Right Hooks and Library Books: Blues Boxers

With Varsity just days away, we look at the men who will be representing CUABC this year.

Boxing Cambridge Boxing varsity boxing

Playtime is over. As term in Cambridge winds down, CUABC is winding up for the most explosive, tense and dramatic  Varsity Match of them all. One Dark Blue toe-to-toe with a Light Blue. One raised 16 ft square ring.

Face-to-face, wits against wits. Then repeat this intense battle over a further eight weight brackets. Nowhere to hide. Oxford versus Cambridge.

We spend 6 months training far away from each other, not knowing our opponent, then spend 6 minutes in closer contact than two freshers on a Cindies dancefloor.

There is no love lost in this arena, however, this rivalry is down to respect. We would not train so hard, 6 days a week, if we did not respect the Oxford team as athletes, individuals and competitors. That is the bottom line.

For those having an easy night, sensible enough not to get into the ring, get ready to party. Imagine watching Rocky, with better entrance music, better lights and better looking boxers.

Take a look at Channel 4’s footage to get an idea of the atmosphere .

So this is the team:


John Lacy: Featherweight (57.5kg)

The Downing man is the surprise package of CUABC. John Henry backs up his cool, calm collected demeanor with a legion of fervent fans. Their stomping and 3 rounds of non-stop chants almost saw them break the Guildhall stage and crash into Jamie’s Italian downstairs. Troxy get ready…

JL: “Why do I never have a nickname?”
SSK: “Nicknames are for those who need them. Your name speaks for itself ”


Nim Sukumar: Lightweight (60kg)

Not content with being on BBC primetime, Nim also turned out to be on the Channel 4 boxing clip above showing off his karate exploits at BUCS (at 15:36s). This karate kid has some blistering hand speed, although his nutritional onus needs a bit of work.

Nim: “Is Nando’s half chicken healthier than a Gardies?”
SSK: “Don’t mention Nando’s whilst I’m on the tuna salads Nim”


Elliott Chambers: Light-Welterweight (63.5kg)

Eli “Coathanger Chainsaw Cheesegrater Chopstick” Chambers has seen it all and said it all. Following his early proclamations that “amateur boxing needs me” Elliott went on a study tour to some of the most famous gyms in the world, including Gleason’s New York and Rafael Trejo, Cuba. Now ready for action with his Bruce Lee physique.

Fact: 68 people ‘liked’ his VM selection on Facebook. This left 8 other boxers somewhat jealous (SSK managed 3 ‘likes’)


James Phillips: Welterweight (67kg)

In St John’s 500th year, JP is looking to restore pride this year to the somewhat fallen sporting powerhouse. Miles and away the fittest member of CUABC, James has finally binned rowing (double blade winner) to focus on boxing. Plans after Varsity? London Marathon. Standard. Also, his name has always had 2 L’s, apparently!

SSK: Is it true the Master of John’s specially requested you be given a palatial crib that could “accommodate a Queensberry sized ring in the lounge”?
JP: In a word, yes. Standard John’s – init.


Rich Simpson: Light-Middleweight (71kg)

Cub Simpson. Where do we start? Rich does not like his photo taken unless his agent has been informed 3 days in advance and has a dance move named after him (another one is about to be trademarked). A product of the “Great St Edmund’s” sporting stable, this slick mover will be the best to watch.

RS: “Can I take my photo side-on otherwise I’ll look fat”
SSK: (no comment)


Chris Webb: Middleweight – A (75kg)

Webby lines-up in a Queens’ middleweight lock-out. As 2010 Varsity-winning captain and current Club President, this vet student and double Blue has more pedigree than all your mates. A physiological specimen. Pretty scary.

CW: “Couldn’t get to Glassworks so did 1,000 crunches at my house”
SSK: “Haha…seriously?”
CW: “Well the last 100 or so were a bit slack, so I might not count them”


Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka: Middleweight – B (75kg)

SSK has once again had a quiet year. Another year, same slot similar build. Sadly a fully-fledged afro will not be ready in time for Varsity, however, a Denzel Washington back & sides will be more suitable for the weigh-in.

FACT: When not doing admin, he enjoys Come Dine With Fi and watching opera, in particular The Marriage of Figaro .

Chris Kelly: Light-Heavyweight (81kg)

Special K has somehow managed to keep on top of captaining Churchill rugby team and boxing training. The former kickboxer gets on with business without the hot air of other members of CUABC. For example, whilst Simpson, Kiwanuka, Morgan and Chadwick we’re embroiled in a Van of Life bro-mance preseason, Kelly coolly slipped home with a take-away.

FACT: Although fairly mild-mannered, CK turns out to be an advocate of women’s rights. Regarding the subject of trophy presentation at Town vs Gown, he stated: “If I’ve been punched in the head for 6 minutes, I’d rather get my trophy from a hot girl than a crusty, retired boxing official”


John Walker: Heavyweight (91kg)

The team is bookended with another John. This time, Big John (or Rugby John to the Downing Lads). Having been a resident of East London for a good while, this will almost be a homecoming. The entire team from East London RFC will be at the Troxy supporting their boy “Whirlwind” (or was it Whiplash). It has been a miracle of modern science that Walker has made it to 91 kg.

FACT: East London RFC recently lost their long unbeaten record against… Millwall. I am glad these boys will be in the CUABC corner on the night.


Looking at this team – I am very confident. “Roll on March 17th”