The sign above the child size boxing ring
proclaims the dictum, NO GUTS NO GLORY.
Outside the jellied eels and pearly kings

have been banished to Essex by the sorry
wonky haircut, hipster trust fund crowd.
Old photos line the walls, telling the story

of ABA champions, crime overlords
like Ronnie, Reggie, Franky in the days
before they ruled the roost and did their bird.

We’re advised to pack our stuff away
’cause “little fackin’ scumbags” might sneak in
and make off with it. I wonder if they

would change their stripes and make up for their sins
after a heavy session on the bags,
a few red mouthfuls into the spit bin?

Could some avoid the electronic tag
by wrapping tape around their unschooled fists?
Is training fit for soldiers or for dogs?

A year on since the riots, problems persist
despite the broom brigade’s need to forget.
The day that this club ceases to exist

will be the day the East End’s lost its guts.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 09:09:32

    It’s always good to see you writing on subjects that most poets don’t cover and you do boxing so well.
    Money spent on sports and arts facilities for disadvantaged kids is more productive than that spent on young offenders institutions.


  2. peter litton
    Aug 09, 2012 @ 09:11:54

    I may be wrong but don’t it say, “No cuts no glory”


  3. peter litton
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 14:07:42

    The page I researched had a typo, it is, of course, “No guts no Glory.”


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