Schwer back to earth and back to work

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The Independent Online
Billy Schwer has been enjoying the high life between fights this summer. Since last appearing in the ring, the lightweight plucked up the courage to make a parachute drop in Peterborough to mark the birthday of his girlfriend, Tara.

"The sky-dive was absolutely amazing," he said. You go 13,000 feet up, then you free fall for 50 seconds and then you are five minutes under the parachute.

"I'll do it again. Tara and I went in tandem," said Schwer who, in January 1995, lost on cuts in a world championship fight against Rafael Ruelas, the International Boxing Federation champion in Las Vegas.

Schwer will come down to earth - and he sincerely hopes not with a bump - in an eight-rounder against the former double ABA champion, Alan Temple, at Brent Town Hall tonight.

He also went in the other direction and indulged in some deep sea diving off the Brighton coastline in order to expend his energies outside of training since his last fight against the tough and committed Gareth Jordan in Dunstable in May.

Schwer's immediate 1997 objective is the European title - for which he is the leading contender - and therefore a platform to strike for a second attempt at a world crown.

"Hopefully next year will be my year, starting with the European title, then maybe another shot at a world title," Schwer said.

"Temple is a southpaw, likes to counter, a box-fighter. I'm looking for a good 1997 to get on the road again."

Jordan had a long time to prepare for Schwer, and did his best to upset the fancied fighter, but Temple is equally ready for the biggest fight of his career. Schwer hits hard and is fearless in the ring, but his cut-prone features will always give his opponent a chance of an upset. Schwer should have enough in his armoury to make certain that nothing goes seriously wrong, however.

Sharpening-up, too, for more serious combat is the another lightweight, the unbeaten Colin Dunne, who faces Bamana Dibateza on the same bill.

Dunne is to challenge Michael Ayers for his British title on 20 November and Dibateza could well give him a useful night's work. A win looks very much on the cards for the all-action Dunne before going on to his clash with Ayers, a fight which could easily be one of the best domestic matches of the year.

Richie Woodhall is unlikely to retire from the ring following his failure to win the World Boxing Council middleweight title in America at the weekend.

Woodhall was so low after his last-round defeat at the hands of Keith Holmes, the defending champion, that he threatened to quit but Woodhall's father and trainer, Len, who was in his son's corner last Saturday, expects him to bounce back into the ring once he has recovered from an operation to remove pieces of floating bone from his elbow.

Woodhall Snr said: "Richie will not want to go out like that and I should know being his father and his trainer." The former European and Commonwealth champion is currently having a few days away with his family to think over his future following the first defeat of his career in his 22nd fight.