For the past 2 years I have had the privilege of having a small part in one of the most exciting projects that I have ever been involved in. The book is about one of the worlds best boxing referee’s Ian John-Lewis. I first met Ian through my work in the police cells in one of the UK’s busiest police stations in Medway in Kent in 2011, which is where Ian works as a custody officer. No easy job, I can assure you. Having been a huge boxing fan my entire life and also rating Ian as one of the best referee’s we have in the UK and the world, it was certainly quite a remarkable meeting for me. Over my time getting to know Ian, I was able to talk to him about maybe getting involved in social media, and one day I happened to mention to him that he should consider having a book written about his life, his amateur & professional boxing career – (W13- 9 KO- L 7) as well as his career which has really put him on the world boxing map as a Star Class A WBC boxing referee. Ian is one of only 5 British referee’s who have had the honour of being the 3rd man in the ring for the greatest prize in sport, the Heavyweight Championship of the World, as well as being the 1st black British referee to do this. When we first talked about a book idea Ian happened to mention that he had met Mark Heffernan, who is a physiotherapist for Kent Police, and Mark had offered to maybe write this for Ian. Certainly another chance meeting had occurred, and the seed was well & truly sewn for the forthcoming book.
Mark was thrown into the world of boxing as he met with many people in the boxing world, from grassroots level all the way up to the WBC Heavyweight Championship of the World, with Ian’s biggest fight audience of over 13 million live viewers when he refereed Vitali Klitschko v Shannon Briggs. This followed with the historical fight in Canada with Bernard Hopkins v Jean Pascal, making Hopkins the oldest World Champion in the history of boxing dating back to the implementation of the Queensbury Rules in 1867. Mark has written one of the most thorough accounts of any boxing referee’s careers, which starts in the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green with Ian’s fight with Mickey Hughes in 1991. This was an important moment in his life, as it was here that Ian was given the golden advice for him to become a referee. Ian’s professional career as a contender may of been sadly over, but his future of being one of the most competent, engaging and well respected referee’s we have, was now in front of him.
The book launch of ‘I am the Referee’ is being held on the 12th November 2014, and will be at the fantastic venue Dickens World in Medway in Kent. If you would like to come along to support Ian & Mark for the launch of the book, please get in touch on here or at www.iamthereferee.com
Come & meet Ian and grab yourself one cracking read, which any fan of the sweet science will truly appreciate. It takes Ian from the very humble beginnings of the Medway towns in the 1960’s, all the way to travelling the globe as one of the most respected officials in world championship boxing. The greatest sport in the world.
If any newspapers, tv channels, boxing bloggers & fans want to come, please also get in touch.
You can follow Ian on twitter @IamtheReferee and on facebook & on the website www.iamthereferee.com