What is a Journeyman?
A competent but undistinguished tradesman, especially one who works, and is paid by the day. – wikitionary
A tradesman who has served an apprenticeship and is employed by a master tradesman. – wikitionary
What is a Journeyman in Boxing?
In the sport of professional boxing – it is a learning as you go profession. From each fight you learn different skills and techniques, learn the levels and requirements of the body.
Usually good prospects from amateur boxing (unpaid ,olympic style boxing) would have their initial few fights against weaker and unproven opponents. Thereafter moving up the levels.
This is known as learning your craft.
These initial fights are usually 4 rounds long and are used to promote and let the fighter gain the experience and ring craft.
The boxers that these new up and coming prospects fight are oftentimes Journeyman. Journeyman have lots of experience in the ring but rarely ever win. They are there as opponents – expected to lose and give a show to the audience.
Life of a Journeyman
It is understood that Journeyman can take fights at short notice – instead of having a long time to prepare for fights.
They understand their level and that they will not rise to the top of their division, however they probably enjoy fighting and it does help to pay the bills.
Journeyman also have a reputation to uphold usually in not wanting to be stopped (knockout, technical knockout or disqualification). A stoppage within the distance leads to a forced 28 day (4 week) break in many sanctioning bodies.
This means they are unable to get an income for 4 weeks after a stoppage.
Journeyman have to stay relatively fit and be ready on short notice to take fights as the away fighter on many cards.
A low knockout ratio is a badge of honour.
A few recognised Journeyman in the sport:
- Kristian "Mr. Reliable" Laight – 300 fights, 279 losses, 5 losses by KO.
- William "Warby" Warburton – 201 fights, 164 losses, 3 losses by KO.
- Lewis "Poochi" van Poetsch – 167 fights, 150 losses, 11 by KO.
- Ernie "Gypsy Boy" Smith – 160 fights, 142 losses, 19 losses by KO.
- Billy "Gypsy Boy" Smith – 160 fights, 145 losses, 8 losses by KO.
- MJ Hall – 93 fights, 89 losses, 2 by KO.