Philip Bowes is being inspired by one of his trainers ahead of his bid to be crowned Commonwealth super-lightweight champion.
At 34, the classy Leytonstone left hander gets a shot at the vacant belt on promoter Mickey Helliet’s show at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday, February 2.
He meets Tanzania’s Benson Nyilawila over 12 rounds and Bowes is being trained for the biggest fight of his life by Barry Smith and Darren Hamilton.
Hamilton is a former British champion at 10 stones, a real-life ‘Rocky’ who came from nowhere to get his hands on the Lonsdale belt at 33 years old.
Bowes said: “Darren knows all about the grind. He had to work so hard to get where he got to. He’s been through what I’ve been through and if he can do it, why can’t I ?”
Bowes turned pro in 2011 after reaching the last eight at the Commonwealth Games the previous year and says it’s been hard.
“I’ve invested in myself,” he said. “There have been a few times when I’ve fought for free because I’ve believed that one day, I would get the big fights.”
So far in his pro career, Bowes has lost the big fights, to Joe Hughes, Johnny Coyle and Glenn Foot.
He considers the English title loss to Foot last May as a turning point. “I’ve learned from everything that’s happened,” said Bowes. “I thought I beat Glenn Foot, but that fight taught me to be more aggressive and ferocious.”
Bowes has won all four since that loss under new promoter Helliet.
“I’ve got the right promoter behind me now,” said the East Londoner. “Mickey has got me the right fights and I’ve done my bit. I’ve sold the tickets and won the fights.”