We would like to welcome our newest TIB Training boxing instructor and former British champion, Darren ‘Ammo’ Hamilton, who will be running classes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 12:00 – 1:00 PM starting on the 24th November!
Hamilton began his career at the age of 12, when an uncle took him and a cousin to a local gym in Bristol. He would later go on to box for the St George’s club in that city. As a schoolboy, he would fight in 27 amateur bouts, losing just four.
Hamilton showed considerable promise as an amateur, despite never making it to international level, or ever entering the senior ABA ranks. One memorable amateur fight was against Matty Teu, who had fought over 60 bouts when he met Hamilton, who was then a ‘veteran’ of just 12 bouts. Hamilton won the fight, something which he claims made him very aware that boxing was not about past records, however impressive they might be.
“I didn’t have an active career; very stop start. In 1992 and 1993 I got to the national schoolboy semi-finals but lost on points in London both times. Most of the opponent’s names have gone out of my head, sorry,” Hamilton told Boxnation.
Hamilton collected Southern Area and British Masters titles on his rise to becoming British Champion. His bout for the latter crown was marked by some controversy, however, when he fought West Midlands area champion Dave Ryan. He beat Ryan at the second attempt, after being disqualified from the first fight for headbutting.
However, it was his short notice fights that has helped define his career. Guided by the charismatic Spencer Fearon short notice fights were relished, first against John Watson, and then Ashley Theophane for the Lonsdale Belt. These fights took him from relative obscurity to become the British Light Welterweight Boxing Champion. His victory over Ashley Theophane made his Cinderella story complete, going from homeless to British Boxing Champion in record time and documented on video for his fans to share the journey.
Successful British Title defenses against the tough Steve Williams and the energetic Adil Anwar proved all his doubters wrong. However in February 2014, Hamilton lost his British title to former professional footballer Curtis Woodhouse at the Hull Ice Arena. The fight was decided on points by a split decision. Hamilton took the decision in good part, telling Sky Sports: “It could have gone either way. He had the advantage of being at home. It was a close fight. As the champion I should have dominated a lot more.”