Home Boxing News The Memoirs of Glyn Rhodes MBE

The Memoirs of Glyn Rhodes MBE

Glyn Rhodes

Glyn grew up on a council estate and most of the kids were either into football or boxing. The year is 1976 and having left school at the age of 16 with no qualifications and no job, Glyn and his friends one day went down to the church hall, St Thomas’s Boys Club and this is where Glyn’s story begins……..

There he met the late Brendan Ingle for the very first time and it didn’t take Glyn long to recognise that this was something he enjoyed. One by one his friends dropped out going to the boxing club but Glyn stuck at it.

Glyn is a big Ali fan and his favourite era’s of boxing are the 30s, 40s and 50s.

Had his first sparring session with Walter Clayton, Junior ABA Champion and he stood Glyn on his head. Walter was slightly younger than Glyn and after the session Glyn knew for certain this is what he wanted to do.

Brendan said about “secret training” and took Glyn and the rest of the boys down to his allotment to clear a load of rocks from the river because they were blocking the flow of the river.

At the time little did they know Brendan was using them to clear the rubble and maybe strengthen them a little too.

Glyn now takes his young lads on “secret training” missions too.

Boxing has saved him from going down the wrong path, having left school with no qualifications and no paid work. Glyn recalls one day when he and his friends stole a boat from the canal in Sheffield and sailed it down the river just for something to do.

Glyn had only trained at Brendan’s gym for one season before getting an amateur fight. He really enjoyed his amateur fight days and had close relationships with the other guys in the gym.

The comradery in Brendan’s gym was brilliant and we try and do that in our gym today says Glyn.

Glyn recalls the time when he turned pro, the ABA had a rule where the amateurs and pros couldn’t train together. They banned Brendan and the amateur gym so as a result of that Glyn turned professional.

Brendan took out a trainers licence and Glyn was promoted by M and M Promotions and started fighting on the undercards of Herol Bomber Graham.

Glyn lost his first professional fight in Liverpool and in his second fight against Mark Osbourne, Glyn won that fight however, lost his third fight against Mike Clever in Torquay. After that Glyn won and lost his fights that followed, and he says it was down to the discipline of training which he wasn’t keen on.

Glyn beat Kevin Pritchard for the Southern Area Title where he produced a great right-hand uppercut. It was quite a week for Glyn, he passed his driving test on the Thursday, had his stag do on the Thursday night, he got married on the Saturday and won the area title on the Monday and broke both of his hands.

Glyn never trained for his fights and lived up to his nickname of “showboat” in the ring by showboating against his opponents.

Glyn really enjoyed boxing and was told by his trainer Brendan Ingle that he could achieve much more in the sport if he knuckled down. Glyn now realises this.

Glyn had a 2-year gap from boxing where he worked on building sites doing labour work. He then returned to the sport helping out Herol Bomber Graham at his gym.

During his days as a fighter, Glyn sparred Barry McGuigan in Belfast and recalls being dropped with a body shot, Glyn was slightly embarrassed by this. Barry was featherweight and Glyn was lightweight, he did okay though to get through the sparring sessions.

In 1991 Glyn boxed on the undercard of the Chris Eubank v Michael Watson fight, a fight night no one will ever forget.

In his next fight with Gary Logan in London he got cut in the fight and decided he had enough of being a boxer.

Glyn was in Hillsborough when he saw the Fitness Gym was opening soon, he enquired and asked who was going to do the boxing and was asked if he wanted the job.

Glyn hadn’t thought about being a boxing coach/trainer but he started a job there working in the gym and at weekends he worked the doors at nightclubs bringing in regular money.

Later, Glyn opened his own gym in Sheffield and started working with Herol Bomber Graham.

One of Herol’s fights was on the undercard of Lennox Lewis and Glyn and Herol took a trip to Atlantic City where they watched the heavyweight champ of the world training with the great Manny Steward. Glyn said they had a great week watching the heavyweight champ and the iconic trainer.

Herol introduced Richie Wenton to Glyn and Glyn trained him for his fight against Marco Antonio Barrera which Richie lost.

Glyn also trained the late Scott Westgarth and was there when the young champ tragically lost his life. This was an extremely hard time for Glyn. I remember it happening with such sadness Rest in Peace Scott.

Ending on a lighter note, Glyn was awarded the MBE for services to boxing in the community.

Everything that Glyn learned from Brendan Ingle he used and taught in his gym and it’s this success that had earned him the medal. I’m sure Brendan would have been smiling down that day with pride.

Prince Charles gave him the medal and Glyn had met Charles before when they filmed a scene at the gym for the film The Full Monty.

So, Glyn leaves Buckingham Palace with his MBE to a roar from the gathering crowd outside who asked him for pictures.

Little did Glyn know at the time that someone had said he got the MBE for writing all the songs for The Beatles.

And so, the journey continues for Glyn as a trainer, and I hope and look forward to watching him and his fighters in the future…….