Signing on as sponsors/PR representatives was never part of the plan, let me clarify. 

Myself and Sam attended Saturday night’s ‘Full Throttle’ card promoted by Steve Goodwin expecting to wrap up some interviews and soak up the action. We planned on watching Rahmez Mahmood, a friend of the site, and catching up with him for an interview. 

Just as we were leaving our seats, this menacing character emerged, prepared to make his debut;

Anesu ‘Bad News’ Twala. Marching to the ring with the swagger of an undefeated champion but with the trunks of a beginner. No sponsors, no media support, no financial backing. He had his trainer Daley Perales by his side and the pair were unflinching as they slipped through the ropes. 

I’ve tried to explain how it felt watching Twala. We attend every Goodwin show, most Dovebox shows, Hellraiser shows & many Matchroom shows (I was in Newcastle and at the O2 for their previous events). We watch debuts. We interview so many of these guys we become almost friends of the Small Hall scene. I like to think we give a voice to fighters who perhaps need exposure more than others. We’re so proud to be those guys. After watching Twala for the first minute, Sam looked at me and I returned the favour. 

This kid has something.

I said straight after the opening round, “he fights like James Toney!” I’m not claiming Anesu is as good as James Toney at this moment in time – but the style was evident to me. Funny I mentioned it. Toney watched the clip of our fighter on Instagram and said;

“Almost thought that (highlight clip of Twala’s debut) was me for a second! Lol”

– James Toney

He slipped shots and countered beautifully. He rolled punches, sometimes dipping to avoid 4 and 5 at a time. It was beautiful to watch. He reminded me of Tevin Farmer with his upper-body movement and carried some attitude with him into the later rounds. 

Thankfully, I knew Matthew Hake in Anesu’s corner, a cracking guy I had met previously at a show. I wasted no time in securing the post-fight interview in which I told him of the Toney likeness. Both Daley and he laughed as he told me ‘Lights Out’ was his favourite boxer. Normally this is where we end the affiliation until the next event rolls around but Sam kept mentioning him. Time would pass, we’d interview a guy… then I would mention him. We couldn’t shake it.

I spoke at length with Daley, who trains fighters out of AllStars gym in North Kensington about Twala and his situation. He had no-one backing him financially. I think, and I may be mistaken, that I was the only one looking to catch a post-fight interview (let alone chasing one!). He seemed to have slipped under the radar. After discussing how we could become involved, myself, Sam and James ‘R8UND’ Lupton came together and decided that we had to be a part of this journey. 

From kits to equipment. From articles to interviews. Exposure, cash-based sponsorship opportunities, general PR. We wanted in. Risky for us, a media based group who generally try to avoid nailing our colours to the mast! Unanimously though, we agreed that we had to try and help ‘Bad News’ fulfil that potential.

Is he the finished article? Far from it in fairness. Will he keep everyone happy? Probably not. But believe he has bundles of potential and if we can help kick down any doors along the way – it would be a pleasure to do so. 

Anesu ‘Bad News’ Twala is out again September 9th at York Hall, London. Any enquiries contact @Fight_Talk1 or email us on;

Instagram: @badnewsboxing / @thedaleyeffectboxing

Twitter: @badnewsboxin / @tdeboxing

Written by Craig Scott