Harborough Town boss Mitch Austin has a new job – in the bruised and bloody world of bareknuckle boxing!
Austin ended up as the Master of Ceremonies at a bareknuckle boxing show that was beamed into more than 20 countries around the world after being chucked in at the deep end by Jim Freeman.
Austin and Freeman have been together at several clubs – most recently St Ives Town – and Freeman is also a co promoter of bareknuckle boxing shows.
He asked Austin to help him out at last week’s show.
Austin said: “Jim asked me and I thought it was a wind up.
“I rang him the night before and he said: ‘We need you to be the MC, we haven’t got one.’
“Jim has done it before, but he said to me: ‘Come on, you’re better at talking than me.’
“Once I got there I had to do it.
“If I hadn’t done it, I would have forever been hearing from Jim: ‘Remember that time I asked you to be an MC and you bottled it ?’
“The first fight was between Conan ‘The Barbarian’ Barbaru from Transylvania and Bachir Fakhouri and I thought: ‘If I get through this one I will be okay.’
“I didn’t really get nervous. It was all down to confidence and mindset. I had to pretend I knew what I was doing.
“I had loads of people messaging me saying: ‘Mitch what are you doing ?’ ‘You are good.’ ‘Are you going to do it again ?’
“I had a lot of positive feedback.
“If they thought I was good, I would be 10 times better with some preparation. Jim just told me to freestyle it!
“I would think about it if Jim asked me again, but boxing and bareknuckle boxing isn’t really me.
“It doesn’t really get me going.
“I would rather be around the lads getting ready for a competitive match. That’s what gets me going.”
Austin says that in Harborough Town, he has found a club whose ambitions match his own.
He got off to a winning start with victory at Holbeach in the UCL Premier Division in October before new restrictions were put in place.
“It was heartbreaking to move from St Ives,” said Austin.
“But this was too good an opportunity to miss.
“There is no excuse for not doing well at Harborough Town. Everything is in place. I feel very lucky to be Harborough Town manager.
“I was happy at St Ives, but the conversation I had with the Harborough chairman (Pete Dougan) really excited me.
“They see themselves being where I want to be. I’m very ambitious and determined. I want to be competitive at the highest level possible.”
Despite the area being placed in Tier 3, Harborough could still restart their UCL season even though home matches would have to be played behind closed doors.
They began their preparations for the restart last night (Wednesday) as they went down 4-2 at home to Long Buckby in a friendly.