On one occasion Peter Buckley was halfway through his dinner when he accepted a fight in a couple of hours’ time; once, he had broken down at the side of the road but still managed to answer a desperate plea seeking a willing opponent. In 300 fights he lost 256 and won 32 – this is the bizarre life of ‘The Professor’, so-called because of a respected ability to teach talented prospects about the cruel realities of the boxing ring. Buckley would lose, collect his pay-cheque, wave the winner off onto a brighter future then resume his role as the perennial runner-up whenever the phone next rang.
“I’d be sat at home and [my manager Nobby Nobbs] would ring to say: ‘There is a fight going’,” Buckleysaid. “I’d ask when. He’d say: ‘I’m on my way to pick you up’. Once I was having my dinner after training. Nobby phoned and said: ‘There might be a fight’. I asked when. ‘In two hours’. I carried on with my dinner when he phoned back and said: ‘The fight is on’.”
“I was once under my car, it had broken down, I’d burned my arm. Nobby phoned to ask if I could get to Nottingham for 6pm. It was 4pm and my car was broken down.” he added. “I bought a new car the next day. I got off the train, looked at my phone: ‘Sorry, the show is cancelled’. One night I got home at 5am and got a call at 11am saying there was a show. I turned up and one of the doormen from the night before was there! I was hungover but it was only [six rounds of two minutes] so it was okay!”