Cobalt Sport

Ex-Balcarras School pupil Tamsin Beech wins unanimous points decision – but mum and dad suffer technical knockout!

All Areas > Sport > Boxing

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 09:00

Tamsin Beech in her first ever boxing match Tamsin Beech in her first ever boxing match

Brad Pitt is a lucky man. If Ron Beech had auditioned for the part of Benjamin Button then the Hollywood heart-throb may not have got the title role in the 2009 romantic fantasy drama.

You see, Ron Beech is one of those annoying people – in the nicest possible way! – who looks years younger than he actually is.

He’s 59 but could easily pass for 10 years younger – just think of all those make-up artists that the producer of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button could have saved on! – and has looked after himself very well over the decades.

He’s played a lot of cricket over the years for Charlton Kings and still likes to play golf – good, fun sporting pursuits that don’t usually threaten life and limb.

So it was something of a surprise when he walked into the Royal pub in Charlton Kings last week with his charming wife Anne on his left arm... and a plaster cast on his right.

“How did you do that, Ron?” was the obvious question, “have you been fighting?”

“No,” came the quick reply, before adding, laughing, “but my daughter has!”

Now Ron’s daughter is Tamsin, a 19-year-old bright as a button former Balcarras School pupil who is studying Russian and History at Exeter University. She’d always been sporty and played a lot of netball, but there had never been anything in her make-up to suggest that she was a fighter.

“Do tell more,” Ron was asked, and fortunately he was more than happy to talk to The Local Answer about the cracked bone in his wrist, his daughter and plenty more.

The story began some three months ago… and it’s the type of story that you wouldn’t be surprised if the aforementioned Brad Pitt would be interested in if he was wearing his producer’s hat.

“We took a phone call from Tamsin just after the start of the new term,” explained Ron. “She’d come across this promotional flier advertising a charity boxing event. It was being run by a local boxing club but was aimed at students, and she said she was going to take part.”

So how did mum and dad react?

“Her mum was absolutely shocked, horrified, worried sick,” chuckled Ron. “I was a bit more relaxed about it all. I thought, ‘Why not, let her go for it… as long as she didn’t get hurt.”

The good news for Anne was that her daughter wasn’t going to be thrown into a ring and just left to fend for herself.

“The training was pretty intense, two or three times a week,” said Ron.

The bad news for Anne was that the organisers couldn’t find an opponent from the university for Tamsin, so she was lined up to fight a girl from the local boxing club.

“Her opponent had been boxing for five years,” said Ron. “She was a bit younger than Tamsin – she was 16 – but five years is a long time to have been boxing.”

So did Ron and Anne ever think about giving the 15-bout charity show a miss?

“Anne was happy not to know anything about the event,” chuckled Ron, “but I was always up for it. Tamsin wanted us to go, so I suppose we were always going to go in the end.”

The show took place in a marquee on the university campus in front of 900 people and Tamsin, who weighs in at around 70 kilos, was scheduled to fight three two-minute rounds.

Tamsin’s moment in the ring was the eighth bout of the night and came just after the interval, which meant that mum and dad at least had a chance to prepare themselves.

“We were given front row seats,” laughed Ron, “but seeing your daughter box for the first time is a bit of an odd one.”

And if they were nervous before her bout, they became even more nervous after seeing the first fight of the night.

“One of the boys’ headguards had been knocked off,” chuckled Ron. “The towels were covered in blood and I remember the ref was wearing those blue medical surgical gloves. I also remember thinking that if we can just stay out of A&E that night…”

It wasn’t long before it was Tamsin’s time and just like at professional shows, she walked to the ring accompanied by some banging music.

“It was some sort of rap – I think it was DMX,” laughed Ron. “There was lots of bad language but by now we’d both had a few glasses of Prosecco!”

So how did Tamsin look as she entered the ring?

“Better than me and her mum,” laughed Ron, “she was very, very focused.”

She certainly was because she dominated her bout – cheered on by her hugely animated, but very proud parents – as she won all three rounds to take the fight on a unanimous points decision.

“She deserved it,” said dad. “Unless you are right up close you don’t appreciate how much effort goes into a fight. Tamsin looked really strong. All she got was a very slight graze on her chin but that soon went.”

Mum and dad were able to give their daughter “a sweaty hug” before heading off to the after-party at Timepiece Nightclub in the heart of the city.

“It’s a really famous nightclub,” enthused Ron. “It’s on the site where witches used to be tried before they were taken away to be hanged!”

It’s also famous for the cobbled stones that surround the area. That’s where Ron – and his good lady – sustained a technical knockout which led to him ending up in plaster.

“It had been a black tie event and I’d been wearing these leather sole shoes,” said Ron. “We left the nightclub at about 2pm, we’d had a bit to drink but we were okay.”

They may well have been okay, but Ron had been on the cobbles only for as long as it took Tamsin to throw a left-right combination hours earlier when he fell over, cracking a bone in his wrist as he slipped and – worse – somehow managing to crack one of Anne’s ribs as she fell on top of him!

“The greatest irony is that we went to Exeter worrying about Tamsin getting hurt and it was mum and dad who got injured,” laughed Ron.

And although Tamsin was walking around the day after the night before with barely a scratch on her, while her parents were frantically hunting for painkillers, Ron is hoping that she has no ambition to become Charlton Kings’ answer to high-profile female boxers Nicola Adams or Katie Taylor.

“Boxing again hasn’t been discussed,” admitted Ron. “Although she really enjoyed the training and the experience of actually fighting, she enjoyed the fight because she won.

“We’re staying very quiet about it, hopefully it will go away.

“Up until the past few months netball has always been Tamsin’s number one sport, but she’s tried different things this term.

“She’s taken up wave riding and done a bit of running as well as the boxing. She’s always been keen on fitness, she’s very self-motivated.”

Tamsin is home for Christmas now, and mum and dad may have to box clever in persuading their daughter that the fight game may not be for her.

Mind you, they may be as well to keep a low profile on Boxing Day given Tamsin’s new-found interest in all things Queensbury Rules – and it would certainly be a good idea to lay off the punch that day as well!

“Yes,” said Ron, laughing. “We’d better keep out of her way that day, she can do anything she wants on Boxing Day as long as she doesn’t wear any gloves!”

Other Images

Tamsin Beech on the attack
Tamsin’s mum Anne cheers on her daughter
Tamsin Beech clearly enjoyed the fight
Tamsin Beech wins a unanimous points verdict
Tamsin Beech celebrates victory

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