This week’s Subs Bench sees Nigel Turner meet the Bristol man who has taken part in some of boxing’s biggest ever fights.

Yet you would be forgiven for not knowing the name of Fred Little, whose job, as vital as it is, is often overshadowed by the men in the ring.

Little is a boxing inspector and oversees aspects of fights such as the pre-bout weigh-in and ensuring that fighter’s gloves match regulations.

Roy Jones Jr. trades punches with Antonio Tarver

So, which fights has Little overseen?

He explains: “I’ve been involved with quite a lot of big names but I’d say the most famous is Roy Jones Jr, when he fought Antonio Tarver.

“I was a guest of the Nevada State Comission.

“Other fighters, like Joe Calzaghe, and I was the chief inspector when David Haye fought Dereck Chisora.

“I’ve worked with so many I can’t really name them all.”

It is a job that is not for the faint-hearted, with Little often having to resolve spats between fighters.

He says: “Many times we’ve had arguments over people wanting to wear their own gloves, when you’ve got a legal issue of gloves.

“You get spats and arguments and the big play fighting before the fight, the anger and then afterwards there’s kisses and cuddles with a lot of them.”

So, how did Little get into what can be considered a rather unusual vocation?

“I worked in football, I coached in America for five years and my eldest son was with Aston Villa,” he reveals.

“When that time came to an end, I thought I couldn’t physically demonstrate what the kids wanted, as I was never a great footballer, just an amateur.

“It got too hard for me to demonstrate and the first love of my life had always been boxing, so I joined the Empire club and worked alongside a lovely man called Alan Thompson.

“I met some top guys there in the amateur ranks, then I progressed into the professional ranks.

“Chris Sanigar took me under his wing, I worked a lot with him, and he introduced me to many big fighters.

“I got the blood for it and became a whip and then an inspector and chief inspector for Germany, Malta, Luxembourg and plenty of others.”

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