Boxing: Rugged Simpkin joins Prizefighter

I first saw Luke Simpkin fight in 2001 against future British title challenger John McDermott in, if memory serves, the walk-out bout on the Danny Williams v Kali Meehan show at Bethnal Green. Dogged and willful the bearded brawler belied his tender years and gave a solid account of himself against the then unbeaten Essex man. report the Derbyshire trier has replaced Ian Millarvie in the second installment of the Prizefighter series next month.

Despite his ugly record, the tournament will be richer for his participation. A 10-29-3 slate is unlikely to draw the attention or support of punters but for those heavyweights ill-prepared for the tournament he will prove a far stiffer test than his record suggests.

During one phase of his career as an opponent Simpkin drew with Pele Reid, pushed Michael Holden, snapped touted prospect Fola Okesola’s unbeaten record and, seemingly, his desire too before taking a fading Julius Francis to a draw over 6 rounds. It was a period of form for the man from Swandlincote and though it didn’t prove to lead to a Kirino Garcia type resurrection he demonstrated his ability to hang with capable heavyweights.

Turning professional at 19 in 1998, within a year Simpkin had faced Danny Watts, American prospect Owen Beck, Albert Sosnowski, Mark Hobson and Mark Potter and within two had added Keith Long, Wayne Llewellyn, McDemott and Mark Krence to his impressive roster of opponents. Simpkin’s apprenticeship was served in the ring with British champion level fighters almost from the outset.

With this context considered his losing record is less instructive and though he will likely start the tournament, which features Lee Swaby, Pele Reid and David Ferguson among others, as the rank outsider, he is capable of springing a surprise.

And its always good to see a solid servant to the British game get his ’15 minutes’ of fame.


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6 thoughts on “Boxing: Rugged Simpkin joins Prizefighter

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  1. You’re right, Mr Payne. Luke is one of the few journeymen around the bigger weight divisions, with the exceptions of Tony Booth, who is prone to detonate the odd right hand when he’s in the mood, and Paul Bonson, who I just have a soft spot for, that truly stick in my mind.

    And he has a lot of ambition for a man with a patchy-looking record, denting a few solid chins along the way. I remember how he was over the moon when he was told he was going to box for the Midland Area title last year, only for it to be cancelled when Scott Lansdowne was forced to call it a day.

    I hope Pele wins, but want Luke to do well.


  2. Funny how these journeyman characters latch on to your memory isn’t it Tom?

    I’ve never forgotten Luke and his equally rugged looking father striding back to the dressing rooms after the McDermott fight.

    There was a time, around the McCafferty fight, that I hoped he might get the Audley pay-day….


  3. Yeah, Luke is more than capable of upsetting a few men on his day.

    The trouble with Luke is the fact he doesn’t believe he can beat the top-rated men, fading after a good start. He could have beaten Paul Butlin if he’d believed in himself more last year, but let Paul take over in the last two rounds.

    But he phoned me yesterday and seemed confident, probably more confident than he has ever been. He said he wanted to draw Pele in the competition.


  4. Well the first one was a success Carlos. Thanks for dropping by, I suspect thre prospect of fighting three rugged guys in one night was a touch too much for Ellis, after all he fights about 3 times every five years.

    Wasted Cruiserweight talent.


  5. Simpkin is a tough old warhorse, I fancied/half expected to see Matthew Ellis in the mix. But Simpkin is aggresive and tough as a 50p steak.

    I think if big Daz Morgan has trained for this one he could upend a few – glad to see this interesting concept come to fruition.


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