Posted by: mads04 | January 19, 2016

One More Round…

I’m currently waiting on a decision from the MND association about wether they’re going to come out of the dark ages and support  boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) in raising awareness for MND. At first they point blank refused to support the fight community in helping people with MND. I emailed them a few times after they’re initial refusal and now the board of trustees are finally having a meeting at the end of this month to discuss it. Im passionate about this because I’ve loved boxing since I was a kid. It was hard not to growing up watching Rocky! My dislocated toe the other week actually looked like Rocky’s face before and after the fight against Apollo!! 

I completed my boxing coaches licence 2 and a half years after diagnosis and I’m extremely proud of that. I’m not exactly on par with Freddie Roach now but it was a big personal achievement for me, especially with my guard and stance being about as useful as a tube of non-stick glue.!! I remember the assessor asking everyone at the start of the course, “Has anyone got any medical issues or injuries I should know about?” He looked a bit stunned when I explained what MND was, I don’t think he expected to see a terminally ill person turn up for his course that day! He was brilliant with me though and told me at the end of the course that he had the upmost respect for me and wished me well in my fight against this heavyweight killer. He also said I could do with working a bit more on my hand speed!! It’s not happening mate. Blame MND!  

I also loved Bruce lee growing up and he’s definitely up there with Hong Kong Phooey as my ultimate martial arts hero. 

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Nine months after diagnosis in Hong Kong with the legends statue; Bucket list: Ticked ✔️

The fight community have been excellent in supporting myself and other MND Warriors around the world but especially in the uk. I’ve been on at the association for a while now about trying to get the fight community involved with MND awareness.

I didn’t know it was something the MNDA frowned upon until I started tweeting pics of myself and members of the fight community. The MNDA Twitter page just kept ignoring my tweets, nothing strange there If I’m honest but it done my head in, so I asked them what the score was. They told me they’d asked their researchers and they told the MNDA that boxing causes brain damage! Wow, really?? Fuckin ell, I was lost for words and it had nothing to do with MND! So I told them that’s the craziest and most inaccurate statement I’ve read in a long time. What would happen if God forbid a boxer  was diagnosed with MND? Would they refuse to support him because of his chosen occupation? I think there’s a bit more to it. I think they don’t want to be associated with boxing because theirs still some snobs in this country who think boxing is an ancient barbaric sport. The only thing ancient about this whole episode is their views about it. I fully understand why they’re reluctant to get involved because MND is a neurological condition but we’re missing out on a potential audience simply because of outdated statistics and old fashioned views. Boxing is and always has been one of the UK’s most watched sports. There’s a huge audience for it. 

My mate Richie Downes is a mixed martial artist who’s dad sadly passed away with MND about 8 years ago. At the time of his dad’s diagnosis Richie was involved in big fights in the uk and was willing to do anything to help raise awareness for MND. The MND merseyside branch at the time didn’t know how to go about having a “Cage fighter” on board to help raise awareness so they basically ignored him which as you can imagine didn’t give Richie any confidence in getting involved. It’s only because of my involvement with MND that Richie got back on board. He’s helped raised thousands for the branch over the last few years and we’ve forged a friendship that I’m genuinely thankful for.

 

Me and Richie at a MND ball a few years ago . He cares passionately about raising awareness for MND

 
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Mark Scanlon, ex UFC fighter and Shea Neary ex World light welterweight champion supporting MND Awareness. Both great lads

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Derry Mathews former world featherweight champion and current interim world lightweight champion supporting MND Awareness. Great lad who will do anything to help promote MND

 

  

The Smith brothers Callum, former international super middleweight champion. Paul, former light middleweight world title challenger and commonwealth games silver medalist. Liam, current light middleweight world champion and Stephen, former commonwealth games and British featherweight champion. All supporting MND awareness. All great lads.

  

Natasha Jonas ex boxer and first female boxer to represent team GB at an olympic games. I done my coaches boxing licence with Tasha. She’s inspired many young people to take up the sport and has been a big supporter for MND awareness

Ste Harkin ex British masters light middleweight champion. I met Ste on the coaching course with Tasha. Great lad who’s supported MND awareness ever since

I’ve had support off other boxers and their coaches such as David Price and Rocky Fielding from Liverpool. I also know Hull boxer Tommy Coyle has supported Lee Newton who has MND and runs the brilliant love life foundation to help people living with MND. To me, getting the fight community involved is a must.The boxing and MMA community in the UK is huge and the people who I’ve came across over the last few years are the salt of the earth. I never asked these fighters to get onboard, they just heard my story.

Regarding MND awareness, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by getting the fight community involved. Fighters respect other fighters and the people who are fighting for their lives in the world of MND need all the support they can get. 

Please keep supporting MND awareness and the MND community. Thank you 

Keep smiling and enjoy life. 

To be continued… 

Mark   

  

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