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Hardman Patterson retires after 50


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http://static.boxrec.com/wiki/3/3f/Ocallaghan_patterson13.jpgAfter half-a-century of paid outings - and over four years of cheese and bread abstinence - Birmingham tough guy Andrew Patterson (6-41-3) has called it a career. The always-aggressive welterweight last boxed six weeks ago, losing a six-round decision to Rob Hunt at Walsall Town Hall, but has wisely listened to both mind and body and ended his journey at just 33.

The dairy-loving former skateboarder concludes with stats that may look patchy on paper, but, as ever, fail to tell the complete story of an exciting career that has seen plenty of highs. By his own admission, he was never a skilful operator, which is understandable after a brief dalliance in the unpaid [six fights, three wins, at Small Heath ABC] and white-collar codes.

But what he lacked in skill, he made up for with heart, toughness and a solid right hand that spoilt the debut of ex-top-rated amateur Nicky Jenman.

Jenman had dominated a significant portion of their four-round encounter at Crawley Leisure Centre in 2010 but Patt found the punches to crumble his opponent's resistance and register a stoppage with less than two minutes remaining that had, seconds before, looked virtually impossible.

Honest as ever, Patterson conceded afterwards that he had been "beaten black and blue" by his neat-boxing opponent that night.

But the win most, myself included, remember him for was a four-round points taming of a minor television celebrity in 2012.

That victory was achieved with all the cards stacked against him, too. JJ Bird had recently finished third on popular reality show Big Brother and entered the contest in his home town [cheered on by a sizeable following that included a member of JLS] with a decent ledger that showed a win over former European title challenger David Walker.

Oh, and he came in with almost a stone weight advantage.

Talking about the bout in Peterborough to me in the aftermath, the Jon Pegg-trained banger said: "He'd really pissed me off, to be honest.

"He came in about twelve pounds heavier than me, but I made him pay [for his pre-mediated plan to come in heavy].

"By the time the first bell rang I was foaming at the mouth."

And the Brummie brawler never let his more-cultured opponent settle, forced him back to the ropes, and assaulted him with a variety of blows to head and body. At times, he thoroughly out-boxed Bird and though 40-37 is a conclusive win, it was hard to argue a case for the loser to have shared a minute let alone a round.

"He was the prospect; he should have had more respect," he said. "I wanted more money, too, but they wouldn't give it to me.

"I honestly think that they thought I wouldn't take the fight, but I insisted on it," proudly boasted a man who won an award from the Midlands Area council for Best Supporting Boxer in 2011. "So to outbox him that night was absolutely brilliant. I'd class that as my best performance."

There were other wins, too - a come-from-behind flattening of Leeds first-timer Danny Gel, stoppages of unbeaten pair Joe Collins and Danny Clews and, most recently, a six-round decision over debutant Garry Brady in Scotland in April - as well as draws against the likes of Ryan Clark and Matt Doyle.

But Patt was often on last-minute assignments against boxers who'd been preparing to box on the night for six or seven weeks, hence his 41 defeats.

Only halted on nine occasions, the hard-working husband to Juliette, whom he bought an engagement ring for with his first wages as a professional fighter, and father of three boys and a girl has crossed swords bravely with the likes of current British 11st boss Liam Smith and Lonsdale Belt challenger Barrie Jones.

He also challenged for a British Masters title - losing in the final stanza of an absorbing contest against capable Steve Spence that was recently up for Midlands Fight of The Year - and once waged an unforgettable six-round war [draw] with former Marine Keith Sheen in Birmingham.

Patterson leaves the sport he entered as an unknown as a respected, a never-say-die warrior who didn't know when he was beaten - and handler Jon Pegg said: "He was an absolute pleasure to work with.

"He never once turned a fight down, always came to have a go, and I count his career as one of my finest achievements.

"There were a lot of people who thought he wouldn't have any more than three fights," admitted the former pro bantamweight and now well-respected trainer, manager, promoter and matchmaker," and yet he went on to notch up 50.

"He can look back on that with pride - and so can those who were around him, too."




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