The Transom has identified boxing’s next Great White Hope. We met him at, of all places, the Lower East Side burlesque joint the Box.
James Huddleston, 30, of Northern London works as a host there. The 6-foot-3 brawny Brit says he’s been boxing all his life. He’ll be competing in the Golden Gloves, held later this month, in the light heavyweight category.
“I grew up in a rough area, so you had to box to defend yourself,” said Mr. Huddleston, adding that he’s trained in Cuba, Colombia and Nepal. “To be the best, you have to train with the best.”
With his long hair and fair skin, the brawny Brit looks a bit like a more manly version of the actor Orlando Bloom.
“Everyone says I’m too good-looking to be a boxer,” he said. “They always say my nose is too straight. I tell them a good boxer doesn’t get hit. Well, not often.”
Are his Box buddies supporting this quest? “Everyone is cheering me on,” Mr. Huddleston said. “I’ve got a lot of friends through the New York network now.”
He also has his eyes on a worthy opponent in the nightlife world: Mauricio, the bouncer at Cipriani, a burly Italian heavyweight who tips the scale at 220 pounds. “We’re going to have a charity box-off,” Mr. Huddleston said. “We have mutual respect. It’ll be a boxing match for the children.”
Ultimately, though, the Box boxer has his sights set on Madison Square Garden. He’ll have to win five consecutive Gloves matches to get there.