‘No alcohol, no drugs, no caffeine - I’m boring!’ - how Harborough’s next boxing star is aiming for a bright future

Made in Harborough...boxer Reuben Arrowsmith.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Made in Harborough...boxer Reuben Arrowsmith.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

He’s the born athlete who’s never drunk alcohol, never done drugs and never smoked.

And as we sit in the front bar of The Swan in Market Harborough, we discover that promising town boxer Reuben Arrowsmith doesn’t even do coffee - “no caffeine” he smiles. “I’m boring.

“No night clubs either, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m married now and my life is pretty quiet and down-to earth.”

What the 20-year-old from Market Harborough does do is train. He trains a lot.

He’s been training since the age of six, when he already had the discipline for a two-hour session at a Corby gym, three times a week. It’s as if he knew even then what he wanted to do.

He’s trained right through his childhood years, through his teens and through years of amateur boxing (he won 45 out of 52, claiming five English titles, two GB titles and a European bronze medal).

“My dad (also Reuben) was great and a good advisor” says boxer Reuben junior. “Every year he’d say to me ‘do you want to stop now?’ and I’d say ‘no’. But he wasn’t one of those pushy dads - there was always that option to do something else.”

Now he’s just completed his first year as a professional boxer, under the watchful eye of his trainer/manager Ricky Hatton.

Yep, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, MBE, the multiple world title holder, considered the best British light-welterweight boxer of all time.

He invited Reuben up to spar at his world-famous gym in Hyde, Greater Manchester, a couple of times and signed him up.

“We’re getting on really well and I’m learning things every day, and hopefully showing that in my fights” said Reuben.

“There’s a lot of joking in his gym and a good atmosphere, but when we’re working he’s 100 per cent and so am I.”

Reuben’s had seven professional fights now and won them all without losing a round.

His family and wife always support him, usually getting much more nervous than laid-back Reuben, who prepares for a fight by laughing and joking with Ricky, and listening to the amiable reggae of UB40.

It’s early days yet, but people are using words like “potential” and “promising”.

Meanwhile Reuben, a six foot one, 11 stone four light-middleweight, keeps training so hard he sometimes makes Rocky look a bit half-hearted.

He trained on his honeymoon - fortunately new wife Tina is as supportive as his family.

He also trains in his downtime - he’s just come back from a holiday in Majorca, where he’d wake his wife up at 8am, having already done a session in the hotel gym - “just 40 minutes on the treadmill, five-and-half miles” he smiled.

Market Harborough used to have a bit of a reputation as a boxing town. Jack Gardner, a British and European heavyweight champion in the 1950s was a Harborough lad.

“Yes, I’d love to put Harborough back on the boxing map” said Reuben.

He just might do it too, this polite, disciplined traveller’s lad from Greenacres, who’s never had a fight outside.

“I’m not angry enough” he says. “I’m an athlete, and boxing is about discipline: skill versus skill and will versus will.”

At another point he adds: “If you’re going to do it, do it right.”

He’s ambitious though - he wants to spend the next year or two working towards a British title fight.

Now he’s looking for more local sponsors, to add to a roster that includes Gym 11, Harborough Tool Hire, SJ Watts and Jordan Gym 

It’s early days yet, and no one really knows how far our local boxer can go.

But from what the Mail has seen, the man from Greenacres is a credit to his family, a credit to his sport and a credit to Harborough.