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Wayne’s new boxing world

BUSINESSMAN: Wayne Elcock outside his Ringside store

THE NEW life of retired former British, Commonwealth and WBU middleweight boxing champion Wayne Elcock is building outside the ring has ironically prompted him to make a comeback.

The Brummie will return to face former stablemate Tony Oakey in a six-round charity fundraiser in his hometown on March 10. In the eight years since his last bout, Elcock, 43, has established an amateur gym, the Wayne Elcock Boxing Academy (WEBA), with a stable of 39 boxers, including two national champions. Through Box Clever, he offers non-contact boxing training in 39 schools across East and West Midlands.

“It’s nice to work on things I enjoy and are related to being a boxer, “ Elcock, 43, told the Voice of Sport from one of his other enterprises, Sutton Coldfield-based boxing goods store, Ringside. I give at least 16 hours of my time each week to give young people a better chance. I’ve found a new calling – coaching.”

It was the big-hearted ex-champion’s charitable nature that put him on a collision course with Oakey, who was also once promoted by Frank (now Kellie) Maloney. The bout will be one of several featuring WEBA boxers on fight night, which will be at St Andrew’s, the home of Wayne’s beloved Birmingham City Football Club.

BACK IN THE DAY: The boxer in his title winning days

“The Blues’ commercial manager was looking for a clash that would be a good sell. In a moment of madness I agreed to come back, just for one night! “Then we needed an opponent who would fight for free, like me. Oakey’s got a similar CV – he’s won the same titles, but at light-heavy. Also he’s someone that would make me worried enough to train hard! Fair play to him for stepping

Feeling revitalised after surgery corrected niggling back and knee issues, Elcock is back in training and looking forward to his one-fight return. “I’m feeling better than ever in training now but in the first two weeks, I asked myself ‘why are you doing this?!’ I’m going to look a million dollars on the night!”

Another reason for his return is Wayne Junior, his 10 year-old son: “He will be making his amateur debut. It’s my only chance to box on the same card as him - I’ll be 44 by fight time and I’ve got so much going on! I’m an all or nothing person and I’m giving all to my kids in the gym.

“Life can’t all be about doing things for ourselves. When you’re boxing, it’s all about you, but the feeling you get back from giving back, for a ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ is better than any win- ning any fight or money I’ve earned.”

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