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Like father, like son: Sam follows dad into boxing

Sam Handley looks like he’s going to be a chip off the old block.

Sam and Mark Handley
Sam and Mark Handley

He was ringside at the O2 Arena on Saturday night when his father, Mark, has his latest bareknuckle boxing fight.

And two weeks later, Sam will be getting in the ring himself for his gloved boxing debut.

The 16-year-old competes in a white-collar fight at 47kgs in Birmingham.

“I’ve been coaching Sam for around a year,” said Handley, who was beaten by Martin Reffell in London on Saturday night. “It wasn’t my idea, it was his, and I know Sam has it in him to fight.

“We went sparring the other week and Sam was struggling. He hadn’t done what I told him before we went and it was hard for him.

“Some people would have given up if they were feeling as broken and tired as Sam was, but he pulled himself together and went on to beat the lad up.

“He loves it and he has the heart for it.”

Handley says Sam is set for a career in boxing.

“Sam was thinking of doing MMA,” said Handley., “But I told him there’s a better future for him in boxing.

“He’s looking to box amateur and see where it takes him.”

As for his fighting father, he’s set to carry on throwing punches.

Handley said: “I was planning to retire, but I’ve signed up for three more fights.

“I can’t walk away just yet. I love it too much.”

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