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‘Camden Caretaker’ Chapman takes a financial hit

Boxer reveals difficulties outside the ring after winning his latest fight

21 March, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Robbie ‘The Camden Caretaker’ Chapman won at York Hall on Saturday

THE broom was back on Saturday as Robbie “The Camden Caretaker” Chapman swept into the ring at the York Hall in Bethnal Green to take on former Islington Boxing Club amateur Jordan “The Brown Eagle” Grannum.

And the 25-year-old, who lives in Chalk Farm, danced out after winning his first six-rounder on points to make it four wins out of four in the professional ranks.

Robbie admitted afterwards that it was a bout that “really tested his love for the sport” as he continues a bigger battle outside the ring than he will ever face in it.

The glitz and glamour of the big payday pay-per-view events that lure in armchair spectators are a world away from the financial pressures placed on the shoulders of any budding boxer looking to carve out a career between the ropes.

As well as maintaining his full-time job as a caretaker at Regent High School, in Somers Town, Robbie has to juggle training for his fights with selling tickets for the shows he appears on.

Against Grannum he revealed that he had to sell at least 75 tickets, which cost upwards of £40, “just to break even”. So when the showdown was suddenly pushed back two weeks because his opponent was ill, it almost forced him to cancel the fight altogether.

“On this occasion I had to give 10 people their money back because they couldn’t make the rescheduled date, which would have left me around £400 out of pocket,” explained the former St Pancras ABC amateur.

“It could have been much, much worse, but thankfully a lot of the people I sell tickets to are friends and family who really want to support me, so they’ll do everything in their power to make my fights rather than ask for the money back.

“Thankfully, on this occasion I managed to sell another 10 tickets, so I managed to break even. But you can forget about making a profit. You’ve got to remember that you have to pay to appear on a show, and on top of that I still have a coach to pay, and I have to stick to a very strict diet which can also be expensive. I’ve got some sponsors who help out, but if you ask any young boxer they will tell you it’s not about making money.

“At this stage of my career it’s really about making a name for myself and slowly building up a fanbase, even if it comes at a personal cost.”

In his latest win, Robbie repeated what is fast becoming his trademark move, dancing into the ring with his broom in tow, this time sweeping along to the sound of General Levy’s Incredible.

Reflecting on his win over Grannum, Robbie added: “I felt really good, and had more than enough energy to handle the additional rounds as I made the jump from four rounds to six.

“I’ve got a longer reach than Jordan and used my range really well to keep him at a distance, and give myself the time I needed to pick my shots. I also didn’t get dragged into brawling, which I might have done earlier on in my career. I felt it was a very disciplined performance, one of my most mature so far.

“I really want to push on now, but I won’t be back in the ring until June. I’d like to fight again in April, but I can’t expect my supporters to keep forking out their money every couple of weeks, so I have to plan my schedule carefully and with consideration for them, too.”

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