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Boxing Life Stories

Revealing, in-depth interviews from around the boxing world by Tris Dixon, the former editor of Boxing News and the BT Sport No Filter Boxing presenter.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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#8 Billy Graham

Billy 'The Preacher' Graham trained the likes of Matthew Macklin, Paul Smith, Ensley Bingham and Carl Thompson, but it was his work with Ricky Hatton that saw the iconic duo shoot to fame. Following a bitter split with the Hitman, Graham became a self-proclaimed recluse but here, in a rare and captivating interview, he tells his story

2hr 9mins

8 Nov 2018

Rank #1

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#26 Shannon Briggs

The irrepressible former heavyweight champion Shannon 'The Cannon' Briggs – Let's Go Champ – is in brilliant form talking about his time at the top and the harder times on the bottom. He talks of the rivals he faced, the contenders of the time and the great heavyweight champions while explaining how he has maintained a positive outlook on life and the fresh start that he made with the birth of his daughter. Still hoping for big things, he talks about the big nights, the disappointments, stalking Klitschko, fighting Foreman, challenging Lewis and much more in a roller coaster that takes you from the highs of championship glory to the emptiness of defeat and beyond. A drinker at 13, homeless, fighting top amateurs and then trying to make his mark in the pros, it's all here, raw and uncut.

1hr 25mins

24 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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#34 Joe Calzaghe

Welsh star Joe Calzaghe retired unbeaten, at 46-0, following a career that brought him world titles in two weight classes and the scalps of the likes of Jeff Lacy, Mikkel Kessler, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones, Richie Woodhall, Robin Reid and countless others. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014 alongside Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad, he was trained by his late father Enzo, from being a young amateur through to those huge stadium nights and under the bright lights of American arenas. Calzaghe has seen and done it all, but the loss of his father still clearly hurts. You might know Joe Calzaghe the fighter, but after listening to this you will also know Joe Calzaghe the man.

1hr 26mins

22 May 2019

Rank #3

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Season 2: #8 Teddy Atlas

Teddy Atlas was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019. He is one of the foremost fight commentators of this generation and one of the boxing's great trainers. He welcomed Boxing Life Stories host Tris Dixon into his Staten Island home to go through his story and his time in the sport. Starting with an intimate look at his childhood and the moments that carved his character, Atlas remembers his time running wild in New York before moving to Catskill where he was moulded further still by Hall of Fame trainer Cus D'Amato. Atlas gives great insight into those days, recalls the first time he set eyes on a young prospect named Mike Tyson and much more. Atlas also discusses many of the stars he's trained, including Michael Moorer, Wilfred Benitez, Donnie Lalonde and others but it's after his light-heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk recently suffered a hurtful loss to Artur Beterbiev that shows him in a light you may not have seen him in before. It's compelling listening. Next week: Irish Micky Ward talks about The Fighter, the film of his life, the Gatti trilogy and so much more. Boxing Life Stories is brought to you by Hanson Lee Resourcing and DELCO Safety Compliance. Teddy's book, Atlas: From the Streets to the Ring: A Son's Struggle to Become a Man is now available as an audiobook with Teddy narrating https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07X4DZDGT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taud_p1_i0

1hr 54mins

13 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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#40 Gerry Cooney

Former heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney fought the likes of Ron Lyle, Ken Norton, George Foreman and Michael Spinks but it was his huge showdown with Larry Holmes in a racially charged war in 1982 that he is best remembered for. Cooney was brilliant that night, as he obliterated the naysayers who thought he had not earned his shot, but he was up against a 39-0 legend at the top of his game and Holmes won in the 13th round. Here, Cooney talks about the big fights, the descent into drugs, getting his life back on track and the current heavyweight scene in an exclusive interview with Boxing Life Stories host Tris Dixon.


3 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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#24 Dan Rafael

ESPN's long-serving boxing journalist Dan Rafael is one of the sport's most influential men. With a huge audience, a massive social media following and the experience of hundreds of championship fights behind him, he's covered the major names in the sport from Mayweather to Tyson, from Gatti to Pacquiao and from Jones to Lewis.He's also a brilliant storyteller and while he may divide opinion he has done a lot, from cutting his teeth on his local paper, to getting his big break with USA Today to now being in the hot seat at ESPN.Opinionated and good company, Dan also gives good advice on how to break into the business as a boxing writer from one of the best spots in the sport.

