Search

Andre Olley puts legends on canvas

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 January 2017

Andre Olley with his picture of boxing greats Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali at the Peacock gym.

Andre Olley with his picture of boxing greats Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali at the Peacock gym.

Archant

Boxing trainer paints in spare time

Andre Olley (left) and Martin Bowers celebrate with Ahmet Patterson at York HallAndre Olley (left) and Martin Bowers celebrate with Ahmet Patterson at York Hall

Although his own professional career lasted less than two rounds, former heavyweight Andre Olley has put some all-time great champions on the canvas.

The canvas in question – his painting of Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali – hangs on the wall in the offices at East London’s famous Peacock gym where the former Barking puncher has worked as a trainer for many years.

Olley is clearly a talented artist, a hobby he enjoys in his spare time away from the Canning Town gym where the 61-year-old is the head coach at the amateur club and works with pro fighters.

His own ring ambitions were cut short by an unfortunate injury when he turned pro after building a reputation as a big-punching heavyweight prospect at Barking BC.

Olley scored a two-round debut win when halting rival Don Charles inside five minutes at the World Sporting club in July 1980 and shortly after was enjoying a holiday break with his family.

“I was in a country pub and was directed to the toilet through a door on the right, but I went through the wrong door and crashed down 15 feet into a cellar,” he said.

The fall left Olley with severe spinal injuries and he was unable to pass the Boxing Board of Control medical to regain his licence, although he did appear in some unlicensed contests.

Olley, from Blake Avenue in Barking, later switched to training fighters and played a key role in the development of the Peacock amateur club as head coach and shares his thoughts in our latest Q&A session.

LW: What are your early boxing memories?

AO: My father Ray was a boxer, but never forced me into the sport. In fact I was a keen swimmer and I enjoyed the competition before I tried boxing.

I went to the Barking club and my career took off from there.

LW: Who is your favourite all-time fighter?

AO: It has to be Muhammad Ali – he really was the greatest.

LW: What is your favourite all-time fight?

AO: It has to be Marvin Hagler v Tommy Hearns in 1985, three rounds of thrilling ferocity that will go down in boxing history.

LW: What was your best boxing memory?

AO: Taking our boxer Emily Energie to the ABA Elite 51kg title in 2014, little more than a year after she came to the Peacock gym.

LW: What is your biggest disappointment?

AO: It has to be the injury that ended my career after just one pro fight. I had a growing reputation and had talks with manager Terry Lawless to join the most successful boxing stable in the country at the Royal Oak gym in Canning Town, but my accident ended it all.

LW: What big fight would you like to see in 2017?

AO: My number one would be Amir Khan against Kell Brook in a welterweight showdown that we’ve been waiting to see for years. It’s looking likely that it will be made in the months ahead. I hope so as it should me a memorable contest between two great fighters.

LW: Who are the trainers you admire?

AO: I work closely with Martin Bowers who founded the Peacock gym with his brother Tony and has a long family connection with the sport.

Martin trains the pros at the gym and did a great job building the career of Ovill McKenzie, a one-time journeyman who he developed into a top-class fighter who should have won a world title before he was forced to retire.

Super-welterweight Ahmet Patterson is unbeaten with title success and more to come, Martin and I have worked together for years and we are always learning.

LW: What is your favourite activity away from boxing?

AO: I enjoy life with my family and alongside my painting I like to perform conjuring tricks to entertain people.

n Local boxers are booked for their first action of 2017 when West Ham and Fight for Peace combine with a Saturday afternoon show on January 21.

The event takes place at the Fight for Peace gym at Woodman Street, North Woolwich, E16 2LS and the action starts at 1pm.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford Sports News

18:30

West Ham have taken the first small step in their battle to drag themselves away from the bottom of the Premier League, according to manager David Moyes.

16:00

Daggers suffered shock first-round loss against Worthing last season and will want to avoid a similar result at Bulls

15:00

Redbridge joint-manager Ricky Eaton says the pressure is on the rest of the Essex Senior League to catch his side.

13:30

Lisa Wilson spoke of her late son Tom’s decision to donate his organs this week as health secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a new opt-out plan in England, writes Lee Power.

PROMOTED CONTENT

You don’t have to make the trek to the North Pole to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Oaks Park High School Year 8 student Rhia Gondhia likes to make people feel welcome.

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now