime will see him considered for the London Games.