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Unsung Warriors Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor

Dennis Dodge

Dennis has followed boxing on and off since he was a kid and his dad used to tape the fights on the radio. Dennis got back into the sport properly about 10-years-ago and he is now a qualified boxing coach for the People’s Gym in Heywood.

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If you haven’t come across the self-proclaimed ‘Flat Nosed Warrior’ yet then you’re missing a trick, whether watching him slug it out in the ring or taking part in one of the many debates he partakes in on social media you’ll always be entertained.

Starting out at Rosehill ABC in Surrey when he was 8, Danny went the way of most youngsters and in his own words, ‘got a few whacks on the nose and thought fuck that’ at 15 he moved to Nottingham and after a conversation with the landlord, the youngsters Mum ‘persuaded’ him to head on down to the local gym where Slugger O Toole (Fidel Castro Smith) took him under his wing, surrounded by the likes of Pro’s Carl Froch, Mick Monaghan and Del Bryan (to name a few) plus amateurs Tyan Booth and James Easy, Danny took to the boxing scene and stayed there until he was 19 and moved back to London where he had his first bout and amassed an amateur record of 8 wins and 7 losses, deciding he was more suited to the pro game, he turned over in 2010 with dreams of being a World Champion (a dream he still holds).

The real name of the game became clear pretty quickly as Connor couldn’t sell as many tickets as some of his peers and ended up in the away corner, drawing his first fight against Darryl Setterfield and then losing the next 3 on the small hall and because of the entertainment value he was given the big stage on the Khan/Mckloskey undercard where alas he lost to Adam Little which could have broken many others, ‘Cassius’ refused to let the losses diminish his dreams and stormed to a 6th fight win as he overcame Duane Grimes. A couple of absolute tear ups followed with Tyler Goodjohn with the record standing at one a piece for both (although Danny maintains he won the first as well), Sky TV sat up and took notice as his fights were starting to be showcased to a wider audience, a Southern title win later and big things looked on the horizon. Alas a possible matchroom contract didn’t materialize as Danny himself admits he didn’t sell enough tickets (a travesty for all involved in my opinion.) A massive setback for anyone but Danny just laughs ‘it is what it is, I’m still active and getting better with age, like a fine wine we won’t know how good I am until I finally retire.’

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Blunt and straight to the point Danny admits he could have made more of his career up to now ‘My discipline in and around the kitchen is what has cost me massively, for the last Goodjohn fight I messed up massively and from the 2nd round my legs were hollow and my arms were empty and fighting a guy like ‘the tornado’ there was only one way that was going to go.’, asking about his disastrous (for the talent he holds) prize-fighter debut (a 1st round loss) he also admits the weight cut cost him massively ‘I won’t go into how bad the weight cut was but I lost some serious weight and again turned up a shell of myself.’ Missing another possible stepping stone to the bigger times against Maxi Hughes, Danny says that the mental side can also hit, and when you’re not completely fit it was devastating. ‘I lost a massive amount of weight and had just split up with my coach and best mate Alec Wilkey, he was like my dad and it affected me in such a big way, I didn’t realise until a few weeks after the fight when one night I was out in my car and just burst into tears randomly about it, that split devastated me.’ Despite the setbacks Danny refuses to let it drag him down and as he said to me ‘Hey Ho, you live and you learn and the better man on the night won. This will make my story even better too look back on, I’m not the most technically gifted but I’m better than average and I have a massive heart, I won’t ever jack in or quit’.

According to Connor, there couldn’t be a better time to be involved in the boxing game as there are lots of promoters coming through that are giving massive opportunities to those involved and with others like Carl Greaves coming up with their own tournaments there may not be as many excuses as their used to be. MTK are currently looking after Connor’s interests and he couldn’t be happier ‘MTK have massively looked after me, they helped me at a really low point in my life when I was on my arse badly and I’ll never forget that, my time isn’t done yet though and there is still life left in the old flat nose warrior so sleep on me at your peril’

A couple of extra’s for the reader from Danny himself.

On Social Media

‘Social media is massive to boxers on the small hall, without selling tickets we don’t exist it’s that simple, so the extra boost we get from social media is massive, sponsorship is also a lot easier to gain’

As his career kicked on

‘After I beat Evangelou and then again after I beat Boylan I thought I would kick on, but I never got the opportunity after Boylan, I thought after the Goodjohn and Prize-fighter I had fucked things, I felt worthless but then again I’ll never give up till I know it’s time to pack it in’

On being avoided/overlooked

‘Being overlooked gives me more fire in my belly to show everyone what I can do, it also shows that I am good enough as I wouldn’t be avoided if it wasn’t the case. ‘

Danny’s record stands at 17 wins, 10 losses and 2 draws, he’s won the Masters Welterweight Champion, Southern Area Light Welterweight Champion, Masters Lightweight Champion and Challenge Belt Welterweight Champion. He has an upcoming fight on DATE NEEDED and can be contacted on social media for tickets.

A massive thanks to Danny for taking the time to answer my questions and the patience he’s shown in me getting it finished.

If you think someone deserves the spotlight shined on them then don’t hesitate to let me know on social media or at derbymanc8@aol.com/

Dennis Dodge with Danny Connor

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