• Dexter Hastings

Birmingham Boxing Family The Farrell's

Birmingham amateur boxing is on a big high at the moment with clubs having to turned aspiring fighters away as they have no room for any more people as boxing continues to grow. Kingstanding’s second city ABC is one of the top amateur boxing gyms in Birmingham and is home to three brothers who all aspire to be champions. Trained by there Dad Paddy who is one of the head coaches at the gym you have Farran (13), Patrick (15) and eldest brother Niall Farrell (22). The Birmingham Boxing Column went to second city to talk to this Boxing family, we start with the youngest of the clan Farran.

Farran is 13 years old and goes to second city gym where he is trained by his dad Paddy Farrell, he has been nicknamed “Fearless” due to his no fear nature of boxing. Farran has been boxing competitively since the age of 11 but has been training since the age of eight. He is 5 foot 2 and fights at 46kg which is the lightest weight division. Young Faz has had 18 fights and lost twice both on split decisions, he has already won two Midlands area titles and just came up short on two school boy titles. My first question to Farran was, what inspired you to take up the noble art? He replied “it would have to be my older brother Niall, he is now boxing for team GB and has won youth titles, Elite titles and is working towards the Commonwealth games, the Olympics and then turning pro”.

My next question was what has been your hardest fight? Faz thought for a while and then said “probably my last one, I fought a West ham lad who had won the school boys and was a Tri nation champion and I destroyed him on a unanimous decision but he was a good lad and it was a hard fight". I then asked Farran who his favourite boxer was and why? He told me "Golovkin because he has a chin of steel and he don’t stop coming forward and is a nightmare for anyone he boxes". My next question to Faz was, what is the best fight you have seen? He told me “Canelo against Golovkin number 1, it was a back and fourth fight that could have gone either way". Farran ended by saying “I know I haven’t won any School boy titles but it’s not about now it’s about the future, it’s about winning youth titles getting on to England and then getting on to team GB and winning title after title then going to the pros.

Next up I talked to Patrick Farrell, known as Patch he has been boxing for four year and also trains at Second city where his dad trains him. Patch is 15 years old, he boxes in the 50kg category in the juniors division. He was inspired to boxes by his dad and the progress of his older brother Niall as he moved through the boxing ranks winning titles. . He fights out of an orthodox stance but can switch hit when required, his record stands at 19 fights with only 2 defeats. Patrick has won two Midlands titles but fell short at the school boys but has moved up to his new weight division and feels stronger than ever. Patch had to take sometime away from boxing last season after losing a fight and then being diagnosed with Anemia after a blood test.

Patrick has returned this season and has so far won both of his contests by unanimous decision. I asked Patch what is the hardest fight he has been in? He told me “it was my eighth fight I can’t remember his name, he had won two national titles and I’ll be coming for him again and I know I’ll beat him". I then asked Patch who his favourite boxer was and why? He told me “it would have to be Lomenchenko as he is an all round amazing boxer who you can learn from in all aspects of boxing". My next question to Patch was, What has been the best fight you have seen? He replied “it would have to be Lomenchenko v Luke Campbell where you had two completely different style competing it was just great to see". Patch finished by saying “I am going to be the best I can be and go on to win the championship and go on to bigger and better things”. When asked if he had aspirations of turning pro he said “yes that every boxers dream".

I then got to talk to the eldest brother Niall Farrell, Niall is 22 and boxes at 57kg (Featherweight) and boxes out Second city and also for team GB. Niall has been boxing 12 year and is 5 foot 9 and is a switch hitter and has had 101 fights only losing 16 of them. Niall was inspired to boxes by his dad and has amassed many titles over his time winning the juniors, youth, Tri Nations, European bronze as a youth, European silver as a senior and has boxed all over the world fighting the best. Niall is trained by his dad at second city but also the team GB coaches, he has also been ranked in the top 10 boxers in the world at his weight. Niall has suffered from a hand injury for many years now and has fought on with the injury so he could progress in his amateur career. He recalled when is happened saying “years ago I was sparing caught a fun shot, hurt my hand and me being the way I am thought I’d be sound, I rested it, but it didn’t go away, I continued boxing as I had just got my contract on team GB, I fought in the ABA's and won silver in the Europeans with this hand injury”.

