Belfast's former world flyweight
champ Rinty Monaghan used to entertain the masses after his fights
with a rendition of 'When Irish Eyes Are
Smiling'. Although he may not be up there with Rinty
just yet, professional fighter, and recording artist, James
Davenport has promised he too will serenade the crowd if
victorious in his comeback bout at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on
Part of a quality undercard to a
bill-topper that sees Colne's Shayne Singleton fighting for the
Masters light-welterweight belt, Davenport will be stepping back
into the ring after six years out, and the Mancunian can't wait to
punch for pay again. In a stop-start career, James, 35,
turned pro in 2001, had his last fight in 2006, and currently has a
ledger of just one defeat in five fights.
"I'm really excited," said James,
who is trained by Bobby Rimmer and former European
light-middleweight champion Jamie Moore. "I like the
attention and I'm looking forward to showing all those people who
think I'm too old. I'll shock them all because what they
saw in the past was me as a brawler but they're going to see a
totally different fighter. I'm out there to box, but if
the knockout comes that's unfortunate for my opponent!
"If I win, give me the mic and
I'll sing a song and get everyone at it - that's a deal for
In his heyday, the aforementioned
Moore used to ringwalk to one of James' songs - 'Crazy Guy' - and
Davenport (Twitter @1SHINNy) will also enter the arena to one of
his own compositions 'Runaway'. Still heavily involved
in the music business, and also working as a model, James has
simply decided that now is the right time to give up the rock 'n'
roll excesses and get back to fighting.
"I'm well managed now with my
music career. When I was boxing I was trying to juggle
both of them and basically I was burning the candle at both
ends. What with rock 'n' roll and the lifestyle that
comes with it, it didn't really go with the boxing. When
I should have been training, I was on the drink and
partying! Now I'm being managed well and I feel like
I've got time to do it [boxing].
"It's going absolutely
brilliant. After six years out but always training in
different gyms, I've made a style of my own. I've still
got the attack but I'm nice and relaxed and enjoy my
boxing. I'm a very sharp and fast
fighter. I've been sparring with my trainer Jamie
[Moore] and have also been training with Brian Rose, and it's just
great to be in the boxing world again. Life's going
well. I've turned a corner in my life and I believe good
things come when you become a better person within yourself."
James will appear at the Reebok
Stadium in Bolton on October 7 on a show headlined by
both Shayne Singleton and Lancashire's Luke
Blackledge fighting for Masters titles. Also
appearing will be Bolton's unbeaten Rick Goddins taking
on former British lightweight champion Graham Earl;
Preston's Dean Halsall; Cumbria's Rick Skelton;
Atherton's Craig Boardman; and debutants Tommy
Taitham and Danny Watson.