Jordan Purkiss is a man on a mission in the pro game. He won the vacant Southern Area bantamweight belt, last September, at York Hall against Ryan Walker, in his 5th fight. And no sooner is he back for more title success, with a shot at the English bantamweight crown against mathematics teacher, Ramez Mahmood, at the same venue this weekend on a Let’s Go Management show. It will now headline the event, after Dilmaghani Dillon was postponed because of illness.
Here I give an insight into my perception of one of the top-billing participants of the fight, Jordan Purkiss, and how his character has paved the way for him to make such a quick ascent to the frontlines of the domestic scene, in the bantamweight division.
Rah Hokum, for Punchout Boxing, ferried myself and Rak Noble to EDGE Gym in Romford for the Purkiss Walker Gloves are Off filming. What struck me by Jordan Purkiss’ demeanour is how non-plussed he was by the fan-fare of stablemates, media and friends all eager to see tensions flare.
He made clear that he didn’t ask for the promotional occasion, showcasing his humility in recognising that it was unique for a small hall show undercard bout to be hyped up in such a way. However, he also demonstrated humility in still playing his part and making the most of the platform to sell the fight. (I must add that these sorts of pre-fight build-ups could be utilised even more for non-arena shows.)
That wasn’t my first time meeting Jordan Purkiss. I witnessed what he was all about as a fighter in Grays on a Lee Eaton show earlier that year (2022). He suffered a knockdown in the second round against an away circuit fighter in Stephen Jackson, after walking on to a shot.
Many fighters I’ve seen in that position fold under the ignominy of revealing the first signs of vulnerability in the paid ranks. But Purkiss glanced over several times to his corner for instruction and support, ploughed back on the front foot, showed no signs of a diminished confidence in the fight and boxed his way to victory.
The old adage is a boxing ring can be the loneliest place in the world when things aren’t going your way. The saying perhaps doesn’t do justice to the cacophony of noise and support generated by a York Hall barn-stormer.
Purkiss vs Walker was certainly that. You can tell how Jordan Purkiss’ down-to-earth nature and strength of character are valued by his friends, family and stablemates at EDGE gym, as well as his bond with promoter, Lee Eaton. All of these interested parties in his career development helped see him through against Walker and weather stormy spells in the fight. He’ll be hoping he can call upon those people once more, this Friday at York Hall against Mahmood.
By Harry Duffy