Niall continued by saying “I have had about 30 fights for team GB and in everyone of them I have had a bad hand and it has got worst each tournament. In my last tournament in Turkey I couldn’t even warm up on the pads to get ready, all I could do was shadow boxes. When is was time to fight the adrenaline takes over and I can compete but when it’s over and the adrenaline has gone I’m sitting there with a ballooned hand”. Niall then said “but I have learnt a lot from this, I can now switch to southpaw if I have to and it has given me more strings to my bow". Niall has now had two operations on his right hand thanks to team GB's support and private care, he has had the best after care and physiotherapy money can buy and if all goes well he will be back sparring in January and when he gets the all clears he will be looking for a fight date. I asked Niall who his favourite boxer was and why? He told me “I haven’t really got one but it would have to be the four kings, Hagler, Hearns, Leonond and Duran, but my favourite would be Leonard due to some of the fights he had especially against them, the way he fought was just second to none”. When asked what the best fight he has ever seen? He replied “I’m not sure, there have been so many good fights over the years, for entertainment recently you would have to say Wilder against Fury just because of the ending but there have been to many for me to pick one". My final question to Niall was, when are you looking to turn over to the pro ranks in boxing? Niall said “ I’m only 22 and I’m still young in the boxing game, but it’s all about timing really, I have got a lot coming up. I have had a frustrating year with my hand having two operations, I will be back in January and will be looking to qualify for the next Commonwealth and Olympic teams. I feel stronger than ever and I’m more focused than ever to fulfil my dream and then turn over to the pros".

I then talked to there main trainer, coach and Father Paddy Farrell, the proud dad is one of the main trainers at second city ABC. I asked this very proud dad, how does he feel when his lads are fighting and he is doing there corner? Paddy told me “it’s tough some times because your emotions take over, I’d like to say I’m a decent coach but when my lads are in the ring am I as good as I could be? Probably not at times as you see them getting hit with shots and its hard sometimes". Paddy continued “Don’t get me wrong I look after all my fighters but these are my kids and I love them so it is tough. Being with them as a dad and a coach is tough as I have to tell them what to do, I have to tell them off, I have to put my arm round them when they need it, it can be tough but it works, not alot of father son boxing relationships work, but thank God it does. They listen to me and respect me and hopefully I can take them all the way, I would love to take all of them into the pros”.

Since the interview that was for the YouTube seires Welcome to Fightden and the bbcolumn magazine slot has gone on with the young boxers. I messaged there dad Paddy to ask up for a update, he messaged me back with,

Niall

After 18 months away with injury is now punching again he’s just came back from a 10 days training camp in Kazakhstan mixing it with the world best nation leaving and breathing the same air the temperature over there is -20 freezing it’s mentally very hard the way the Kazakhstan people live they fight to earn for there families so it gave Niall another life long memory and kept him hungrier then ever hopefully Niall will be out again in March then it’s all systems go

Farran

He’s working on going all the way in the school boy championship this year he’s a young little fighter that live eats and breaths the sport he’s boxing on the 8th February on our home show at the crown Erdington the old forget me knot club and looking to have plenty of learning bouts before may to pick up that title of school boy champ

Patch

Coming off 5 convincing wins and looking strong and may be looking to move down weight for the up and coming junior aba patch is a carbon copy of Niall but at this age that little bit stronger so it’s looking good for all 3 boys.

Dexter’s Thoughts

What a great bunch of lads, all three of the brothers are boxing mad and you can see there has been no pressure put on them to take up the noble art. Paddy is a very proud father and I can see why, he has instilled all the best parts of boxing into his kids, respect, discipline, fitness and a will to achieve and get though anything that comes there way. I have followed Niall’s career for a while and have interviewed him on a number of occasions, he is just recovering from 2 operations on his hand and when he does god help his first opponent. He is on the cusp of getting to the next Commonwealth and Olympic games and we could well be looking at a gold medallist in both events. I honestly can’t wait until he turns over to the pros as he is such a talented fighter. I first saw Patch and Farran fight at Second city’s home show at the Holte suite Villa park last December 2018, both of them won on unanimous decisions and both looked great. Patch has a great style of boxing and is very technical, Farran throws great combinations and works the body like a young Ricky Hatton. They both have great potential and have already won multiple Midlands titles, I can see them following in there older brothers foot steps and winning titles as amateurs and moving on to the pros. The Farrel lads have the potential to go as far in there boxing careers as they want to and with there dad training them on there journey we could be looking at 3 world champions. The Column will keep there eye on this great boxing family.