Take a fight on very short notice? Check. Train whilst also having to work a day job? Check. Fight in the other guy’s backyard almost all the time? Check. Face an often hostile crowd? Check. These are just some of the obstacles a journeyman fighter has to try and overcome pretty much every single time he fights. It’s a tough, potentially dangerous way to make a living, that’s for sure, and not everyone is cut from stern enough cloth to be able to do it.
One man who braved the shark-infested waters a journeyman boxer must navigate and came out safe and sound on the other side, is British super-lightweight Kristian Laight, who, according to a piece on Sky Sports, has now retired.
Nicknamed “Mr. Reliable,” 38 year old Laight was just that for 15 long years. Laight boxed no less than 300 pro bouts, winning just 12 (scoring zero KO stoppages) and losing 279 times, with nine draws boxed. Laight, though, was a skilled fighter, adept at slipping punches and not taking punishment (how else could any man fight for so long, in so many fights, and not be badly beaten up?)
Stopped just five times, Laight was a good defensive fighter and he often gave the fans in attendance a show as he show-boated, made faces and generally enjoyed himself in the ring. Over his long tenure inside the ropes, Laight met the following recognisable names: Kevin Mitchell, Stefy Bull, Tyrone Nurse, Tommy Coyle, Derry Matthews, Maxi Hughes, John Quigley, Sean Dodd, James Dickens, Martin Ward and Zelfa Barrett. Often fighting men who were making their pro debut, Laight was almost always able to provide his opponent with a test – hence his nickname. Laight was last stopped back in May of 2014, by a 1-0 Kerry Evans. Laight last enjoyed a victory in September of 2016 when he decisioned a 1-0 Sean Crowley.
Known to the hardcore British fight fan, Laight has received praise from some star names upon his retirement; Tony Bellew stating how tough guys like Laight are so very important: “Without the likes of him the pro game wouldn’t exist,” Bellew wrote on social media.
Fittingly, as he walked to the ring for his final fight, on July 7th this year, Laight was accompanied by famed British journeyman Peter Buckley, who also retired after having had 300 pro bouts.
Let’s all hope Laight can now enjoy his hard-earned ring retirement.