Martin Smith column: This boxer is a champion- whether he wins or not

In times gone by he might have taken his secret to the grave.

Monday, 17th September 2018, 11:49 am
Updated Monday, 17th September 2018, 11:57 am
Callum Hancock

Many others have, tragically too afraid and ashamed to speak out.

Not any more, and not Callum Hancock.

Raped as a ten-year-old by a local bully, Eckington boxer Callum kept quiet for more than fifteen years until he found it within himself to confront the man who had affected his state of mind to such an extent that he considered murder or suicide - or both.

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Perhaps through the development of his character in the ring and his need to overcome any fears as a boxer 27-year-old Callum was able to face the man who had so cruelly blighted his life.

For Callum, in the toughest business of them all, to open up to the world and share his deepest horrors takes real guts.

There is hope that in our time these issues will increasingly be dealt with more openly and the pain lessened for those who have suffered.

By speaking out Callum draws strength from victims who went before him and offers hope to others still trapped in their own pain and fear.

There's more than one way to be a champion.

Middleweight Callum next fights in the ring on September 28 at Magna against Callum Ide from Sussex.

*More proof, if any were needed, that it's a strange world and getting stranger. 

Who would have thought a 17-year-old could make a fortune shopping for footballers?

Londoner Sam Morgan started finding gear for Arsenal's Cohen Bramall and word soon spread around.

Now Sam reportedly uses online sources to snap up hard-to-find designer pieces for Dele Alli, Mezut Ozil, Ross Barkley etc. One unnamed star is said to have spent £22,000 in one spree.

Barnsley lad John Stones and Sheffielders Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire are pictured on social media among Sam's clients but presumably they'll still enjoy the occasional shopping trip along Division Street...

*It proves nothing but at least umpire Carlos Ramos is being his slightly irritating and hard-line self.

Ramos, the umpire at the centre of the Serena Williams US Open meltdown row was at it again at the weekend when he cautioned Maran Cilic for a racquet violation in his Davis cup game against Uzebekistan's Sanjar Fayziev.

Mind you Cilic made it fairly easy for Ramos by mangling his racquet by  smashing it into the court when he dropped a point.

They're the easy ones to call.