Sean Pendry made his UK professional welterweight boxing debut last weekend at Bowlers in Trafford Park, Manchester. Before he left for his fight I went along to see him….
Sean had been living and working in Majorca for several years before he started to box, but once he had put on his gloves he didn’t want to take them off. “I’ve always been interested in the sport,” he told me, “and my granddad Paddy McGrath boxed so maybe it’s in the blood”. We were sat in the Shambala gym in Santa Ponsa. Around us were personal training and boxing classes going on. It was busy and Sean was quite preoccupied with making sure his medical checks reached the British Boxing Federation, if they didn’t receive them then hw wasn’t boxing. “What do you have to send them?” I asked. He replied, ”Brain scan, eye test…” “Oh, so you actually do get your head examined before fighting?” I asked with a twinkle in my eye. He didn’t get the joke.
Anyway, it’s a serious business. Four rounds of three minutes fighting comes at the end of months of preparation. Training twice a day with boxing practice every night with ex world Muay Thai champion Paul Hamilton as his coach.The last time I’d seen Sean fight was last autumn when he fought at the Pirates’ theatre in Magaluf. How had he developed since then I wondered. “I’m boxing now rather than fighting. Before I would have got in a bit of a scrap but now I’m boxing clean”.
Sean Pendry and Youssef Al Hamidi in the ring last weekend Photo credit Karen Priestley
It certainly paid off as on the Saturday night he fought Youssouf Al Hamidi and won! He Sean told me afterwards, “I had loads of support from family and friends and loads of messages from Majorca. I was quite taken aback by the amount of support I received”. What are his personal goals? “To keep consistent, to get more professional fights, to continue to be entertaining in the ring.”
All of this takes effort, dedication and plenty of support from his sponsors (NautiParts, Heroes, Balearic Sea School, Innovention 3, Sports Bar 90, Radio One Mallorca, Zing Vodka, One Agency and Rob Boynes] who have all helped with paying for flights, medical checks, training, kit and clothing. Does he have any doubts? “No. Paul and Nestor my manager keep me very grounded. They keep me focused”. And the future, after he hangs up his gloves, will he stay in boxing? “Definitely. I’d like to do a lot of things, but I definitely want to coach and bring other people on like I have been. Boxing has already done a lot for.me I have to give back for sure.”
Twelve long years
My husband Oliver and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last week with a couple of special days. On the actual day (the 25th of May, so many people get married in May, I had no idea!) we more or less took the day off and spent it together. We went to the Hammam in Palma which we have been promising ourselves we would go and try out for a while, it was lovely. Not as big as I imagined but a nice experience anyway. And then we went for lunch at Patron Lunares in Santa Catalina. I’ve always wanted to eat there but not had the opportunity before and we really enjoyed it. The place was reasonably quiet given it was a Thursday lunchtime, and we had great service. The waiter really excelled himself when he brought our starter of “Rocket Squid” to the table without once sniggering or making any sort of joke. Take a peek at the photo and tell me what you think it looked like…. Anyway, after lunch Ollie and I went on a romantic date to Brico Mart to buy tiles, yes romance can be found wherever you look! Then on the weekend we cashed in a hotel voucher I had won in a charity auction and went up to Alcudia for the night. We don’t go north much for anything apart from work so it was nice to spend some time up there just relaxing. We ended up eating at quite a fancy place called La Terraza in Alcanada, and we can recommend the food there, it was gorgeous.
Whilst Ollie and I were being love’s young dream our friends Richie Prior and Ayesha Wood were hard at it raising money for charity with the Radio One Mallorca Radiothon. A 24 hour challenge full of fun and a fair bit of emotion as well. This was their third year doing it and it was a great effort from the whole radio team as well with Bianca and Jo busy in the background keeping bids and donations organised and making sure people were putting their money where their mouths were. Phoenix Media Mallorca (aka Ollie and I) donated a family portrait session and that went for 200€ so we were really pleased with that. At the last count they’d raised just over 20,000€ so well done everyone who donated and helped out raising money for charities here on the island.
I went along to quite possibly the maddest event I have ever had the fortune to photograph on Sunday evening. Gringos Bingo is a new experience for the island as it’s a Bingo game with real prizes (such as an iPad and a Nintendo DS) and some quite crazy prizes (a life size cardboard cutout of Bruce Forsyth for example).
The audience were really excited about it, with some of them dressing up as a pack of “Grannies” which was hilarious. Add in lots of dancing, a gang of fun loving bingo callers and entertainers, and possibly a sangria or two and you have a fun and different night out. The shows are every Monday night at the Pirates Theatre in Magaluf and you can get more information on http://www.gringosbingo.com
So, I started a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1532815660122689/ Search for Mallorca Matters Meet Up) to help with coordination of information. So far we’ve had one official meet up in Palma. There will be a walk on Sunday June 4th at 10.30 around the back of Cala Fornells (meet behind the Petit Cala Fornell Hotel). It’s an easy, dog friendly walk for everyone to do, should be fun. Then there will be a Meet Up in Inca on June 27th, time to be decided. Join the group to stay informed.
Michael Bolton is coming to town
Michael Bolton is preparing for an unforgettable live concert at Son Fusteret when he will deliver hit after hit in his trademark soulful style in front of a packed audience. Grammy award winning artist Michael Bolton will be performing on the island on Saturday August 12th when he can be seen at Son Fusteret in Palma. The American singer and actor is visiting Mallorca as part of his Greatest Hits World Tour and he promises it will be a night out that his fans will never forget.
Michael’s achievements include selling more than 75 million records, recording eight top 10 albums and two number-one singles on the Billboard charts, as well as winning multiple American Music Awards and Grammy Awards. I am rather proud to say I will be taking the photos that night, swit swoo!
That’s all for now, check out http://www.mallorcamatters.com for previous columns or my Facebook page if you want to send a message.