1hr 24mins

14 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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Season 2: #9 Micky Ward

'Irish' Micky Ward has become a boxing cult hero due to the wars he took part in during a ferocious career. Most celebrated for his part in one of boxing's great trilogies, with the late Arturo Gatti, Ward also became known to the wider public when the film of his life, The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg as Ward and Christian Bale as his brother, Dicky Eklund, had Oscar-winning success. Ward and interviewer Tris Dixon go back nearly two decades and they discuss Micky's storied career, the epic fights with the likes of Reggie Green, Shea Neary, Emanuel Augustus and Gatti, how he rejuvenated his career and much more. They also talk about Ward's CTE diagnosis, a neurodegenerative condition he has from fighting, and much more besides as they meet up in Ward's Lowell home.

1hr 6mins

20 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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Season 2: #16 Dicky Eklund

There is more than one Dicky Eklund. There was the promising pro who was matched early against a developing Sugar Ray Leonard and then the strung out junkie portrayed by Christian Bale in an Oscar-winning performance in the film The Fighter. Dicky has had a hard life; in and out of prison, on and off drugs, in and out of boxing. The half brother and trainer of 'Irish' Micky Ward, he now looks back on a life of regrets and missed opportunities while recalling happily Micky's glory years in a candid and hard-hitting interview.


8 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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#3 Paul Williams

Paul 'The Punisher' Williams fought the likes of Antonio Margarito, Sergio Martinez and Winky Wright during a stellar career. A freakishly-tall welterweight, who would move up to middleweight, he could not land big fights with Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, earning him the title of boxing's most-avoided man. Then, in 2012, his career was curtailed by a motorbike crash that has left him in a wheelchair. APOLOGIES FOR THE AUDIO


2 Oct 2018

Rank #9

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#19 Steve Collins

Irish hero Steve Collins was part of that brilliant era that inspired a generation of boxers and fight fans. The Celtic Warriror cut his teeth in the hard gyms of America, where he boxed under the Petronelli brothers and, later, Freddie Roach, and he challenged two of the best of his era in Mike McCallum and Reggie Johnson for world honours. But it was his fights with domestic rivals Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn that catapulted him to fame and fortune. The brilliant Irishman with the iron will and the granite chin nearly fought Roy Jones and there were rumours of talks with Joe Calzaghe, but his legacy as one of the toughest men to ever do it was already secure

1hr 20mins

31 Jan 2019

Rank #10

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#42 Richard Towers Part One

Sheffield heavyweight Richard Towers sparred some of the best of his era, the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye, Tyson Fury, Alexander Povetkin and Deontay Wilder. In amassing a 15-1 (12) record before retiring in 2014, he learned from the likes of Brendan Ingle, Emanuel Steward and Adam Booth. But before boxing, he was part of a criminal underworld that saw him serve the best part of a decade in prison, rubbing shoulders with some of Britain's most dangerous and infamous criminals. Here, in a part-boxing/part-true crime interview, Towers reflects on both lives.

1hr 49mins

16 Jul 2019

Rank #11

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#5 Shawn Porter

It's 'Showtime'. WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter takes listeners through his life in boxing, from his Olympic heartbreak to shutting Adrien Broner's mouth and wearing championship gold. Here is Porter, one of the best interviews in boxing today, unplugged.

1hr 4mins

11 Oct 2018

Rank #12

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Season 2: #22 Claude Abrams

For 22 years Claude Abrams worked on the weekly boxing magazine Boxing News, serving more than 10 years as editor. He was hired by his predecessor Harry Mullan and then subsequently hired his successor, Tris Dixon. In between, he covered huge fights, was at the small halls and was exposed to things only a BN editor is exposed to; from rowing with promoters, to going to Azumah Nelson's house, to sparring with Naseem Hamed and taking private jets with Emanuel Steward and then having dinner with Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns. He was also ringside for some of the best fighters of all time, including Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and many more. When he left BN, he went 'cold turkey' and travelled the world. But he dusted off plenty of war stories for this incredible journey down memory lane.

