Shaun Farmers Interview
Former Waterloo ABC boxer and 18 fight professional, Shaun Farmer, has lifted the lid on his career as a boxer and his life after retirement. Shaun comes from a boxing background with his father being in the boxing game when he was at a young age. Shaun has proceeded to be involved with boxing with him becoming the founder of the Waterloo ABC gym in 2018, this being after successfully negotiating a lease with Scottish power.
In a wide-ranging interview, we asked Shaun about his experiences in boxing, any fights that he dodged and his life after retirement. When asked about what and who encouraged him to get into boxing, he shared his experiences from a young age.
Shaun’s inspiration and idols
“Boxing I think is in the blood, my dad boxed but only had 14 amateur bouts for a club called Crosby ABC amongst others clubs, which became Waterloo ABC, he was also coached by the famous Alf Matthews former British Champion, plus I was always fighting in the street, and at school, so my Dad took me to my first club.” Shaun also explained “My idol was Nigel Benn and I loved Mike Tyson too.” Those two are boxing legends and its obvious why they were Shaun’s inspirations with the similarity in fight styles between the 3 of them.
“My first club was Waterloo ABC off College Road in Waterloo, our coach was a guy called John Collins” Shaun explained after we asked about his first experience in a boxing club, Shaun proceeded to praise and pay his respects to the late John Collins.
“John was old school,” Shaun explained. “When I say that I mean he was rough, tough and rugged, his style is not my style, although I seem to have adopted some of his methods, in respect of the fact that I take no bull from kids and young adults alike” Shaun then spoke about how the boxing game has changed since then and how the coaching style back then differs to the modern-day style.
Shaun’s pro career only started when he was 29, so this would explain the reason he only had 18 professional fights, but we wanted to know why and where it started. Shaun explained, “I met my wife when abroad and moved to the North East, I’d sparred in Conroy’s Gym Sunderland back in 2001 and I’d given a then Light Middleweight champion Danny Moir a tough time and his manager offered to sign me, but I was only working in the area so had no intention of turning over.”
Shaun added “When I moved to Hartlepool after meeting Loretta I went back to Conroy’s and asked him if he was still interested even though I was 29. Tommy said to me “You’ll never be a world champion but you’re more than capable” so I signed with him.”
Shaun had 18 professional fights and over 30 amateur bouts but said there was only one fight that he dodged “in over 50 fights, I only knocked one bout back when being offered it, against a lad called Joe McNally in the Liverpool Echo Arena.” Shaun’s explanation for not taking this fight “He was levels above me, and no way was I going to get my a*se kicked in front of my hometown people, my mate Graham Delehedy took it and got beat easily.”
How the boxing game has changed since Shaun started
“The game has changed dramatically,” he said. “we cannot be as physical with them now as when I was being taught, coaches now are a million times more technical and the whole sport has evolved, the gym back then was an old tin shack, something like you’d see in the first Rocky movie in the late 70s, a great place, that smell, it’s never left me.”
Shaun’s boxing career
We asked Shaun about his amateur career and what he would do differently, he responded with: “My amateur career, in my opinion, was disrupted by my being a bit of a party animal in respect. I’d win a fight and celebrate then lose a fight and commiserate.” He then explained. “I only had 7 schools/Junior bouts and 25 seniors, most being 4 x 2 min rounds which I enjoyed more as I was a slow starter, my highs were beating a couple of fighters I wasn’t meant to beat, getting picked twice to box for West Lancs and Cheshire squads, I also got to Nation Quarterfinals in Novice under 20s and NABCs so I had an ok amateur career. Maybe I should have had more bouts.”
“I was an average boxer like thousands churned out of the Merseyside area,” said Shaun when we asked about his achievements in his career. “I beat some good lads but the top lads were always that level above me, I always got to national quarters in competitions it was when I got to ABAs I was always second best, 2002, 2004, Area Finalist second-best in the area in the biggest club competition.” He then added. “I’d of liked to have been a national champion as an amateur but I wasn’t good enough, as a pro, I wanted/set out to have 15 bouts and see how it went, I turned professional at 29, so I was never going to light the world up. I did box for a Pro Title though, a ten rounder. That is a good achievement.”
Shaun’s club – The Waterloo ABC
Shaun clearly ranks his development of the Waterloo ABC high on his achievements, because he then had this to say. “Yes, I’m the founder of the Waterloo Boxing Club. When I put my mind to getting the Waterloo ABC back up and running, in my mind I wanted all of the old boxers from the gym to play a part in the rebuild, which I have now done, we have 8 of coaches at the Waterloo ABC and all but 2 of them are previous Waterloo boxers. These coaches add something extra to our gym and we are striving for the club to produce champions with or without me.”
The future certainly looks bright for the Waterloo ABC, and when we asked Shaun about his aspirations for the club, he had this to say “The club has a great foundation for producing champions, our head coach was a fantastic amateur and, in my opinion, an even better coach. He and I have a lot to prove, I believe we can compete with the big clubs, not just in the area, but also the country.”
Shaun then added, “I just want to be the best I can, and produce fighters that will become better people for being involved with our famous old club.”