Britain’s boxing fraternity lavished praise on Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott on Thursday for the cultured left-hand jab he landed on the chin of an egg throwing protester. Frank Maloney, the mentor of deposed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, said the punch delivered by Prescott, a former merchant seaman and amateur boxer, was the best he had seen for ten years.
“It was unbelievable the way he threw that jab. It was first-class,” said Maloney.
“His natural instinct was to throw his right hand because of the way he was standing, but he shuffled his feet and slipped in a sharp, straight jab and caught the guy unawares.”
British flyweight Ian ‘Dapa’ Napa, who fights for the WBU world flyweight title on June 9, was also full of admiration.”You don’t expect a politician to throw punches, but I was impressed with his quick reactions,” he said.
Retired television boxing commentator Reg Gutteridge was less generous about Prescott’s technique. “He wouldn’t know the difference between a coat hook and a left hook,” he said.
Prescott, 63, has claimed he was acting in self defence because he thought 29-year-old farm laborer Craig Evans was trying to attack him during an election campaign stopover in North Wales on Wednesday.
After Prescott landed the jab, Evans jumped on to him and the two men had to be pulled apart. Evans was arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail, though police have not ruled out charges against Prescott.