2hr 18mins

19 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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Season 2: #14 Peter McNeeley

Former heavyweight contender Peter McNeeley is best known for being in the opposite corner when Mike Tyson returned to the ring after his 1992 prison sentence. McNeeley, son of respected former heavyweight Tom, lasted 89 seconds, but he went out on his shield. Here, Tris Dixon catches up with the man who also fought Henry Akinwande, Butterbean and Brian Neilsen in a colourful career that saw him win 47 and lose seven times. Peter talks openly about CTE, suffering with neurological issues from boxing, how he was inspired by his father, how he still runs in to trouble every once in a while, about Tyson and the others and much more in a no holds barred interview.

2hr 4mins

18 Dec 2019

Rank #14

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Season 2: #1 Bruce Trampler

To kick-off season two, Tris Dixon is in Las Vegas where he spent time with veteran Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler. For some 40 years, Trampler has been one of Bob Arum's right-hand men, working with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, George Foreman and Oscar De La Hoya. Bruce is one of the most popular guys in the sport, though he doesn't receive much of the spotlight for his work because he would prefer it to be shone on the fighters. But here, in a rare in depth interview, he talks about his start in boxing, his mentors, the long relationships he's had in the sport, what it's like working with Arum, how he got behind Foreman's incredible comeback, what happened between Arum and rival Don King at Dan Goossen's funeral and much more besides. This episode is brought to you in association with Hanson Lee Resourcing and Delco Safety Compliance.

1hr 32mins

25 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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Season 2: #6 Jamel Herring

WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring has seen the highs and the lows. He's mixed triumph and tragedy. As a US Marine he completed two tours of Iraq, his first born arrived while he was away, he lost a daughter and a niece to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) but now is one of the hottest properties in the sport. He's part of Terence Crawford's team and the two have become firm friends. The captain of the US 2012 Olympic boxing team in London, Herring has been written off time and again but he's unquenchable deserve and motivation to be the best serves to drive him on. Here, he talks about how he was inspired in his battle with alcohol and PTSD by Tyson Fury, amateur fights with the likes of Danny Jacobs and Josh Taylor, splitting with Al Haymon and joining Top Rank and potential rivals, including Carl Frampton and Josh Warrington.

1hr 5mins

30 Oct 2019

Rank #16

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#6 Amir Khan

Amir Khan shot to fame at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Now a 31-year-old veteran, Khan is in the latter stages of his career. Here, in a candid interview, he talks of his most significant fights, reveals how he lost out on meeting Floyd Mayweather, discusses his biggest fears and assesses whether people really know who Amir Khan is

1hr 17mins

16 Oct 2018

Rank #17

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Season 2: #15 Adam Booth

Coach Adam Booth goes in depth with Tris Dixon on health, happiness and success. They talk about ambition and contentment and there's also some boxing thrown in, as the two discuss Adam's current stable, including Joe Joyce, Michael Conlan and Josh Kelly. There's also a broader discussion on the use of PEDs in boxing, when to stop a fight and much more besides. Adam was the first guest on the Boxing Life Stories podcast, and more of his journey can be heard here https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/1-adam-booth/id1436759230?i=1000420067450

1hr 23mins

1 Jan 2020

Rank #18

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#28 Nonito Donaire

The Filipino Flash, Nonito Donaire, is in fine and revealing form as he's interviewed by Tris Dixon in Las Vegas.Donaire is 36 and set for his semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series but he has had a storied career, having fought the likes of Darchinyan, Montiel, Rigondeaux, Frampton, Burnett, Walters, Arce and many more.Here, he talks about his battles with mental health, how he now maintains his positive mindset, being one of the sport's good guys, his major fights and turmoil behind the scenes in a hard-hitting and wide-ranging interview.

1hr 6mins

11 Apr 2019

Rank #19

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#4 Glenn McCrory

Former IBF cruiserweight champion Glenn McCrory might be best known as an expert for Sky Sports and talkSPORT but he had a superb career in his own right. Yet he is more than just an ex-boxer, he is one of the sport's best storytellers and has tales to tell about Mike Tyson, Cuban great Teofilo Stevenson, dehydration, his disabled brother and much more

1hr 22mins

7 Oct 2018

Rank #20