Shropshire Star

Boxing brothers packing a punch

Boxing brothers Liam Davies and Bradley Thompson are pushing each other on to go the distance in their sporting careers.

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Older brother Davies, 26, is already flying high after recently winning the British super-bantamweight title – and his eyes are now fixed on the European crown.

Thompson is only 20 and has a 4-0 record, but has been tipped to go farin the sport. Both of them hail from Donnington Boxing Club and are proud of their roots.

Davies is signed with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, while Thompson was offered a deal with them but turned them down in the hope of securing a more lucrative contract.

Liam Davies

“Boxing has come alive again in Telford,” Davies said.

“We’re starting to get TV shows, Frank Warren, BT Sport, which is good for those up and coming. It’s up to us to keep pushing for the future.

“I want to help everyone in Telford in boxing. I grew up here and have been here all my life, so of course I’ll be proud to be from here.

“I grew up a normal life, which is why I want to push the message that with hard work and dedication anyone from Telford can do it.”

Liam Davies

Traversing the world of boxing is a difficult task but having a close family member by your side can help ease the burden.

Telford’s own Davies and Thompson have grown up together in the sport and are extremely close.

Davies, the current British super-bantamweight title holder, carries the flag for Donnington Boxing Club but his younger brother, who is six years his junior, is making waves of his own.

“I’m trying to set an example for him to follow,” Davies said.

“It’s another reason I’m doing it, because I believe he can do it and go one better than me.

“He has to put the hard work in himself, but I know he will. He’s won a lot more than me as an amateur and I’ll still say to this day that he is Telford’s best boxer, 100 per cent.

“I back myself, but I just know he’s special. Time will tell and he better not let me down now. I’m very confident that one day people will realise I’m not saying it because he’s my brother, I genuinely believe it.”

Liam Davies

Imagine Thompson’s position for a second, too. He has a title-winning brother to learn from and who he can absorb knowledge from – which can only be a benefit as he continues his own rise.

“It’s brilliant, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Thompson said.

“It’s good to have him there. He’s a bit older so if there’s anything I’m unsure about he’s always got my best interests.

“We try to help each other and we’re always there for each other. I look up to him as much as most other kids. He’s paved the way for me with the titles he’s won and shown me where my career can go, from small shows to being British champion. I’ve got to follow his footsteps.”

What is evident is how complimentary the pair are of each other, but in helping each other train and spar for awkward opponents they also push each other to the limit.

That drives standards. Both men are hungry to succeed but perhaps hungrier to see the other achieve his dreams, and in turn they help each other make the most of their talent.

Davies added: “In my last fight for the British title we did some sparring, I was tired and didn’t want to go running after training three times a day. I’d drop him a message saying ‘I’m knackered,Can you come with me?’ and he’d drive to my house and help me – and that’s what I’ll be there to do for him.

“We don’t always fight at the same time but we can always help push each other. The plan in the future is to get on the same shows so we can train together a lot more and push each other.”

Bradley Thompson

There is always a downside and for both athletes it is watching their brother step into the ring.

Both Davies and Thompson hate watching each other fight in such testing and dangerous circumstances. “I don’t like watching it,” Davies said. “It’s a feeling you can’t really explain watching your loved one going into a fight. You want to get in and smack the guy a few times yourself.I’m always confident but it’s human nature to think the worst, it’s not a nice feeling but it also makes the winning a lot sweeter.”

Thompson added: “I get more nervous watching Liam than I do for my own fights! I’d rather have a fight than watch Liam.

“It’s because I’m not in control of it.”

Both men are doing Donnington proud and that is all they ask for. They are extremely proud of where they came from and are not only competing for themselves and their families, but for their roots.

Liam Davies

When asked how far his brother can go, Davies said: “I expect him to win a British title and that’s the aim for now because you can’t look too far ahead.

“I did it step by step and when you get here, then you look for more.

“I don’t know how he won’t win a British title, only he can let himself down.

“We both want a world title shot so we can live our lives happy, get fat and help the kids come through at Donnington.

“This is where we’re going to stay. I’m sure me and Brad will be coaches here for a long time.

“I believe Brad can go all the way but he has to do his bit. You get out what you put in, if he does that nothing will stop him.”