Battler Moore flies flag for underdogs

Floyd Moore in action. Picture: Mick Young
Floyd Moore in action. Picture: Mick Young
Share this article

When it comes to heart, you won’t find a bigger one on the domestic circuit.

When it comes to entertainment, the action is incessant.

The refinement may still be a distance from the sweet science.

But when Floyd Moore walks out at the Mountbatten Centre on Friday night with his feverish army of fans behind him, one thing is guaranteed: Fireworks.

The man his trainer has branded ‘the king of small-hall boxing’ is back.

And those who champion the outsider will be willing him on to victory against Adam Dingsdale.

George Groves chose Kasabian’s Underdog for his ringwalk on Saturday at Wembley. It would have been a fitting choice for Moore.

But it will be John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Road which will light the touchpaper for the next chapter of the Fareham braveheart’s career.

Few would have predicted Moore’s progress when he was an unspectacular win some, lose some amateur at Titchfield ABC.

Even fewer would have seen his march to a Southern Area title when he lost his professional debut to king of the journeymen, Johnny Greaves.

Nervous energy engulfed the 23-year-old that night, as he froze and then ran out of steam in front of his huge following.

But Moore kept going. And a little over three years later he was a champion in front of the Sky cameras.

On the way to that moment there had been another couple of defeats.

But there were also been some of the most dramatic stoppages and frenetic tear-ups seen on these shores over the past couple of years.

No-one who witnessed his bloodbath battle with Bulgarian Yordan Vasilev last year will forget what they saw.

Moore lost in nine rounds but emerged a hero as two spartans bore every ounce of their souls to an enthralled public.

The contest wouldn’t have raised a murmur when it came to the movers and shakers at the top of the fight game. The man who echoes Manny Pacquiao’s ‘Pac-man’ moniker emphatically made his mark in December, though.

That’s when Moore dismantled Matchroom Sports fighter, Ryan Taylor, in four rounds at the ExCel Arena in London.

Suddenly, promoter Eddie Hearn aired the thought of putting on a show in Portsmouth – largely off the back of Moore’s effort.

Since then, talk has surfaced of the scrapper taking his eye off the ball through seven months of inactivity.

But now he’s back – with the toughest assignment he has faced.

Dingsdale is a tricky customer, who has performed at a decent level professionally and has national and England honours in the bag as an amateur.

The word is a British lightweight title shot may not be too far away for the winner of Friday’s contest, and the Sky cameras will be documenting it for their weekly boxing show.

Dingsdale’s London camp have dismissed Moore as a one-dimensional threat, crude in method but can bang a bit. They may well have a point.

Moore is often vulnerable – but always dangerous. It’s what makes him so watchable. He also happens to be a genuinely likeable and humble lad devoid of ego.

The little lightweight warrior is exactly the kind of person you would will on to success.

His emergence so far is 
remarkable. If he was to take it to 
the next level it would be one of boxing’s most unlikely successes in years.

And it would be a victory for the small-hall fighter, a success for all those soldiers up and down the country who compete outside the glare of boxing’s mainstream spotlight.