REDDITCH champion Jimmy Moran has passed away at the age of 57.

In 1986 Moran won gold for England at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. That same year he won the ABA championships at light-heavyweight for Austin ABC. The following year he became a two-weight ABA champion, beating Henry Akinwande in the heavyweight final.

He declined offers to turn professional and retired from boxing, content with his achievements in the sport. Moran remained a popular figure and was devoted to his three children, Jack, Sam and Ellie.

He had been Midlands BBC Sports Personality of the Year. As well as his talents as a boxer, he was also a gifted distance runner (and still holds the Redditch and Bromsgrove Athletic Club’s 3,000 meters under 15s running record).

“It was absolutely huge in Redditch when Jim won the Commonwealth Games,” recalled Tim Piper, a friend who also refereed an exhibition Moran had with Tim Witherspoon. “Everyone absolutely loved him.”

Moran had offers to turn professional but didn’t feel the need to take them up. “He was brilliant at it but he didn’t love boxing. He just happened to be very good at it. Two times ABA champion and Commonwealth gold medallist, you’re going to be proud of your achievements aren’t you?” Piper explained. “I think he started at 14. In his 10th fight he fought Micky Hughes for the Schoolboy championship in London. In his 10th fight, they couldn’t believe it. Micky Hughes went on to win a British title in the pros. [Jimmy] had more than 170 fights at the end of his career, it was taking its toll on him over the years. He would have been a brilliant cruiserweight.”

“Cruiserweight is where Jimmy would have gone in the pro game,” Piper adds, “[But] he’d had 175, 180 amateur fights which is a lot. He’d been in boxing 10, 11 years which is a long time and fought some top, top men. He was in the England team for years, he was England captain. He fought some serious men.

“He’s fighting at the top level and he’s fighting for England, every fight’s a tough fight in the last six, seven years of his career.

“He sparred everyone in the England camp. He was on the same England team as Nigel Benn. So these are the people he mixed with. Serious people.”

Moran had a great rivalry with Olympian Tony Wilson in their region. “They used to have to meet in the Midland final Tony Wilson and Jim. They were the two best light-heavyweights in the country,“ Tim said. “He beat Jim in ’83 and ’84, then Tony Wilson went to the Olympic Games in America and got into the quarter-finals.

“That was the nemesis. It took Jim four years to win the ABA title.”

Moran was a lively presence in the sport. “He actually wore Neville Brown’s shorts for the fight [his 1987 national final against Akinwande] and he actually wore Richie Woodhall’s boxing boots for the fight. Turns up [to Wembley] with a gumshield in the ABA final. That’s what this man was about,” Piper said. “He was so laid back it was untrue. He was in the changing room, top of the bill and he would just be asleep in the changing room and get woke up five minutes before he was topping the bill. He had no fear and no nerves of anyone.”

“Wonderful,” Piper remembers. “He was a proper character.” Moran will be mourned by his family, friends and the sport. RIP.


Amateur boxing clubs could be eligible for a coronavirus insurance payment

IT could be worth checking your boxing club’s insurance policy to see whether it might be eligible for a coronavirus insurance payment. Following the initial onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a court ruling that some businesses with certain insurance provisions can claim for losses during the first national lockdown.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, there is wording that clubs should look for in their policies which would indicate that they may qualify and receive a payout: “Disease wordings: provisions which provide cover for business interruption in consequence of or following or arising from the occurrence of a notifiable disease within a specified radius of the insured premises.

“Prevention of access/public authority wordings: provisions which provide cover where there has been a prevention or hindrance of access to or use of the premises as a consequence of government or other authority action or restrictions.

“Hybrid wordings: provisions which are engaged by restrictions imposed on the premises in relation to a notifiable disease.”