The epic Rocky Balboa movies of the 70’s and 80’s are viewed as a source of inspiration for many boxers.
The popular soundtrack, the endless motivational quotes and the bloody showdowns with the likes of Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago acted as a catalyst for future fighters to lace up their first pair of gloves.
Though Leamington super lightweight Michael Cole says it’s the steely suburbs of Sheffield and not the hills of Hollywood which tell the greatest boxing stories.
“I grew up watching the likes of Naseem Hamed (‘Naz’) and Ryan Rhodes (‘Spice Boy’),” the 29-year old explains. “I would love to be like the Sheffield boys and become a real elusive boxer.
“That’s just good boxing to me. I think people sometimes forget the basics of boxing – hit and don’t get hit.
“Not this Rocky Balboa stuff of standing there trading blows. I like smart boxing.
“Fans said at my last fight that it was the most technical fight on the card.
“It was never going to be a war. I’ve got them in me but you save them for when you have to go into the trenches.
“If I can keep my performances like they are, I don’t see why I’m not cosmetic enough to make a career out of boxing.”
Cole steps in the ring for just the third time this Friday as part of Black Country Boxing’s four fight event ‘Seasons Beatings’ at Walsall Football Club’s Banks’s Stadium.
After stopping the durable Matt Seawright his professional debut in May he showcased a smarter side to his repertoire by out-smarting the awkward Kristian Laight in his last outing.
“I showed my power the first time around and to fight the trickiest fighter out there in just my second fight was a great education for me,” he added. “It was a game of chess with Kristian. I always wanted to fight him but I didn’t think I was ready yet so I was glad to get the win.
“We knew we wasn’t going to stop him so we said lets use our brain instead of just power.
“I prefer the professional ranks because there’s more thought involved. As an amateur you sometimes just swing and I think of myself as a thoughtful, considered boxer.
“A lot of my wins were knockouts and my losses were on points.
“I always used to go for broke but I was speaking to pros before I turned over and they all stressed the importance of keeping your guard.
“Now I’m holding my sword and shield properly and I’m finding its working.
“We’ve been working on one or two things and hopefully after Christmas we can look for more rounds.
“I think that’s the big thing. When you reach the later rounds, your arms start to tire, your back hand drops and you can leave yourself open and in the pro game there’s no room for error.
“I’ve learned so much more in the two fights than I did in 8 years of amateur boxing. The learning curve is so steep and you have to keep improving.
“If I can keep winning and keep my knockout percentage of around 50% then hopefully my name will be up there as well.”
Standard tickets for ‘Season’s Beatings’, priced at £30, are available by calling the boxers. £60 VIP tickets for tables of ten, with two-course meal, are available by calling Walsall FC Box Office on 01922 651 414/416.