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Winners Also Cry

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Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right
But aren’t you the man that I once saw fight?
If I’m not mistaken, they called you Hooker Sam
With legs that seemed to shout aloud, catch me if you can

Won’t you sit down my friend and join me in a beer
No you ain’t not mistaken, Hooker Sam sits right here
But it’s been a long time since I heard that name
And an even longer time since I left the fighting game

He was a contender with the world once at his feet
There once was a time when he could not be beat
A rising tide of power, world title was his aim
But each tide has its hour, then returns from where it came

I’ll not forget the time I saw you fight Big Jim
Built like a house with an evil cunning grin
But you moved like a fly and stung like a snake
The ref stepped in and stopped the fight when he took all he could take

Ah yes that was a fight, perhaps my finest hour
I thought I was invincible, watching Big Jim cower
But confidence I found, is a sword with a double edge
Let it take control and you will fall right off the ledge

I know I missed my chance but what will be must be
I don’t regret a single thing and am happy being me
Sometimes it’s not the winner that walks off with the prize
So if regret comes calling, remember winners also cry


In the 1990s, I did a pub gig in Sussex, where the publican turned out to be the British and Commonwealth title fighter, Billy Aird. He was a nice man and very interesting to talk to. During his boxing career, great things were expected of him, and if it were not for some very suspect points decisions against him, he might have gone all the way. Apart from bad luck, it seemed that he allowed his private life to distract him. At the time of his title fight against John Gardner, he owned a pub and a sports shop. He told me that during the weigh-in, he was “worrying about the sandwiches for the next day.”
People often asked him if he regretted being distracted at such an important time of his life, and he said, “No way. Some of the boxers I knew became champions but ended up much worse off than me.”